Frequently Asked Questions
How are OSA's compensated?
OSAs are paid an hourly wage of $11.00 for work during program and training days, as well as during additional opportunities for work hours offered throughout the year. Most meals during the summer program days are provided for OSA’s, and housing on campus is also provided during the summer programs. Please note: Living on campus IS required during the Summerstart program dates. OSA’s will be assigned to a residence hall for those overnight stays during Summerstart when a large volume of participants are staying on campus overnight. Living on campus is NOT required (but available if needed) for Transitions training/program dates and Summerstart training dates.
Can I have another summer job if I'm an OSA?
The NSSFO office expects the OSA position to be your top priority and you are expected to fulfill your responsibilities with the OSA position first. During the summer, the OSA position is a significant time commitment and some days have longer work hours than others. Some OSA’s have had additional summer employment outside being an OSA, however, most find it difficult due to the fluctuating nature of the OSA hours. If you have questions about seeking additional employment, be sure you communicate early on with your supervisor regarding what’s possible.
Can I take a summer course and be an OSA?
It is possible to take a six-week Summer Session course; however, you must consult with NSSFO prior to enrollment to ensure your coursework will not preclude you from completing job training and work assignments. If you are considering taking a summer course, please alert NSSFO in your application.
I'm concerned that I don't know enough about Western to become an OSA!
Many feel this way when they first apply, and some applicants have never attended an orientation program! Don’t be worried about your level of knowledge about resources. There are excellent opportunities to help strengthen your preparation.
Intensive training before the summer programs will help you prepare before new students and their families are on campus. Additionally, optional experiences during Spring 2017 will be offered during programs and events that have complementary experiences meeting new students and family members, offering assistance during their visits, and sharing knowledge of campus resources for referrals. Additional training will be provided for those opportunities, some of which are voluntary and some are paid.
A new leadership development opportunity is also being offered Spring 2017 in the form of a new class called Leadership Studies (LDST) 297. LDST 297 is offered specifically for student leaders with various roles on campus. This course is not required for OSA’s, but you may find it of interest in supporting your personal development.
LDST 297 DESCRIPTION: This course provides a theoretical foundation and practical application of leadership competencies for students who serve in peer leadership capacities on campus. Students will learn about leadership theory by practically applying concepts to their roles as student leaders on campus. Students from various programs will meet together in large lecture sessions on Tuesdays and then meet in smaller leadership 'context' discussion sections associated with their specific leadership roles on campus on Thursdays. [Special note: there will be a designated section ONLY for Orientation Student Advisors. Additional information can be shared during the interview process.]
I'm only a Freshman, can I still apply?
Yes! Our preference is that new OSA’s have successfully completed 3 quarters at Western with a good academic standing prior to Summer 2017. Even if you’ve been here only one or two quarters, you’re still encouraged to apply. You must also have an intention to enroll Fall 2017 to be eligible. Our staff training will help you learn all that you’ll need to know about campus and community resources.
Do I have to be in Bellingham all summer if I'm selected? Where will I stay and how much will it cost?
Housing and most meals are provided during summer orientation program dates. Living on campus in an assigned residence hall is required during Summerstart; living on campus during staff training times and during the Transitions program is optional. You are responsible for transportation, parking and additional meals. If you need additional housing during summer outside of our designated training/program dates, you may work directly with the University Residences Conference & Guest Housing office to arrange and pay for additional nights of housing if you wish to live on campus.