Faculty Resources

Faculty Guide to Ethical and Legal Student Hiring Practices:

The National Association of Colleges and Employers has established best practices for faculty involvement in student hiring efforts. These recommendations are to protect YOU, your STUDENTS, and the SCHOOL and are based on notions of fairness, equal opportunity, truthfulness, non-injury, confidentiality, and lawfulness.


SHARE employment and internship opportunities with ALL of your students (post signs, send mass e-mail, send to career center, and so forth)—do not hand pick students to share information with.

ADHERE to FERPA guidelines when disclosing information about a student to employers and be sure to secure permission from the student to speak about them. All information shared should be firsthand and based when possible on factual or written documentation.

CONSULT your campus career center on ALL employment and internship requests, including those seeking to connect with specific groups of students (by major, race, gender or other protected categories)

AVOID discussing personal matters and areas that fall outside the job requirements when providing references and recommendation.



LIMIT opportunity and access by sharing information with select students.

VIOLATE privacy and FERPA standards by disclosing information about top students, sharing information without student consent, or sharing personal details unrelated to the job description.

ASSUME that you are the only person with a relationship with the employer—share information with the career center so that strategic employer engagement can occur to ensure equal and fair service is provided to each employer

UNDERESTIMATE the liability assumed by you personally and by the school when the above standards are not followed.

Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

Sample Faculty Reference Letter:

Dear [Name of Employer]:

This reference letter is provided at the written request of [name of student], who has asked me to serve as a reference on [his/her] behalf. It is my understanding that [name of student] is being considered by your organization for the position of [job title]. Please be advised that the information contained in this letter is confidential and should be treated as such. The information should not be disclosed to [name of student, if student has waived access] or anyone in your organization who would not be involved in the hiring decision regarding this individual. Additionally, the information should not be disclosed to anyone outside of your organization without the consent of the student.

I have known [name of student] for the past [number of months, semesters, years] as [he/she] has taken the following courses which I teach: [list courses, give brief description of content of course]. As [his/her] professor, I have had an opportunity to observe the student's participation and interaction in class and to evaluate the student's knowledge of the subject matter. I would rate the student's overall performance in these subjects as [below average, average, above average].

[One or two specific examples of the student's performance may be appropriate.] As part of [his/her] grade in [name of course], the student was required to prepare a paper. The paper was designed to measure the student's ability to research, to analyze the results of the research, and to write. [Discuss how the paper submitted by the student indicated to you the student's skills in these areas.] Based upon this, I rate the student's skills [indicate rating].

[It may be appropriate to give specific examples about the student's area of expertise.]

Based upon the student's academic performance and my understanding of the position for which the student is applying, I believe the student would perform [place overall evaluation here]. If you would like to discuss this further, please feel free to contact me.


Courtesy of the National Association of Colleges and Employers.

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