Hi Matthew,



Here are some answers to your questions about our Help Desk staffing.  We
service students, faculty, and staff via phones, walk-up and in person
visits.  We are the “face” for IT at Eastern Michigan U so we do everything
from password resets, lab customer service, network jack diagnosis,
hardware repairs, software troubleshooting, and everything in between.



I have 4 fulltime staff and about 22 student employees (it varies).  We
have a tiered student system called passports.  These are skills based.
Students make their way through the passports to gain skills in this
order.  If a student does not want to progress through the passports we are
okay with that.  We get that a lot with our non-computer-related major
students.



-Entry Level Phone (password resets and activations)

-Advanced Phone (software installs, items solved over desktop remote
control so a field tech can help show them what to do)

-Entry Level Field Technician (imaging, hardware troubleshooting, network
line tests, wireless troubleshooting, software installs, easy software
problem solving)

-Advanced Technician (troubleshooting active directory problems, advanced
hardware issues, advanced software issues)

-Senior Technician (by invitation only.  This is our top tier student that
basically function a level below our fulltime staff in terms of skill
sets.  They are highly skilled, functioning, and trusted.  They often
perform small projects and assist with keeping the team functioning and
efficient.)



At every level we work with the student to obtain their career goals.  If
they want experience in a particular area we try to ensure they get that.
We find that this extra attention helps them stay motivated and enthused.
One time I had a new field tech that did not have enough money for gas and
was calling in. I told him he could work from home, combing through our
wiki that day so that he could make a list of all the documents that were
out of date (something we needed to do anyway).  He got to read a lot of
our documentation and get familiar with what we support in his new role,
and I got a task done that no one likes to do.  ;)  Normally students don’t
work from home but this little attention really does build loyalty and
communication.



Do you allow the students to be unsupervised?  Meaning, if your coordinator
has to step out, go to lunch, or they are out sick; do you allow the
students to be in the TSC without that employee there?



We do allow our students to be unsupervised. I prefer to have at least one
of my fulltime staff available at all times (two of them work ten hour days
so we can accomplish this) to assist with problem users or advanced
questions.  Usually we have one senior tech available who can handle the
questions and problems if I or one of the fulltime staff is not available.



We have never had a problem with equipment theft or missing material in the
office.  If we get a tech that is not pulling his weight, our senior techs
let us know about it.  Usually we are aware but sometimes one slips by us.
They take their responsibility seriously to keep the team running smoothly.



How do you recruit students for the positions?  Since you need someone with
some technical knowledge, do you reach out to your CS or Engineering
schools to get workers?



Our student recruitment is mainly word of mouth and occasional posting on
the internal campus job board for students.  We actually hire students
based more on customer service skills and technical potential than we do
for actual technical knowledge.  If we are in need of a really good
hardware tech, for example, we might send out special flyers or reach out
to our computer based majors and ask professors for recommendations.  We
have found that with support and our passports system we can teach any
student how to reset a password or take apart a computer and replace a bad
motherboard.  We can’t teach a highly technical student how to have good
customer service as easily, though, if they already do not have those
skills.  If I am helping a student while we are recruiting and I notice
he/she has the right mindset and attitude I might ask him or her if he is
looking for a campus job.  It works out pretty well!  Our students love
working here so they tell their classmates and friends.



Our senior student techs often help us hire other students.  It doesn’t
always work out that way with timing but we find that they get good job
experience being on the other side of an interview.  Often, they are a LOT
harder on interviewees than we are!



One thing we really like to “brag” about is that we have converted and
launched a lot of education majors, history majors, english majors, and
psych majors into very successful IT careers alongside our information
assurance and computer science students.  J



How do you handle access to sensitive information with student employees
(ie Banner information, account passwords, etc)?



Our entry level phone password student employees are granted Banner access
(ID verification) and ability to reset passwords.  The sys admins watch
logs of those systems & let us know if there is any suspicious logons or
activity.  We caught one student about 10 years ago who was viewing &
laughing at account challenge question passwords with his friends on a
Sunday night.   He was let go the next week.



It really does take a steady level of oversight, though.



Please let me know if you have any follow up questions!  Take care,



Andrea Tanner

Director, User Services

Eastern Michigan University

[log in to unmask]



*From:* The EDUCAUSE IT Support Services Constituent Group Listserv [mailto:
[log in to unmask]] *On Behalf Of *Matthew McFall
*Sent:* Thursday, November 10, 2016 12:11 PM
*To:* [log in to unmask]
*Subject:* [ITSUPPORTSERVICES] Student ran/staffed support desk



I am new to the group and relatively new to my current position.  We have a
Technology Support Center that includes our support desk for all faculty,
staff, and students.  We only assist with university owned technology, no
personal devices.  I currently have one fulltime Support Coordinator in the
TSC with a rotation of student workers.  The TSC takes support
calls/walk-ups and open ticket requests via phone, email, or walk-up.  We
use Dell KACE for support ticketing.  I am sure this is generally how
everyone is structured.



In reading through a thread that posted the other day, I noticed many of
you appear to have a more heavily student ran/staffed support desk with
oversight by a fulltime employee.  I am slowly working my way toward a more
student ran TSC here also.  I am wanting the student employees to have
ownership of the support desk and have oversight by the fulltime employee.
I have a couple of questions that I would like to ask the group.  Please
feel free to respond offline if you prefer.



Do you allow the students to be unsupervised?  Meaning, if your coordinator
has to step out, go to lunch, or they are out sick; do you allow the
students to be in the TSC without that employee there?



How do you recruit students for the positions?  Since you need someone with
some technical knowledge, do you reach out to your CS or Engineering
schools to get workers?



How do you handle access to sensitive information with student employees
(ie Banner information, account passwords, etc)?



I have other questions, but these seem like a good starting point.  I look
forward to your responses.  Thank you.



Matthew S. McFall

Director of Technology Support Center

Jacksonville State University

Office: 256-782-5664



[image: http://www.jsu.edu/gem_images/jsu_it_footer.gif]



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