Frequently Asked Questions
How are OSA's compensated?
OSAs are paid an hourly wage of $11.50 for work during program and training days, as well as during additional opportunities for work hours offered throughout the academic 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. The OSA job is not a “9-5” schedule, which can make it difficult to commit to set hours elsewhere. 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 schedule. If you have questions about seeking additional employment, be sure you communicate early on with your supervisor regarding what’s possible and realistic.
Can I take a summer course and be an OSA?
It is possible to take a 6-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. Our priority is for full availability of staff for training and programs. If you are considering taking a 6-week summer course, please alert NSSFO in your application. Enrollment in a 9-week summer session course creates scheduling conflicts for the OSA position and may not be possible to accommodate.
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.
NSSFO hosts required staff training dates in the spring and summer to help you prepare before new students and their families are on campus. Please review the timeline for training dates and program dates to ensure you are available to attend. During training, we’ll focus on group/team development activities, student development theory, how to work with parents/families, learning about campus resources and student services, and strengthening presentation, dialogue, and customer service skills.
Additionally, optional volunteer and paid experiences will be offered during Spring 2018 for 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. These experiences, while optional, are great to consider to help you put what you learn into practice.
I'm 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 2018. 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 2018 to be eligible. Our staff training will help you learn all that you’ll need to know about campus and community resources. These positions are for Undergraduate students only.
Do I have to be in Bellingham all summer if I'm selected? Where will I stay and how much will it cost?
OSA’s must attend all training and program dates, and we do our very best to be specific about those timeframes so you can make plans around your work schedule. Housing and most meals are provided during summer orientation program dates. Living on campus in an assigned residence hall is required during the Summerstart sessions. Living on campus during staff training times and during the Transitions program is optional, but we will provide you housing on campus if you need it.
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. Any housing needs, on or off campus, outside of our program and training dates is your responsibility to secure.