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June 9, 2011 Volume 32, No. 31

MU students can CASH in on campus jobs


Program helps students, understaffed departments

When the state of the economy took a downward turn, Mizzou stepped up.

In August of 2009, in response to financial hardships faced by students and departments on campus, the MU Economic Downturn Work Team, Division of Student Affairs and Career Center collaborated to establish the Campus Augmenting Student Hires (CASH) program.

In the program, campus departments hire students for on-campus jobs. The CASH program matches funds up to $500 per semester making every job within the program eligible for a maximum of $1,000 per year. Therefore, when the department contribution is factored in, a student can earn up to $2,000 annually.

“Many faculty and staff recognize the value of student workers,” MU Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Cathy Scroggs said. “We believe that we can utilize the many skills and abilities of students for jobs on campus more effectively.”

A total of 669 student positions have been created since the inception of the program. The positions encompass a variety of positions, including graphic designers, lab researchers and assistants, tutors, peer advisors, reporters and support staff.

Over 100 departments on the University of Missouri campus have participated in CASH and the Career Center staff estimates that students have earned more than $1 million through the program.

The funding for CASH comes from realized administrative efficiencies and revenue enhancement activities on the collections process around the student account. 

“Ultimately, we made changes in the way we assess finance charges, calculate late payment fees, process credit card payments and interact with the collection agencies,” Paul Toler, MU’s director of business services, said. “These changes created income streams and cost-savings opportunities we were able to turn into funding for the Excellence Scholarship, as well as the CASH student employment program.” 

The benefits for the student are numerous. They gain real-world experience, while applying the skills learned in the classroom. For those uncertain of their career plans, part-time jobs can lead students to decisions about a future major or career.

Michelle Slinkard, who graduates in May, worked as a student reporter for the Graduate School communications office.

“I have been able to develop my own journalistic skills, while also helping the graduate school complete their initiatives,” Slinkard said. “It’s been a great place to spend my spare time and I have really learned a lot.”

On-campus jobs provide students with a support system and a smaller community that aids with student retention. Furthermore, students earn financial benefits that enable them to continue their educational experiences.

“I’m hoping to pursue a career in broadcast journalism,” Jessica Hord, a senior working with the communication office of the MU Graduate School, said. “With this position, not only am I interviewing and shooting video of people, but I’m also doing lots of writing — both key elements to hone for my future career.”

The value of student workers has been seen by faculty and staff that have taken part in the CASH program.

“This is our second successful year with the CASH program,” Robin Walker, communications and external relations director for the MU Graduate School, said. “Even though they only work eight hours a week, the students have been exceptional performers and have helped us accomplish several goals. Foremost they have enabled us to better publicized graduate students’ achievements with multimedia profiles on our site and social media. CASH is an excellent example of how Mizzou partnerships can work to the benefit of our students.”

The program has provided additional opportunity to find student workers.

“This is a situation that is beneficial for everyone. Students are able to find work, and campus departments have additional help to get the work done,” Scroggs said.

Mizzou’s German and Russian Studies department is another component on campus that has reaped the benefits of the program.

 “We teach film studies in this department, and the majority of our other courses also include a strong audio/video component, so having someone in this position is most useful to the department,” said Jennifer Arnold of the German and Russian Studies department.

Officials at MU are unaware of any other university that has a program similar to CASH.

“Mizzou designated funding and created meaningful job opportunities for students that helped alleviate some of the financial strain on campus departments by offering additional manpower,” Amanda Nell of the MU Career Center said. “This is what makes the program so very unique and positive.”

Campus departments can email the MU Career Center at to find out more details of the CASH program.

— Josh Murray