Faculty and Staff Resources
We build partnerships with faculty to develop programs and offer services that link students and alumni with degree-related career and employment opportunities. We can help you both in and out of class and are always happy to work with students to prepare for the future. We also invite faculty and staff to provide experiential learning and work experiences for TRU students as well.
How can we help you?
- We help your students find the right fit: we help students map out their careers, develop essential job search skills and support them in locating labour marketing information and job opportunities.
- Help students master the job interview: there is no better way to prepare for the job interview than by experiencing an "actual" interview. We will conduct mock interviews with your students and provide constructive critiquing of their performance and share effective strategies.
- Employer contact: we continuously work with employers who are recruiting employees. Employers want to have connections with faculty at TRU, and we can help facilitate that connection.
- School specific employer presentations and job fair: we will work with faculty to target employers for students in respective disciplines. We are always trying to increase the number of employers coming to campus. Let's work together to provide more opportunities to our students.
We'll bring information to your class
- We will conduct presentations on a variety of career-related topics, such as resume writing, job search strategies, and interviewing skills.
- We can arrange presentations by professionals (many of them alumni) who can share their experience and how their major has helped them in their career.
Career Services Supports
We help your students find the right fit: we help students map out their careers, develop essential job search skills and support them in locating labour marketing information and job opportunities.
Employer contact: we continuously work with employers who are recruiting employees. Employers want to have connections with faculty at TRU, and we can help facilitate that connection.
Help students master the job interview: there is no better way to prepare for the job interview than by experiencing an "actual" interview. We will conduct mock interviews with your students and provide constructive critiquing of their performance and share effective strategies.
School specific employer presentations and job fair: we will work with faculty to target employers for students in respective disciplines. We are always trying to increase the number of employers coming to campus. Let's work together to provide more opportunities to our students.
We'll bring information to your class
We will conduct presentations on a variety of career-related topics, such as resume writing, job search strategies, and interviewing skills.
We can arrange presentations by professionals (many of them alumni) who can share their experience and how their major has helped them in their career.
Be a Reference
Faculty are frequently asked to write references for students seeking employment or applying to graduate school. When writing references there are a few key guidelines:
- Determine whether you know the student well enough to confidently speak about their ability
- Identify the student, your relationship and the length of the relationship. If your contact with the student is primarily through a class, list the course name. If it was through employment, list the title of the position and what the job entailed.
- Provide as much information about the student's increased knowledge, skill level, maturity, people skills, and any other aspects of development during the time you knew him or her
- Request that the student give you a copy of his or her resume to help you better understand the student's career goals and objectives
Focus on the positive and try to qualify any negative statements with how the student is dealing with the problem. If you feel you cannot give the student a positive recommendation, decline to write the letter or to serve as a reference.
Hire a Student
Studies show that students that have career related work while attending school increase their educational and career outcomes. At TRU, faculty and staff can hire students as a work study student, a teaching assistant, a research assistant and a Co-op student. Each of these programs provide students valuable experiential learning while offsetting the cost of their post-secondary education.
While the specifics of the hiring process are largely up to the department, the process must be open, transparent and accountable, while ensuring senior students in a respective program are aware of the Teaching Assistant opportunity.
To be eligible for the Teaching Assistant Position, students must meet the following criteria:
Undergraduate teaching assistant
- Enrolled in an undergraduate program at TRU
- Completed at least 50% of their current program of study
- Enrolled in at least 3.0 credits for the semester in which they would be employed
- A minimum GPA of 3.5
- Demonstrate English language proficiency
Graduate teaching assistant
- Enrolled in a graduate degree program at TRU
- Must be in good academic standing
- Demonstrate English language proficiency
Additional notes about teaching assistants:
- Teaching Assistants are members of CUPE Local 4879. The basic terms and conditions for Teaching Assistants are outlined in the Letter of Understanding with CUPE local 4879.
- Teaching Assistants are limited to 10 hours per week of work. Hours cannot be banked or accumulated. Hours are to be worked throughout the semester and must end within one week of the end of the exam period. Teaching Assistants are limited to 140 hours of employment in any semester.
- Teaching Assistants will be provided with orientation by the respective department on or prior to the first day of employment. This orientation session will include an overview of the roles, responsibilities, safety issues, working conditions, and evaluation procedures. Each Teaching Assistant will be provided with a TA Handbook. A Teaching Assistant is an employee of TRU and is covered by WorkSafe BC regulations.
