Learning-Aligned Employment Program (LAEP)


Important Update (effective June 30, 2024)

We have been officially notified by the California Student Aid Commission (CSAC) that the recently enacted 2024-2025 California State Budget mandates the termination of the Learning-Aligned Employment Program (LAEP) effective June 30, 2024. CSAC has explicitly instructed San José State University (SJSU) to ensure that there are no LAEP participants in the 2024-2025 academic year.

To ensure compliance with the new state budget requirements, the Learning-Aligned Employment Program (LAEP) will cease operations as of the specified date. 

We encourage external employers to continue posting opportunities on Handshake as we have students actively seeking internships.


About LAEP

LAEP is a 10-year program offering eligible students at public colleges and universities the opportunity to earn additional state financial aid to help defray their educational costs while gaining quality, education-aligned, career-related employment. 

LAEP allows participating students placement in an educationally beneficial position that is related to the student’s area of study, career objective, or exploration of career objectives. The program includes and emphasizes positions for students with employers who are capable of providing them with full-time employment opportunities after graduation or opportunities to connect with other employers who are capable of providing them with full-time employment opportunities after graduation, within their areas of study.

To learn more about the program, view the SJSU LAEP Information Session slide deck.


Quick Links


Employer Eligibility

Research Centers and Institutions

Research centers and institutions operated by public postsecondary educational institutions, if their learning-aligned employment opportunities provide participating students with direct opportunities to participate in the research that is undertaken by the respective research centers and institutions. Research is not limited to scientific research and can take place outside of an academic discipline. The research should be directed and supervised by faculty, staff or another mentor who will determine the research requirements.

  • If the direct employer is the UC, CSU, CCC, or one of its respective campuses, the program may provide 100 percent of the student’s compensation. 

Public Schools

Public schools operated by school districts, county superintendents of schools, the Department of the Youth Authority, or the Department of Education.

  • For LAEP positions with public educational institutions or nonprofit corporations, the program may provide no more than 90 percent of the student’s compensation.

Nonprofit and For-profit Employers

Nonsectarian, nonpolitical organizations capable of providing full-time employment after graduation or connection to another employer able to provide full-time employment after graduation. 

  • For LAEP positions with nonprofit employers, the program may provide no more than 90 percent of the student’s compensation.
  • For LAEP positions with for-profit employers, the program may provide no more than 50 percent of the student’s compensation.

Student Eligibility

First Eligibility Level

The student must match at least ONE of the following “underrepresented background” descriptors to qualify. Underrepresented background applies to the student and cannot be established through a parent:

  • first-generation college students
  • low-income students
  • current or former foster youth
  • homeless students or those at risk of becoming homeless
  • students with disabilities
  • displaced workers
  • students with dependent children
  • formerly incarcerated students
  • undocumented students
  • students meeting the requirements of Assembly Bill 540 of the 2001-2002 Regular Session of the Legislature
  • students who are veterans

Second Level Eligibility

In addition to meeting at least one of the “underrepresented background” descriptors, students MUST meet ALL the following criteria:

  • Enrolled at least half-time
  • Have demonstrated maintenance of satisfactory academic progress
  • Have demonstrated financial need via FAFSA/CADAA
  • Classified as a California resident
  • Eligible to work in the United States

If a student participating in LAEP no longer meets the “underrepresented background” criteria by which they qualified, the institution may reevaluate and document alternate criteria that qualify the student for the program. If the student no longer meets any of the “underrepresented” criteria, the student is no longer eligible to participate in LAEP.

For more information, please visit the Student LAEP page.


Getting Started with LAEP

Review the eligibility requirements to determine if you qualify as a LAEP employer. ONLY the following entities may employ students. If you are any of the following types of employers, you’re ready for Step 2!

Research centers and institutions operated by California public postsecondary educational institutions, if their learning-aligned employment opportunities provide participating students with direct opportunities to participate in the research that is undertaken by the respective research centers and institutions. 

Public schools operated by school districts, county superintendents of schools, the Department of the Youth Authority, or the Department of Education.

Nonsectarian, nonpolitical organizations capable of providing full-time employment after graduation or connection to another employer able to provide full-time employment after graduation. 

If your organization/company meets the eligibility criteria listed in Step 1, and are interested in joining the SJSU LAEP program, please complete the LAEP Employer Interest Form. 

Please review the CSAC LAEP page and the SJSU LAEP info session slide deck to get a general overview of the program.

All employers are required to sign a LAEP Employer Agreement prior to posting any positions on SJSU Handshake. In addition, you must complete the Addendum (p7 of the document) for each student after you hire them. You will receive a notification from DocuSign requesting your signature for the Employer Agreement, and a separate notification for the Addendum. Please review this document carefully.

After you sign the Employer Agreement, you can now post your positions on SJSU Handshake. Please make sure to follow the Handshake Guide for LAEP job postings

Your LAEP job description must include, but is not limited to, the following:

  1. Name/classification of position
  2. Name and address of employer
  3. Department or office where the eligible student will be employed
  4. Location where the eligible student will perform his or her duties
  5. Name of the eligible student’s supervisor
  6. The term of the eligible student’s anticipated employment, including beginning and ending dates
  7. Purpose or role of the position within the organization
  8. Duties and responsibilities associated with the position
  9. Rates of pay for the position
  10. General qualifications for the position and for various levels and rates of pay associated with the position
  11. Procedures to determine an eligible student’s rate of pay
  12. Evaluation procedures and schedules, if applicable
  13. Career competencies developed (please indicate all that apply from the list below and exclude those that do not apply):
    • Career and self development
    • Communication
    • Critical thinking
    • Equity and inclusion
    • Leadership
    • Professionalism
    • Teamwork
    • Technology

IMPORTANT NOTE: All LAEP positions MUST have the “LAEP” acronym before the job title (i.e., LAEP – Event Organizer; LAEP – Engineering Intern, etc.) This is the only way students can find LAEP-eligible positions on SJSU Handshake.

After your positions are posted, and you start receiving applications, make sure you require student applicants to submit their “LAEP ELIGIBILITY CERTIFICATE.” This document, issued by the San Jose State University Financial Aid and Scholarship Office (FASO), shows the amount of LAEP funding a student is eligible to receive. You will need the information in this document to complete the employer addendum.

After identifying the final candidate(s), please complete the Student Hiring Form and send an email to laep@sjsu.edu with the name of your final candidate(s) AND a copy of their LAEP eligibility certificate(s). A Student Participation Form on DocuSign will be generated for you to complete. This form must be completed for EACH student hire.

Employer Registration through PaymentWorks

Your organization/company representative listed in the LAEP Agreement will be contacted by a member of our team to complete an SJSU Registration Form in PaymentWorks (if applicable). PaymentWorks is required to process reimbursements of student compensation. Your organization is responsible for completing this requirement ahead of the reimbursement process.

Your organization is expected to pay students’ salaries upfront, then submit an invoice to laep@sjsu.edu (no later than the 15th of each month). The invoice should contain: Your SJSU PO Number, Student Name, and details of the hours to be reimbursed. 

LAEP funding reimbursements:

  1. For LAEP positions with nonprofit employers, the program may provide no more than 90 percent of the student’s compensation.
  2. For LAEP positions with for-profit employers, the program may provide no more than 50 percent of the student’s compensation.
  3. For LAEP positions with public educational institutions or nonprofit corporations, the program may provide no more than 90 percent of the student’s compensation.

Questions?

Please email laep@sjsu.edu.