Recognizing the achievements of KuyperWorks student workers is an important part of the program said Dean of Students and Work Curt Essenburg.
“It doesn’t matter whether you’re 9 or 99, everybody enjoys being recognized and celebrated. It feels good and makes you want to work harder,” he said.
This idea of honoring hard work and dedication was the motivation behind the recent KuyperWorks promotion party, which celebrated eight student workers who were promoted to new levels of responsibility.
KuyperWorks integrates classroom learning with the learning students experience within the workplace, whether on or off campus. It is the most visible display of Kuyper’s Work College initiative, which allows all residential students to participate in a comprehensive work-service-learning program.
And, because Kuyper is a federally recognized work college – one of just 10 in the nation and the only one in Michigan – all students who participate in the program see their wages directly applied, tax-free, to their tuition costs. This helps make a Kuyper education much more affordable and accessible for them.
Emily Perton, Director of Student Success, explained that equipping students for more complex job responsibilities is a valuable piece of the KuyperWorks program.
“They’re learning to do things like supervise others, to lead meetings, to plan campus wide events. It’s the kind of experience you don’t get in a traditional on-campus employment situation, and it’s really helpful on a resume,” she said.
She shared the story of one particular student who has experienced this benefit firsthand.
“One of our seniors started out as a student success coach, and now she supervises all the other coaches. She’s taken on a lot of responsibilities,” she said. “She hasn’t even graduated yet, but she already got three amazing job offers, in large part because of her KuyperWorks experience.”
Perton added that students will potentially be able to take on even more and greater responsibilities in the future.
“We’re exploring ways to equip them even further, maybe through things like conducting employee evaluations. This is stuff that just doesn’t happen in other places,” she said.
And she also echoed Essenburg’s sentiments, saying that hosting a promotion party for student workers is an exciting opportunity to recognize their outstanding efforts.
“We’re seeing these student workers who are going above and beyond in their jobs, and we’re able to celebrate and promote them. We’re recognizing their good work ethic,” she said smiling.