- All matters related to misconduct or discipline of the TA will be handled by the respective Dean.
- Please note the relevant department is responsible for all hours of work performed and vacation pay. Wages are paid on a bi-weekly payroll system through the electronic timesheet approval process.
Co-op education at TRU is an academic credit based program that provides students with graduating credits while working in paid, full time positions. Students alternate between academic semesters and Co-op education semesters. Schools, departments and divisions can hire TRU students for on-campus positions and research assistants can also be Co-op students.
The first step is to contact a Co-op coordinator to discuss the possible position. Once your area has approval to post a position a job description will be given to Career and Experiential Learning to send to Co-op students. The Co-op coordinator will assist you in facilitating all aspects of the interview and hiring process. Co-op students can combine work terms; for example, a student can work up to three academic semesters while on campus-as long as they are returning to academic study following their last Co-op work term. Contact a coordinator here.
The Work Study program is a TRU funded financial assistance program which offers an opportunity for Canadian students to work part-time on campus in positions that accommodate their studies. The objectives of the program are to assist students in financial need and to provide experiential learning opportunities that help staff and faculty. Career and Experiential Learning works with Work Study students and supervisors to assist in connecting the student experience with developing new skills and career planning.
The program runs from September through April, with hiring occurring in the Fall until all positions are filled.
Work Study positions pay $10.85 per hour, and are a maximum of eight hours per week (240 hours for the academic year).
For additional information, please visit Work Study Program.
Student Research Assistants
Both graduate and undergraduate students may be hired as research assistants. Student research assistants are hired as employees of TRU. If you wish to hire a research assistant who is not a student, please see the Finance Procedure Manual on this topic for details.
What is a student research assistant?
A student research assistant does work directly related to the mandate of the research funding and is expected to be engaged in one or more of the following types of work:
- Preparing materials for an experiment, setting up experimental equipment, monitoring and recording experimenta results, inputting and formatting data for analysis, conducting preliminary analyses of the significance of the results carrying out a review of pertinent literature and assisting with the preparation of a manuscript
- Collating and entering pre-existing data for statistical analysis, carrying out preliminary statistical analysis or meta-analyses, creating and conducting computer simulation models (which could entail some basic programming), monitoring and summarizing the results of a computer simulation
- Searching the published literature on a particular thematic area and determining the relevance of articles for copying and later inclusion in a summary database, cataloguing and filing précis and keyword summaries for the most important literature under the theme, discussing recurrent concepts discovered with the grant holder and preparing draft manuscripts
- Developing a knowledge of the techniques used to identify and monitor species of plants or wildlife, locating geo-referenced sites and recording field data on the occurrence or activities of plants and wildlife, assisting in the capture, handling and collecting of specimens, collating and entering data and preparing databases, carrying out preliminary statistical analyses
- Co-op students can be hired as student research assistants
- A student research assistant must be enrolled as a student or, in the case of summer employment, returning as a student in the fall semester
- Students may not work beyond the completion of their degree requirements unless this is required for the completion of a research project, in which case the position may be extended by a maximum of three months
- Undergraduate students must carry a minimum 60% course load within the current academic year
- Extensions beyond original end date require approval of the AVP Research & Graduate Studies
- International Students must have a SIN in order to work as a student research assistant. Click here for more information on the requirements.
- Electronic employment requisitions are completed via HRsmart Solutions and are managed by Human Resources. Hard copy forms will no longer be accepted. Please see the attached documents to help guide you through this process. Should you require assistance with HRSmart, please email, email@example.com
- Please see TRU Human Resources for all forms related to hiring a student research assistant
Don't Cancel that Class
To maintain the energy and motivation of your students, we can deliver a career seminar so you don’t have to cancel your class. Faculty can choose from a variety of career topics or we can tailor a career seminar based on your students needs.
Most seminars are between 50 and 80 minutes. The seminars are delivered with a balance of practice, lecture, group discussion, technology and self-reflection.
Following the seminar, we will survey the students to determine the relevancy of the topic, student learning and satisfaction. You will be provided a copy of the seminar, the student evaluations and any required attendance record. Please ensure your students understand this is a regularly scheduled class and their attendance is required.
Who is delivering the seminars?
Faculty from Career and Experiential Learning.
