Compass Puget Sound FAQ’s

Compass Puget Sound is a program of reflective conversations between supervisors and their student staff members. The supervisor initiates or invites the student(s) to participate in the conversation.

There are four conversations each year, two in the fall semester and two in the spring. The timing of conversations is flexible and we encourage you to integrate conversations into what is already happening in your department each year. For example, the first conversation is around a theme of beginnings and identifying the strengths that each student brings to their work. This conversation could fit in the first weeks, or even first days, of a student’s employment or return to their job for the year. If you, as a supervisor, already sit down to talk with the student about the new year and (re-)orient them to the job, then you can expand your conversation to include the questions for the first Compass conversation.

The supervisor training on the Compass Puget Sound program is 1.5 hours. Once you start the program, conversations with student staff members are generally 10-15 minutes each, 4 times per year. Supervisors can choose to hold individual conversations with each student staff member, or have the conversation during a group meeting. In the case of a group meeting, you could expect to spend 30-60 minutes on each conversation.

We find supervisors are most successful in implementing Compass Puget Sound if they plan a way to integrate conversations into something they would have already been doing with their student staff, and thus save or replace time they would have already been spending. We take time during the supervisor training to discuss integration strategies and assist supervisors with making a plan that will work for their environment.

A 1.5 hours supervisor training is offered, typically once each in the fall, spring, and summer. The training introduces the questions and structure of the program and equips supervisors with strategies and skills to facilitate meaningful reflection with students and incorporate it into the culture of student employment.

Training focuses on the impact and importance of reflection in learning, the basics of the reflective conversations, strategies for facilitating reflection with a student, and includes time to plan and discuss implementation strategies.

No, Compass conversations are intended to be reflective for the benefit of the student staff member, promoting self-awareness of their accomplishments and enabling them to finding meaning and value in their on-campus work experience and draw connections with the rest of their experiences at Puget Sound and beyond.

Because Compass conversations are also intended to fit flexibly into your department routines, one of the four conversations could be combined or layered into an annual performance evaluation conversation that you are already having.

A guide for students about informational interviewing, including a sample message for making contact and advice on what questions to ask, can be found here: CES | Informational Interview Guide

Feel free to reach out to the Elizabeth Wormsbecker (Associate Director of Student Employment Programs, Training, and Development) at or 253.879.2639.