1201 - Student Assistants



Audience List

  • Personnel Officers
  • Personnel Transactions Supervisors


This policy describes

  • The use of Student Assistants and Graduate Student Assistants.
  • The use of non-civil service students and non-paid student interns.
  • The purpose of the alternate ranges associated with the classifications of Student Assistant and Graduate Student Assistant.
  • The tenure and working limitations of Student Assistants and Graduate Student Assistants.


The classifications of Student Assistant and Graduate Student Assistant are service-wide classes. The purpose of the Student Assistant and Graduate Student Assistant classifications are to:

  •  Familiarize college students with career possibilities in state employment.
  •  Gain student interest in state employment.
  •  Perform specialized project work related to their field of study.

Employment in both classifications is based on continued enrollment in a college curriculum and is restricted to students who are admitted for enrollment in a curriculum that will prepare them to attain the objectives of the organization where they are/will be employed.


The Student Assistant classification is designed for undergraduates performing pre-professional duties. The Graduate Student Assistant classification is restricted to students in a college or university curriculum leading to an advanced degree in a professional area and requires the performance of entry-level professional work. The work assigned to incumbents of both classes must be related directly to their college curriculum and academic goals.

The primary duties of students should not be performing general technical or administrative work. Instead, students must be performing technical work that will provide them with job experience in tasks related to their field of study. Students with undeclared majors should be assigned duties which are in accord with their scholastic interests. If departments are in need of clerical staff on a short-term basis, there are other avenues, such as temporary classifications or limited-term assignments.

Importantly, students should not be used in place of permanent civil service positions.

Departments that employ students through contract and/or hire non-paid student interns are to adhere to the proper use of students described above.


Alternate Range Verification: The alternate salary ranges for Student Assistant and Graduate Student Assistant were established to provide recognition for academic progression and previous state service. Verification of college enrollment is required. Prior to hiring a Student Assistant or Graduate Student Assistant, departments should obtain from the student a copy of their official college/university transcript. This documentation should be kept up to date in the employee's personnel history file.

Credit toward an advanced alternate range of a permanent civil service classification can be obtained, however, provided that (1) experience received in the non-testing classification is independent of meeting the minimum qualifications (no double counting of the experience, if applicable) and (2) the kind of work experience is directly related to the civil service jobs for which they are applying.

Tenure in the Classifications: Both the Student Assistant and Graduate Student Assistant are non-testing classifications. A non-testing classification is a temporary appointment (TAU) classification in which the appointment shall not exceed nine months in a 12-month period. Individuals in these classifications receive no permanent status in state service.

Advertising: It is best practice to advertise student positions, at a minimum, through CalHR’s job portal.

Employment in all cases for the Student Assistant and Graduate Student Assistant is either as occasional employment or on a part-time basis during the school year. Individuals in these classifications work on an actual hours worked basis to a maximum of 1500 hours. This will allow departments to work employees in these classifications up to 1500 hours in a 12 consecutive month period regardless of the number of days they have worked.




  • PML 2013-023: PML 2013-023 - 7/16/2013 - Student Assistants and Retired Annuitants

Related Policies

  • 1202: Intermittent Employees

Authorized By

Melissa Russell
Chief, Personnel Management Division

Contact Person

Personnel Management Division
Personnel Program Consultant , Personnel Management Division
Phone: 916-909-3709
Fax: 916-327-1886
Email: pmd@calhr.ca.gov

Superseded Policies

Not Applicable.


View History

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Table of Contents

1000 - Equal Employment Opportunity

1100 - Selection

1200 - Appointments

1300 - Exempt Employees

1400 - Benefits and Insurance

1500 - Work Schedules

1600 - Third Party Pre-Tax Parking

1700 - Compensation

1800 - Savings Plus

1900 - Bona Fide Associations

2000 - Collective Bargaining

2100 - Leave

2200 - Travel/Relocation

2300 - State Owned Housing

2400 - Employee Recognition

2600 - Layoffs

2700 - Retirement

2800 - Training

2900 - Workforce Planning

3000 - Examination and Hiring

3100 - Drug-Free Workplace

3200 - Medical Screening

3300 - Apprenticeships

3400 - Temporary Assignment

3500 - Classification Plan