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#7 Office of Student Conduct Graduate Assistant

Office's Mission:

The Office of Student Conduct supports the University’s educational mission by promoting a safe, orderly and positive University climate through enforcing behavioral standards for individuals and student organizations, enacting and facilitating intervention efforts, managing conduct proceedings, mentoring students, developing leadership, delivering informational programming and fostering peer education. We hope to create a University culture that is self-disciplined, where civility is embraced, and the norms and foundational beliefs validate the essential values of Penn State University.

The Office of Student Conduct strives to deliver a conduct process that is equitable, just, educational, effective and expeditious; and to provide a system that promotes individual and organizational growth through responsibility and in which the success of its educational endeavors is characterized by increased civility.

Graduate Assistantship:

The Graduate Assistant will support the Office of Student Conduct’s programs and services while gaining practical experience managing conduct cases in a large, public research University.

Through working within Penn State’s intricate system of student conduct, the Graduate Assistant will obtain an understanding of how a conduct system works and, specifically, how an educational conduct process intersects with the criminal justice system and other related legal practices.

The Graduate Assistant will have the opportunity for student contact by conducting conduct conferences with students alleged to have violated the Code of Conduct. This experience will allow the Graduate Assistant to learn not only how to appropriately challenge and support students, but how to appropriately craft charges and sanctions that are not only fair and just, but also promote student growth and individual responsibility.

The Graduate Assistant will benefit from being fully integrated into the functions of the Office of Student Conduct. This will include having the opportunity to manage  conduct cases, attend weekly staff meetings, participate in outreach activities, potentially be trained in conducting mediations, and will complete other projects as assigned. The Graduate Assistant will also profit from the exposure to the variety of cases and learning about how universities respond to alleged code of conduct violations. The assistantship in Student Conduct will enhance critical thinking, reasoning, helping, and decision-making skills.

This position will be supervised by an Assistant Director.


The graduate assistant’s responsibilities will be influenced by case load and type. However, typical responsibilities include:

  • Meeting with students who are alleged to have violated Penn State’s Code of Conduct (minimum of ten hours per week)
  • Participating in student conduct conferences and hearings
  • Attending office orientation and training sessions
  • Attending weekly staff and supervisory meetings
  • Maintaining regular office hours
  • Helping to train and advise the Student Conduct Board
  • Helping to coordinate and facilitate educational outreach programs (e.g., facilitating presentations, developing educational materials)
  • Responsibilities associated with case management including, adjudicating code of conduct violations and updating educational records
  • Completing other projects as assigned

Learning Outcomes:

  • Applying student development theories in Conduct Conferences, Hearings and training initiatives
  • Enhancing and developing critical thinking and decision-making skills
  • Learning how to work and maneuver within in a complex student conduct system
  • Improving skills needed to multi-task
  • Understanding relevant law and policy that guides student conduct practice
  • Gaining knowledge and experience with diverse populations
  • Enhancing the ability to both challenge and support students


  • Be enrolled in a graduate program, preferably in Higher Education Master’s Degree emphasis on Student Affairs, or Counselor Education
  • Effective listening and communication skills
  • Ability to work in a challenging work environment
  • Must be an eager learner with a positive attitude
  • Must be able to manage and respect sensitive and confidential information
  • Must be organized and able to multi-task
  • Possess the ability to respond quickly and calmly in crisis type situations
  • Should possess the ability to problem solve effectively
  • Be able to work with students and staff from diverse populations and perspectives
  • Must possess a sense of humor

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