All full-time students must participate in the Work Education Program—there are no exceptions. The Work Education Program permeates the daily life of the campus and is an integral part of the total educational experience of each student.
The primary objective of the Work Education Program is to provide meaningful, worthwhile work experiences through which each participating student may contribute toward the cost of his or her education. Such desirable virtues as independence, self-accomplishment and achievement are developed at College of the Ozarks under this program. In addition, these work experiences provide students opportunities to develop important skills such as reliability, teamwork and collaboration, initiative and motivation, responsibility, quality work practices, and communication skills. They will also develop channels for self-discovery and accomplishment not always found in purely academic experiences. Finally, it also gives students the opportunity to contribute to the campus community in a meaningful way.
The overall management of the Work Education Program is the responsibility of the Dean of Work Education, who assigns all students to their workstations and determines necessary changes in work assignments. The Dean of Work Education strives to match students to their jobs on the basis of expressed interest, experience, and ability, with consideration given to available openings and the needs of the College. Work assignments are made on a priority basis, with presently enrolled students having the first opportunity for available openings. Incoming students are initially assigned to jobs that are important but generally considered more basic labor. Students may later earn transfers to more desirable jobs, or to those more closely related to their fields of study, by strong performance and high work grades. After receiving job assignments, students report to their work area supervisors who will provide further guidance and supervision in their duties.
Requirements and Policies
The requirements and policies of the Work Education Program are carefully explained to all new C of O students. Each full-time student works, on average, 15 hours per week during the 16-week fall semester and the 16-week spring semester. In addition, each full-time student works two 40-hour weeks chosen from the weeks when classes are not in session. A limited number of qualified resident students (based on financial need) may participate in the 12-week Summer Work Program. Students may apply to work one or both of the 6-week summer work periods. Each 6-week period worked covers the cost of room and board for one semester. Summer work will be credited toward room and board expenses for the next academic year.
A daily record of work hours completed by each student is maintained by their work supervisor. A cumulative record of student work hours is maintained in the Cash Accounts office to allow the student to determine the total of his or her credit at any time. Work hours cannot be sold, given away, or transferred; nor is cash given in exchange for work. However, extra work hours earned by the student over and above the charges for any term accumulate in an “incidental” account and may be used to offset charges for laundry service, medical expenses that may be incurred at the campus health clinic, and milk from the dairy.
Work Education Program Attendance and Disciplinary Policy
Failure to report to work as expected after assignment to a specific department or work area or to otherwise make arrangements with the work supervisor and/or Work Education office will result in appropriate disciplinary action, which can include dismissal from the Work Education Program.
Work Performance Records
Work performance reports showing the effectiveness of the student at work are maintained by the Work Education office. A work grade is reported to the student at the end of each semester; the grade then becomes a part of the student’s permanent record and is included on the academic transcript maintained by the Registrar’s Office. Student work grades are based on the supervisor’s evaluation of the student in the following areas:
- Quality of Work
- Communication Skills
College of the Ozarks expects solid academic performance and also places a high value on consistent performance in the Work Education Program. Students are placed on work probation if their work grade falls below a C-. If that happens, they are then typically given one semester to improve or face dismissal from the Work Education Program. A grade of F in work performance usually results in immediate dismissal without a probationary period. Again, all full-time students must successfully participate in the Work Education Program.
The Work Education office maintains a record of each student’s work assignments during his or her college career. These records are available to students after graduation and can prove most valuable in developing resumés and obtaining employment.
All work education records are maintained pursuant to the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (PL 93-380). A student who believes an error has been made in the recording of his or her work grade, or feels a grade is unjust, must first contact their work supervisor. If the situation is not resolved, the student may appeal to the Dean of Work Education.
