Performance Concerns

Monitoring of Hours

Students are responsible for monitoring their total work hours throughout the term and for meeting the minimum 160 hour expectation established for all students.   Students have access to this information in real time through TRACY UltraTime - See “Student Real Time Access” in the Policies and Procedure section. In addition, students can review the total hours paid to date by reviewing the past check stubs received for a term or summer period. As an additional measure, the TRACY UltraTime system, at the end of the pay period, sends out a "below hours" email titled “Caution – You are Working Below Hour Requirement” with attached hour report to any student that has fallen 5 or more hours below the required target for the period. That report is also sent to both the Labor Supervisor and Academic Adviser. Furthermore, the Labor Program Office reviews hours throughout the term to identify students who are falling significantly behind in hours. Email notices are sent, and in some cases students are called into the office for consultation. Students should come forward immediately if there are special circumstances related to hour shortages (e.g., medical situation, death in the family).

Failure to Meet the Hour Requirement

Failure to meet the weekly hour requirement should be addressed at the department level through regular discussions and through the student labor evaluation process. Students failing to meet the requirements of a 12- or 15-hour commitment may be subject to an hours reduction and/or a reduction in WLS level. The supervisor will determine any internal reassignment within the department.

The minimum expectation for each student is 160 hours per term. When students are more than 30 hours below the expectation during a term, they will be placed on labor probation. Lower Labor Evaluation scores can also be recorded anytime a student fails to meet his/her hours expectations. In order to not be placed on probation and remain in good standing in the Labor Program, students should not be more than 10 hours below the minimum expectation each fall and spring term. This is easily accomplished if students work in their primary assignments 10+ hours per week through to the end of the term as required by the position and arranged with the supervisor.

If enrolled in classes during the summer term, each student is required to complete no less than 80 hours of labor for an (8) week class and no less than 40 hours of labor for a four (4) week class in a primary assignment by working 10-20 hours per week through the end of the summer school session as required by the position and arranged with the supervisor.

Mandatory Meeting Notices

The Labor Program Office may request a meeting with a student to discuss position performance or other labor-related matters, and these requests should be taken very seriously. The Student Handbook states that students may be withdrawn by administrative action for, “failure to meet administrative deadlines and/or to respond to notices or appointments, including failure to register or confirm registration or to take care of administrative record needs.”  Student work schedules and class schedules are considered before setting a mandatory meeting time and notification will be sent through campus email. It is the responsibility of the student to contact the Labor Program Office if there are any issues that may prevent a mandatory meeting once the notice is received.

Early Intervention Program

This program is coordinated through the Office of Student Success and Transition, and is supported by the Labor Program. The program provides a central location for reporting concerns about students so that these issues affecting student success can be addressed quickly and effectively. The program coordinator works closely with College faculty, academic advisers, labor supervisors, Residential Life professionals, and many others on campus to ensure that students receive the full benefit of campus resources and remain on track for personal and academic success.

Labor supervisors play a critical role in early intervention, as they often spend more time with students than any other professional staff member. Through these mentoring relationships, supervisors can often identify concerns that might otherwise go unnoticed in residence life and in classroom settings. Supervisors are encouraged to contact the Labor Program Office for guidance, or to access the Early Intervention Program directly by sending an email to Performance Checks.

Student Disciplinary Action Form and Process

Student performance concerns must be documented and discussed with the student. A student cannot receive any type of department probationary status or release without using the Student Disciplinary Action Form. This process serves three primary purposes: 1) it provides an opportunity to reaffirm departmental expectations; 2) it draws attention to the issue in the interest of improving performance; and 3) it provides a clear history for others in the event that further disciplinary action is required.

Because the Labor Program is a learning environment, we do not advocate a “three strikes and you’re out” approach. Students should be given an opportunity and a reasonable amount of time to address performance concerns in a realistic fashion. Students should receive write ups consistently at the time of each incident and not collectively.

The Student Disciplinary Action Form is a tool designed by the Labor Program Office to assist with this process. It is not appropriate to release a student without documentation of performance issues or consultation with the Labor Program Office when an issue is identified that may result in disciplinary action. Ideally, this documentation and discussion approach will enhance student performance so that no further measures are needed. If that is not the case, a supervisor may seek to place a student on departmental probation. The Associate Dean of Labor can help you navigate through this process.

Departmental Probation

Departmental probation establishes performance conditions that must be met for continued success in a given position and/or department. Departmental probation is not centrally formalized or recorded and does not affect participation in College activities; it does, however, establish a mechanism of warning for the student that his or her standing in the department is in jeopardy and that continued problems may result in release or even labor probation.  The Labor Program Office should be notified any time a supervisor is seeking to place a student on Departmental Probation in order to prepare an appropriate accountability agreement for the student and in particular whenever a department is seeking to place a first-year student on departmental probation so that appropriate interventions can be arranged.