Where will the seminars be held?
A faculty member will come to your scheduled room and class time.
Two weeks' notice is recommended. Due to instructor availability, it may not be possible to fulfil all requests.
What are the career seminar topics?
We can design a career seminar based on your student’s needs, or you can choose from the following list of topics:
50-minute seminar topics include:
- How employers are using social media for hiring decisions; manage your digital career self
- Overview of career development theory
- Overview of experiential learning (i.e. Co-op, internships, study abroad, service learning) and the connection to career planning
80-minute seminar topics include:
- Design and implementation of a personalized career plan-transition to grad school, professional school or labour force
- I majored in what? The labour market for your program of study
- Career e-portfolios
- Telling your story to potential employers-résumé and cover letter basics
- Interview skills and practice
Career Equity Resources
Welcome to the Career Equity Resources page for faculty and staff. CEL recognizes that many students enroll in post-secondary education because they want to pursue their career interests. We also acknowledge that TRU faculty and staff are instrumental in helping students prepare for future employment.
Practical components in programs such as nursing and social work are often imperative to a student’s success in their chosen field. CEL would like to show their commitment to supporting students with accessibility needs by making resources available for faculty and staff who may be serving this student population. As an additional resource, the Accessibility Experiential Learning Coordinator is available for consultation on ways to make practical learning scenarios more accessible.
What conditions are considered a disability?
The Career and Experiential Learning department uses the terms medical condition, injury and disability to describe a diagnosable condition that impacts permanently or temporarily impacts a person’s functioning. The World Health Organization uses the overarching term “disability” to describe most of these conditions. Here are just some examples of medical conditions that are considered a disability in Canada.
Conditions defined as a disability by the government of Canada
Here is a list of many of the common disabilities recognized by the Canadian government. This is by no means a complete list but will give you an idea of the many conditions that may cause changes to the way a person works and learns.
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
- Anorexia Nervosa
- Asperger Syndrome
- Auditory Processing Disorder
- Behcet’s Disease
- Bipolar Disorder
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Bulimia Nervosa
- Cerebral Palsy
- Chromosome Abnormality
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Chronic Disability Pain
- Chronic Pain Disorder
- Conduct Disorder
- Coronary Artery Disease
- Cri-Du-Chat Syndrome
- Crohn’s Disease
- De Vivo Disease
- Developmentally Delayed
- Dissociative Identity Disorder
- Downs Syndrome
- Elimination Difficulties
- Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
- Gender Identity Dysphoria
- Global Developmental Delay
- Hearing Disorders
- Hepatitis C
- Huntington’s Disease
- Hypermobility Syndrome
- Inability or Difficulty Walking
- Inability or Trouble Feeding
- Infantile Spasms
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Learning Disabilities
- Mental Illness
- Mild Intellectual Disability
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Myotonic Myopathy
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Oppositional Defiant Disorder
- Panic Disorder
- Parkinson’s Disease
- Personality Disorder
- Pervasive Developmental Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Prader-Willi Syndrome
- Seizure Disorder
- Sleep Disorder
- Specific Developmental Disorder
- Speech Disorder
- Substance Abuse
- Tic Disorder
- Tourette Syndrome
- Trouble Dressing
- Vision Problems
What is a functional impact?
A functional impact describes how a person’s medical condition or disability affects the way they work and learn. For example, a person may have difficulty interacting socially or experience on-going migraines. A person’s medical diagnosis is considered confidential; therefore, employers should accommodate based on how a person’s functioning is impacted, rather than on their diagnosis.
What is an accommodation?
An accommodation is an adaptation to the way a person works and learns that allows them to meet the expectations of a job. For example, a person who has chronic back pain may require a supportive chair or, a person with difficulty with focus and concentration may need a distraction reduced environment.
|Standing||Stool/chair for rest|
|Stair Climbing||Accessible workspace|
|Fatigue||Stretch breaks/extra time|
|Attention/Concentration||Distraction reduced environment|
|Social Interactions||Redistribution of workload/accessible space|
|Information Processing||Extra time, repeat instructions|
|Memory||Project management software|
|Time Management||Time management software|
How can I prepare for students who may need practicum or clinical accommodations?
At the beginning of the semester, remind students who may need accommodations for a practical or clinical placement to meet with an advisor in Accessibility Services to discuss their needs, even if the student is not sure what they need yet.
