The hunt for student employment at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) has grown significantly easier. This fall, new enhancements will be added to a unique web-based student employment management system. The paperless system, which debuted last fall and will receive a national award in October, gives NJIT employers and student employees instant access to critical credentialing information. In the past, finding and collating this data could have taken up to three weeks.
With the system’s newest features, students can store their resume and credentials on-line and see the real-time status of their applications. Employers can now screen applicants by major, class standing, special skills and more. More than a dozen information technology researchers and student financial aid services professionals developed the software.
Educause, a non-profit association based in Colorado and Washington, D.C, which advances the intelligent use of information technology in higher education, will present an award to NJIT at its national meeting this coming October. Kathy Bialk, director of student financial aid services and Haresh Gopal, acting director of university information systems, will accept the honor on behalf of the university.
“The Educause annual awards recognize exemplary achievement in six areas of higher education information technology,” said David F. Ullman, Jr., PhD, associate provost for information services and technology and chief information officer. “NJIT will be recognized for creating a unique and unusual information technology solution. This award, for excellence in administrative information systems, recognizes our efforts for streamlining and improving the student employment business processes with creativity, efficiency, and effectiveness worthy of emulation.”
“After one year of working with the new system, we’re thrilled,” said Bialk, who initiated the effort. “At first, our goal was to improve how students find jobs on campus. However, the project grew. It’s a system now that serves the entire campus community.”
In the past, student employment processing typically took anywhere from three days to three weeks. Now, the same process takes minutes. Not only is information current, but accurate. “That’s because the program pulls from many areas at NJIT including student and financial aid records, human resources and more,” said Bialk.
About 40 percent of NJIT students use this system annually to apply for on-campus employment. Approximately half of those students are placed in jobs (or about 20 percent of the total NJIT enrollment). During the past academic year (2004-2005), 1664 part-time and full-time, graduate and undergraduate students at NJIT were employed in work-study positions on campus.
The administrative workload, however, to move these students into jobs has always been great. Many students work in multiple jobs throughout the year. “We processed more than 3600 jobs for work/study students last year, so it’s easy to understand the importance of this project,” said Bialk. To qualify for an on-campus job, students must satisfy federal requirements and NJIT’s enrollment, academic qualification and new regulations from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Winners of the 2005 Educause awards will be honored before more than 6,000 of their higher education colleagues at the association’s annual conference this October in Orlando. For more information on the EDUCAUSE awards program, see www.educause.edu/awards/.