Labor Probation

The decision to place a student on Labor Probation is made by the Associate Dean of Labor in consultation with other professional staff of the Labor Program Office and is based on a review of all related circumstances. Normally probation occurs when a student within a primary position has: 

  1. Failed over a term to work a minimum of 10 hours a week.
  2. Fallen significantly behind in hours during a term and warnings and attempts at counseling have not been successful.
  3. Falsified time/labor records.  Additionally, in some cases the offense could be grounds for a judicial hearing.
  4. Failed to meet the requirements of an accountability agreement.
  5. Scored 59 or below on a Labor Evaluation for a primary position.
  6. Not meeting the expectations or needs of the department during a term.  (Note: documentation from the supervisor would be required describing how the student is not meeting department expectations or needs.

Labor probation is centrally monitored and recorded, and has the potential to significantly impact a student’s participation in College activities.  Students on probation:

  • Will be denied participation in international travel experiences, internships, independent studies, College-sponsored summer off-campus internships, and off-campus short term exchange; a student who is found to be significantly deficient in meeting the required labor obligation at mid-term may be denied during the application process;
  • Will not be eligible for a labor or course overload or leave of absence;
  • Will not be permitted to hold level five or six labor positions, or certain unclassified labor positions (e.g., CAB Chair, Pinnacle Editor); incumbents who are placed on probation while serving may be released;
  • May be ineligible for consideration for some Labor Day awards, scholarship and service awards and membership in honorary societies (e.g., Mortar Board);
  • May be ineligible to apply for a residence hall staff position
  • May be denied permission for off-campus labor.

Labor probation is typically for one regular term but may be extended at the discretion of the Associate Dean of Labor in consultation with the Dean of Labor depending on the circumstances.

Labor Probation—Immediate Suspension

The Associate Dean or the Labor Program Council in consultation with the Dean of Labor may elect to place a student on Labor Probation—Immediate Suspension. This “last chance” designation involves the development of an accountability agreement between the student and the Labor Program, violation of which results in a recommendation of immediate suspension by the Associate Dean of Labor.

Suspension within a Term

Non-performance as a student worker can lead to suspension within a term. In cases where a student has been placed on labor probation and continues a pattern of non-performance the Associate Dean or the Labor Program Council in consultation with the Dean of Labor may elect to develop an accountability agreement and place the student on Labor Probation- Immediate Suspension. Accountability agreements outline clear expectations that- if not met- are grounds for immediate suspension within the term.

Labor suspension is a serious matter. It appears on the student’s academic transcript for the duration of the suspension, and results in a designation of “not in good standing” which often prevents admission to another institution. At the end of the suspension period, the language is removed from the transcript and the student is once again in good standing. While the student may apply for readmission to Berea College, it is not guaranteed

Suspension End of Term

Students on labor probation who fail to meet the conditions of probation are routinely suspended administratively following the conclusion of the final pay period in a term. The length of suspension is typically for one regular term. Should the student elect to appeal, they can appeal to the Dean of Labor or the Labor Program Council who will convene to hear the case. If the student chooses to appeal to the Labor Program Council, they will review the written appeal and could ask the student to appear briefly before the reviewing body before rendering a decision. Normally, three members of the Labor Program Council constitute a quorum for hearing appeals with no individuals from the Labor Program serving as voting members.

Judicial Matters

Issues occasionally arise within a labor department that may violate the Community Judicial Code (e.g., theft of goods, falsification of time). These issues should be carefully documented and reported immediately to the Labor Program Office. The Associate Dean in consultation with the Dean of Labor will determine an appropriate course of action. 

Graduating Seniors: Failing to meet Labor Requirement

Graduating seniors who fail to meet the Labor Program minimum hours requirement in their final term will have their transcripts withheld (both academic and labor) until they have completed a required number of community service hours. The number of community service hours will be determined by the Associate Deanand is based both on the hours not met and the student’s past work performance. The following plan will be followed:

1. An agreed upon number of service hours will typically equal the graduates' total shortage of hours for the final term. However, if the student has exhibited a substantial amount of performance concerns during the final term (including a poor evaluation score) the amount of community service hours can be determined to be an amount exceeding the total shortage of hours. 

2. The graduate is responsible for locating and securing a non-paid community service position.

3. Before starting work, the graduate must submit to the Labor Program Office, written details regarding the position which must include the community service organization and agency contact information.

4. There must be a sponsor from the organization who will oversee the service work.

5. The sponsor should contact the Associate Dean of the Labor Program before the service work begins in order to review the expectations and procedures.

6. Upon completing the work the graduate must provide a time sheet showing the worked hours and signed by the sponsor within the agency.  

7. All documentation should be on official organization email or stationary. 

8. The information will be utilized by the Labor Program to verify and approve the position. 

9. Upon verification by the Labor Program, the graduate’s transcripts will be made available for release to the student.

Note: The "Graduating Seniors: Failing to meet Labor Requirement" policy is not intended as an "out" for graduating seniors. Students who fail to complete the labor requirement during their final term of enrollment are subject to all disciplinary actions indicated in the above sections of the handbook- including suspension prior to graduation.