Work Education Program Probation
Conditions Warranting Work Probation: Students may be placed on work probation for unsatisfactory performance in their assigned campus job. Unsatisfactory performance typically means receiving a work grade of less than a C-, but may also be the result of an excessive number of tardies or unexcused absences. Examples of performance issues that warrant probation include, but are not limited to, the following: repeated or habitual unexcused absences or tardies, unsatisfactory performance in any of the graded evaluation criteria, or generally unacceptable behavior at work that appears in conflict with the goals and mission of College of the Ozarks. Placement on work probation should be considered a serious matter to students, which requires diligence and deliberate effort to regain satisfactory status. Failure to do so will likely mean dismissal from the Work Education Program and ineligibility to re-enroll.
Student Work Opportunities
The student work opportunities at College of the Ozarks are numerous and diverse. Over 75 students are assigned to the various offices on campus with responsibilities involving computer skills, typing, filing and a broad range of other important office skills and functions. In addition, students at College of the Ozarks work in many other areas, including but not limited to the areas listed below:
Academic Departments: Students earn their required work hours as departmental assistants in the various academic departments, serving as laboratory assistants, helping to prepare study materials, grading tests, or otherwise assisting in the work of their respective areas.
Agriculture: Students are provided an opportunity to get practical experience in the care, management, showmanship and performance testing of registered livestock. They also gain experience in the processing of milk and meat products, operating and maintaining a feed mill and various types of field machinery and participating in the increasingly complex record-keeping associated with agricultural operations. The divisions are:
Agronomy: Pasture renovation, hay production and the production and storage of fodder for silage
Beef Cattle: The College Polled Hereford herd and Joe N. Basore Limousin herd
Dairy: The W. Alton Jones Holstein herd
Feed Mill: Feed production
Horticulture: Maintaining a teaching orchard and assisting in plant propagation and tissue culture laboratory
Processing Plant: Slaughter, processing, and smoke curing of USDA inspected and approved beef and pork products
Swine: The Mary Straughn Hampshire herd
Armstrong McDonald Nursing Simulation Learning Center: Students work with leading-edge patient simulation technology in a health-care simulation environment, assisting nursing students in learning technologies.
Bonner Community Service Program: Selected students fulfill their work commitments through volunteer service to various community organizations such as the local schools, nursing homes, etc.
Bookstore: Textbooks, apparel, and other bookstore services are provided in this area staffed by students.
Center for Writing and Thinking: The CWT is an academic support service. The student staff assists other students in completing class writing assignments and other academic tasks. The staff also helps to manage a 30-station word processing laboratory.
Child Development Center: Students serve as the day care and development attendants to the children of both school-affiliated and non-affiliated personnel.
College Press: Student workers receive experience in various aspects of the printing industry by producing virtually all business and academic forms used by the College. The Press also does custom printing on a commercial basis and produces and distributes the Ozark Visitor, a quarterly periodical with a circulation of over 155,000.
Computer Center: Students work with the most up-to-date equipment in computer programming and operations, processing essential data for the College.
Construction: Students assist in the various aspects of building construction and maintenance, painting, plumbing and heavy equipment operation.
Custodial: Students have the janitorial responsibility of the Howell W. Keeter Athletic Complex, Plaster Business building and 12 buildings on the south side of the campus.
Edwards Mill/Weaving: Students and their supervisors operate this working mill, constructed authentically in the tradition of the early Ozarks. Corn and wheat are ground to form meal, flour and other grain products. Students make handcrafted items such as baskets and learn techniques of dyeing, hand spinning, and traditional loom weaving to produce various woven articles. All student-made products are for sale in the Mill and in the Beulah Winfrey Gift Shop in The Keeter Center.
Electrical Shop: Along with their supervisors, students are responsible for the installation, maintenance and repair of all electrical equipment on campus.
Electronics: The students in the Electronics Department assist the electronics staff in the installation, repair, and maintenance of all electronic equipment on campus. This includes the campus analog telephones, all fire alarm systems, security systems, TV cabling, campus public address systems and sound systems for special events.
Fire Department: Four students are given the responsibility of maintaining the campus fire-fighting and rescue vehicles and equipment, regularly checking and servicing the approximately 1,000 fire extinguishers in the various campus buildings, and organizing and supervising the selection, training and on-the-scene performance of the College’s volunteer fire department.
