It is the policy of the Department of General Services (DGS) that any branch/office/division may employ civil service student assistants (class code 4870) and may enter into an agreement with any

  • public or private institution of higher education in California
  • nonprofit campus foundation
  • state higher education foundation

to provide part-time employment to students attending a public or private institution of higher education, or to students attending a public or private institution affiliated with a nonprofit campus foundation, or a state higher education foundation, that contracts with DGS in work related to the field of study of the student and does not perform the job duties of another civil service classification/position.


Student Assistant – Civil Service Classification (4870)

  • A non-testing classification or rather a non-list classification.
  • Processed under the temporary utilization authorization (TAU) process and shall not exceed 9 months (or 1500 hours) in a 12-month period.
  • The appointment process requires at least an application review by the hiring supervisor to determine if the applicant meets the minimum qualifications (refer to classification specification) and quite often some other selection technique such as an oral interview.
  • Must be admitted for enrollment in a curriculum the subject of which will prepare the student in attaining the objectives of the departmental organization where s/he will be employed.
  • Employment is based on continued enrollment in a college program.
  • Part-time or temporary employment where students receive on-the-job instruction and perform work that provides practical experience in work tasks related to their field of study and develop familiarity with the laws and programs administered by the State.
  • Student Assistants participate in various phases of a planned training program; learn policies, procedures, and techniques; perform meaningful tasks that are valuable and necessary to the program; gains practical experience in the professional or technical field of study; assists in research, analysis, review, and other related activities in the program.

Student Assistant – Public or Private Institution of Higher Education

  • The Student Assistant is appointed through the contract process, which may offer a significantly larger resource pool for DGS than the civil service Student Assistant.
  • The rate of pay for a contract student is set using the same range criteria applied to state students (AR 60).
  • Students may be used to assist in any program/administrative area (within the student’s field of study) at the DGS.

Hiring Procedures - Civil Service Appointment

The civil service process may be used to hire students as state employees. When hired in this manner, students earn sick leave, vacation, and state service credit. State students are paid from temporary help funds.

Classifications that may be considered for use include:

  • Youth Aid – designed for use during the summer months or on a part-time or intermittent basis during the school year in positions consistent with continued school attendance, to perform a variety of tasks that require limited or no work experience. This classification is typically used to hire high school students.
  • Student Assistant – designed for undergraduates performing para-professional duties. They must be assigned technical work that will provide them with on-the-job training in duties related to their field of study.
  • Graduate Student Assistant – requires graduation from college and the performance of entry-level professional work. Students must be working toward an advanced degree in a professional field. Under close supervision and in a trainee capacity, students may assist in the performance of professional duties such as research or other functions related to a specific project. Assigned duties must be directly related to the student’s field of study.

Salary Ranges
The Classification and Pay (C&P) Analyst, based on a review of the student’s official transcript and using the alternate range criteria, will determine the salary a student receives. If the official transcript is not available at the time of appointment, the student will be appointed at the minimum salary of Range A for the appropriate student classification. Once the official transcript is received and it is determined that the student is eligible to be appointed at a higher range, the change will be made.

School Verification and Range Changes
Continuing civil service students are required to submit verification (copy of registration form) of continued enrollment to his/her supervisor who will forward to the C&P Analyst for review and coordination with the Personnel Supervisor (PS) in the Office of Human Resources (OHR) Personnel Transactions Unit (PTU) each February and September.

When the supervisor determines that a Student Assistant is eligible for movement to a higher alternate range, based on the number of hours of experience in the student program, the supervisor will complete the Supervisor Certification of Salary Adjustment (DGS OHR 609), forward to the C&P Analyst for review and coordination with the PS in OHR PTU.

It is the responsibility of the student to notify his/her supervisor when s/he is eligible for a range change that requires a combination of time worked and semester/quarter units. The supervisor will submit a DGS OHR 609 and the official transcript to their assigned C&P Analyst for review and processing.

Time Reporting and Payroll
Students may work up to 1500 hours in a calendar year, regardless of the number of days worked. Hours worked are reported monthly in Project Accounting and Leave (PAL), and due to PTU on the first working day of the following pay period. Paychecks are issued after the positive pay interface (usually by the tenth of the month).

Required Paperwork
The following paperwork is required in order to make a hiring commitment:

  • Request for Personnel Action (RPA)
  • Essential Functions Duty Statement
  • Organization Chart
  • Std. 689 – Oath of Allegiance
  • I-9 – Employment Eligibility Verification
  • Std. 100-678 – State Application
  • Student Status Verification (copy of registration)
  • Official Transcript
  • Request to Employ Related Individual, if applicable

An appointment cannot be made until allocation and the applicant selected has been approved by the C&P Analyst.

Hiring Procedures - Contract Students

Under Government Code section 19133, students may be hired under a contract set up for this purpose, which enables the student to apply his/her college theory in a practical work environment. Standard contract language states that, “…students must perform work described in the California Department of Human Resources Student Assistant classification specification.”

In order to appoint a student via contract, the hiring supervisor contacts his/her Contract Manager to determine if there is an existing contract or if one needs to be established. The following procedures shall be followed prior to advertising:

  • The hiring supervisor shall submit an:
    • Essential Functions Duty Statement to the C&P Analyst for review to ensure appropriate allocation (please see Policy statement above)
    • organization chart
  • Upon approval, the C&P Analyst notifies the hiring supervisor, who sends a job announcement to the school advertising the position. Interested candidates will work with the school to obtain an interview. The candidate selected will complete the documents required by the school.
  • Prior to making a job offer, the hiring supervisor shall notify the Director and Chief, Office of Human Resources of any potential nepotism issue using the Request to Employ a Related Individual form via email.
  • The supervisor shall notify the C&P Analyst of the student’s start date and anticipated length of employment.

If Staffing Reductions (Layoff) Occur

Pursuant to CalHR Layoff Manual, section 300, civil service Student Assistant appointments, because they are a temporary appointment, may be considered for termination to accomplish necessary savings and to preclude the displacement of permanent civil service employees, pursuant to GC section 19133.

Standard contract language for non-civil service Student appointments states that, “…the contract is valid and enforceable ONLY if sufficient funds are made available by the Legislature (State Budget Act)…if the Legislature does not appropriate sufficient funds…the [contract] shall be amended to reflect any reduction in funds.”


Responsible Control Agency

  • California Department of Human Resources
  • State Personnel Board

Laws and Regulations

  • Government Code section 18529, 19058, 19059, 19133
  • SPB Rule 265

Other Resource Materials

  • Bargaining / Contracts
  • CalHR Pay Scales 11, Alternate Range 60
  • Personnel Management Policy and Procedures Manual section 330


Classification and Pay Unit

Department of General Services
Office of Human Resources

707 3rd Street, 7th Floor
West Sacramento, CA 95605
Contact your assigned Classification and Pay Analyst.