Accommodations can take time to implement, so the earlier the student can notify Accessibility Services that there is a practical component to their program, the better. Accessibility Services will also work closely with faculty members and the Accessibility Experiential Learning Coordinator to determine reasonable accommodations, as needed.
It is recommended that faculty supervisors still try to accommodate students who have disclosed a disability or ongoing health condition even the student does not want to access services through Accessibility Services.
What should I do if I receive an accommodation letter for a student that requires clinical or practicum accommodations?
Set aside some time to speak with the student privately about how to best support them in the field/practical setting (unless otherwise specified in their accommodation letter).
If you are still unsure of how to implement the recommended accommodations, contact Accessibility Services for assistance.
Where can I get accessibility help for students not registered with Accessibility Services?
The Accessibility Experiential Learning Coordinator from the Career and Experiential Learning Department works closely with Accessibility Services Advisors and is also available to faculty and staff for consultation related to career accessibility for students not registered with Accessibility Services.
What should I do if I think a student may be struggling in their placement due to a disability?
- Set aside some time to speak privately with the student to discuss their academic progress in their clinical/practicum placement.
- Ask if they are accessing any student services to help support them with their learning this semester.
- Refer the student to the student services desk to assess what services (if any) would be best suited to support them.
- Avoid asking if the student has a health condition or disability.
- If the student does not disclose a disability and does not register with Accessibility Services, the Accessibility Experiential Learning Coordinator is available to faculty and staff for consultation.
What should I do if a student who is struggling in their placement discloses that they have a disability?
- Set aside some time to speak with the student privately about how to best support them in the field/practical setting.
- Refer student to Accessibility Services for assistance with determining practical/clinical accommodations.
What should I do if I think an accommodation compromises an academic requirement?
If you believe an accommodation may compromise an academic requirement of your degree program, here are some options to consider:
- Contact Accessibility Services for assistance with determining whether the student would be otherwise qualified to participate in a field placement if reasonably accommodated
- Consult your chair, dean, other post-secondary institutions and/or other related resources for possible accommodation solutions
- Review your clinical/practicum standards and requirements to ensure that they are in line with minimum learning/performance qualifications.
- Make sure students have been clearly informed of all behavioral and clinical performance standards.
- Work with your field/practicum host to come up with possible accommodation solutions
How can I prepare for a decision to deny a field placement accommodation?
If a field placement accommodation compromises an essential requirement and/or causes an unresolvable safety issue, a decision to deny the accommodation may be necessary.
Here are some ways to prepare for this decision:
- Be prepared to illustrate that the requirement is an essential part of the degree program
- Explain how accommodating a student with a disability would lower the academic requirements
- If applicable, explain how the accommodation “would create a significant risk of substantial harm to the health or safety of others [direct threat] and no reasonable accommodation is available that would allow the student to perform the essential requirements/and or functions without creating such a risk” (Sorley, 1994, P. 531).
- Be confident that you have thoroughly investigated all possible accommodations and/or removal of environmental barriers and include the student in the program of study in the discussion.
- Deep Map
- The Deep Map is a community resource hub in the form of an interactive map. The purpose of this map is to identify inclusive community services to support our diverse student population. With limited resources due to COVID-19, it’s even more important that we are providing students, employers, faculty and staff with information that prioritizes health and well-being. Search the map by people group or service using the drop-down menus. To view the contact information and a description of services for an organization, simply click the hotspot location on the map. Click here to view the Deep Map!
Working towards accessibility
- Differentiating between a learning outcome and a functional impact
- Distinguishing between practicums/clinicals and cooperative education
The following published works are not the property of Thompson Rivers University but rather links to published works by scholars and experts in the area of practical learning accommodations.
- Accommodation Strategies of College Students
- Defining a New Culture: Creative Examination of Essential Requirements in Academic Disciplines and Graduate Programs
- Identifying Essential Requirements
- Student Perceptions of the Accommodation Process in Postsecondary Education
- Social Model of Disability: Dichotomy between Impairment and Disability
- University Faculty Beliefs about Students with Learning Disabilities
- Implementing Academic Accommodations in Field Practicum Settings
- Understanding Accessibility in Practical Space Learning Environments Across Disciplines
- Students with Disabilities in Practicum
- ADA Accommodation of Therapists with Disabilities in Clinical Training