Fruitcake and Jelly Kitchen: A staff of students and their supervisors are involved in the production of jellies and the famous C of O fruitcakes, some 30,000 of which are produced annually. They likewise handle the receiving and filling of mail orders for these and other College products.
Health Clinic: A professional staff of nurses and a Physician's Assistant are assisted by a staff of students in providing medical services.
Heating and Air: Students are responsible for the installation, repair and servicing of heating and air conditioning systems, ice makers, refrigerators, freezers and related equipment.
Keeter Center: Located at the main entrance of the College, The Keeter Center is the largest work area on campus. It utilizes student workers in its operation as a restaurant, gift shop, bakery and 15-room lodge.
Students working in this area serve as front desk reservationists, bell staff, housekeeping staff, work in food preparation, wait staff, and as cashiers, and are responsible for the maintenance and care of the Keeter Center facility.
Landscaping: Students work in landscape planning, soil preparation, and the planting and maintenance of the campus grounds, shrubs and flowers. They also gain experience in pest control, plant propagation and greenhouse operations, as they grow most of the plants used for outdoor planting and maintain an outstanding orchid collection. Students also maintain a garden which supplies the Keeter Center with fresh vegetables.
Laundry: Students provide professional laundry services to students, faculty, staff, and various campus industries.
Library: This work area provides experience in information retrieval including traditional library skills combined with current technology. Work opportunities include office procedures, patron service, processing and storage of materials and computer skills. Audio-Visual experience includes maintenance, delivery, and use of a variety of equipment.
Machine Shop: Students work as assistant machinists and welders in performing general mechanical work and maintenance of equipment.
Mail Operations: Students process the campus mail and prepare outgoing mail. The students also utilize modern computer technology.
Outlook and Phoenix Publications: Students assigned to these two publications, the student newspaper and yearbook, have the responsibility of organizing, publishing, and distributing the publications on campus.
Pearl Rogers Dining Hall: Located in the College Center, the dining hall involves student workers in all phases of food preparation and serving of daily meals, as well as providing food services for various catered functions throughout the school year.
Power Plant: The Griffin Energy Center produces steam for the campus heating and hot water systems and generates electrical power on a standby basis.
Radio Station: The students assigned to the campus FM radio station work as announcers, writers, operators, engineer’s assistants, and secretarial or office workers.
Ralph Foster Museum: Students at the Ralph Foster Museum perform the day-to-day operations of running a museum in the capacity of cashiers, security guards, and custodial. They assist full-time staff in artifact research, creating labels, and the construction of new displays. They also assist permanent staff in the area of documentation, inventory, and other necessary clerical duties.
Resident Assistants: Fifty-five students assist in the operation of the seven residence halls, working in maintenance or custodial areas, as desk clerks and as resident assistants to the housing director.
Security: This area provides experience for Criminal Justice majors as they work directly with (and function as a real part of) the Campus Security staff and system.
Stained Glass and Candles: Students and their supervisor design and create decorative stained glass items of various kinds, as well as specialty candles and stepping stones, for sale in The Keeter Center gift shop.
Switchboard: Students share the responsibility of handling incoming phone calls and maintaining radio contact with the campus security officer on duty and various other College officials.
Transportation: Students who work in this area are involved in the operation, repair and maintenance of the College’s cars, trucks and vans. The department provides transportation for off-campus trips and transports goods to the point of use.
Warehouse: Student workers at the Warehouse fill requests for supplies for various items needed by offices and departments on campus and will learn how to properly receive, price, stock, sell and deliver items, complete appropriate paperwork and computer entries, as well as other warehouse operations. The warehouse is the central receiving and shipping point for the College campus which receives packages from commercial carriers.
Water Treatment Plant: The McDonald/Southard Water Treatment Plant enables students and their supervisor to process water from Lake Taneycomo for domestic use on campus.