Spartan Ready - Student Employee Professional Development Program

On-campus employment provides students with tangible experience, assists in developing relevant skills and allows them to make meaningful connections with staff, faculty and fellow students.

Spartan Ready engages students through the use of brief, structured conversations between student employees and their supervisors. These conversations are aimed at helping students understand the reciprocal connection between their academic pursuits and the skills and experiences gained through their employment. In short, this program emphasizes learning beneficial to both the work and class environments. Establishing this connection in the mind of students will make both academic and employment experiences more impactful.

This program has been developed from the Iowa GROW® program and implemented with permission granted from the University of Iowa.

How Spartan Ready Works

Spartan Ready Conversations are structured around four brief questions:

  1. How is this job fitting in with your academics?
  2. What are you learning here that’s helping you in school?
  3. What are you learning in class that you can apply here at work?
  4. Can you give me a couple of examples of things you’ve learned here that you think you’ll use in your chosen profession?
Supervisors will conduct the Spartan Ready Conversation twice a semester with all student employees. These conversations can be held in a one-on-one or small group (up to 8 participants) setting depending on the needs of the supervisor or in the best interest of the student employee(s). As students progress in their roles and academic studies, supervisors may observe changes in answers demonstrating learning has occurred. As students progress in their role and in their academic studies, their answers to the questions are likely to evolve and highlight the growth experienced during their collegiate career.

Spartan Ready Timelines

  • Timeline for fall semester meetings
    • First Meeting - Early October
    • Second Meeting - Mid November
  • Timeline for spring semester meetings
    • First Meeting - Before Spring Break
    • Second Meeting - 1st week in April


Image of Employment Benefits pdf

Students that participated in the original program hosted by the University of Iowa were more likely to report gains in the following skill sets:

  • Effectively working with individuals with a variety of backgrounds, experiences and cultures
  • Improve verbal communication skills
  • Develop time management skills
  • Utilize critical thinking to form opinions and solve problems
  • Develop conflict negotiation skills
  • Making connections between work and academic studies
  • Refine self-awareness through reflection


NACE Competencies

Critical Thinking
Equity & Inclusion

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) defines career readiness as a foundation from which to demonstrate requisite core competencies that broadly prepare the college educated for success in the workplace and lifelong career management. NACE has developed a set of eight competencies that employers are looking for in applicants. By participating in the Spartan Ready Program, supervisors have an opportunity to help their student employees understand how to connect their work experiences to the NACE career readiness competencies.

You can learn more about the career readiness competencies by visiting NACE’s website

How to Participate

All student employee supervisors in the Division of Student Affairs are expected to participate in the program. If you are a supervisor from another department, and wish to participate, please contact the Division of Student Affairs Student Employee Experience Committee


Some of the great features of the Spartan Ready Program are the flexibility in delivery methods and minimal time requirements for participation. Although the program is relatively easy to participate in, supervisors should still put effort into appropriately preparing for the conversations.

pdf image Spartan Ready Instructions

Prior to the Spartan Ready Conversation, supervisors should communicate with the student employee(s) about the nature of the upcoming meeting. This will allow the student to begin reflecting on their experiences prior to the meeting.

pdf image Email or Memo Template

Here are a few sample videos that highlight how Spartan Ready Conversations can be conducted.

One-on-One Conversation

Follow-Up Conversation

Group Conversation

Preparing for the Conversation

To aid you in your navigating the Spartan Ready Program, we have developed the following resources for supervisors to use.

Student Employment Experience Committee

Spartan Ready

Jarrod Rudd,
Theresa McKire,
Whitney Lewis,
Caroline Lowdermilk,
Erik Unger,

UNC Greensboro Division of Student Affairs