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Information Technology Student Associate - ITSA

Group of ITSAs summer 2022

What is an ITSA?

ITSAs are specially trained sophomores, juniors, and seniors that work with the ITS Help Desk team to assist people across campus (faculty, staff, and students) with technology related issues.  They answer questions and troubleshoot technical problems (including phones, printers, software, hardware, mobile devices, web applications, networking, Google Workspace, Swarthmore accounts, and logging into Swarthmore-related services). 

During the day, ITSAs work with the Help Desk staff in Beardsley Hall.  On nights and weekends, they provide after-hours support via McCabe Library.  When working in-person in McCabe Library, you'll find them at the IT Consultant station behind the circulation desk.  In addition to in-person support, they provide remote support via the ITS Service Portal, phone, and Zoom.  To find out when ITSAs are on duty, go to ITS hours and locations.

Students selected for the ITSA position have demonstrated abilities of leadership, professionalism, customer service, communication, problem solving/troubleshooting, and technical skill.  They are students who enjoy working with technology, learning about technology, and helping others solve problems.  As members of the campus community living on campus and taking classes, they provide a unique perspective, drawing on their personal experiences and training to break things down into clear, simple steps, and to explain technical things in everyday language.

ITSA (Information Technology Student Associate) is a dynamic position, working in a team-based environment, that offers challenge, reward, and growth.  ITSAs expand their troubleshooting, communication, and tech oriented skills while interacting with a variety of clients, who have a variety of technical devices, questions, and problems.  They also research and document problem solutions; setup phones, computers, and printers; develop and display graphic skills by creating infographics and posters; and assist in inventory management.

Are ITSAs Computer Science majors?

Some are computer science majors, but that is not a requirement.  Throughout the years, ITSAs have also been Humanity, Social Science, Engineering, Art, Theater, and Education majors.  They are tech enthusiasts who specialize in understanding how people use technology, the person-technology interaction, and can be described as Technology Psychologists or Technology Linguists.

Do ITSAs receive training?

ITSAs go through 40+ hours of training in August. Training starts in early August before the semester begins, and continues throughout the year.  On-campus training takes place two weeks before the start of Fall classes, and runs Monday - Friday.  All ITSAs are required to attend August training.

In January, there is an 8-hour refresher training.  New ITSAs hired for the spring semester receive additional supplemental training.

When are the ITSA application periods?

The Help Desk hires students three times a year: 1) mid-Spring semester for summer, 2) late spring semester for the upcoming fall semester, and 3) late fall for the spring semester.  No ITSAs are hired at the beginning of the fall semester. A small number of students are hired in the fall for the spring semester, to fill positions vacated by students going abroad. 

Summer positions are generally announced in March, and the application period closes early April.  Each position has its own application period, and may vary slightly from these guidelines.  Decisions are sent out before the Summer Housing Lottery, so that candidates can apply for housing. Summer positions are full time, so applicants must be able to work 35 hrs/wk for the full 10-week period.

Is housing provided for summer ITSAs?

Housing is NOT included with summer employment.

How does a student become an ITSA?

Open positions are announced via the class listservs. After the hiring announcement is sent via email, students sign up for a group Info-Interview session, and then submit a completed JobX application.  ITS hires students in the spring for both summer and fall.  Students may apply for a summer position, the upcoming fall, or both.  In fall, a small number of students are hired for the spring semester to fill positions vacated by students going abroad.  

To learn about other ITS-related opportunities, go to ITS student employment.

ITSA hiring poster

Steps to the ITSA Hiring process.