ULN Supervision Toolkit

Below are a variety of resources and best practices for effective supervision. All ULN students in unpaid experiential learning opportunities must receive weekly supervision.

Setting Supervision Expectations

An initial supervision session is a great time to discuss overall expectations of your site, your supervision, and explore the student’s expectations and goals for the experience. You are encouraged to review, incorporate, and build upon ULN’s student and supervisor expectation guidelines as you prepare for your initial meeting.

Best practices:

Maximizing Supervision


  • Practice and foster open communication. Supervision is a weekly time that your ULN student has your full attention.
  • Incorporate active listening skills into your supervision.
  • Open supervision sessions with open-ended statements like “What would you like to discuss today?” or “How can I help support you this week?”

Growth & Development:

  • Focus on your student’s personal growth and development. Because these are developmental experiences, provide space to discuss your ULN student’s future career goals. Previous supervisors have reviewed resumes and discussed ideas for future experiential learning opportunities with their ULN students.
  • Discuss learning agreement progress and ways you can support your student in attaining their goals.
  • Explore potential professional development opportunities for students at your site. Incorporate ULN students as much as possible into your staff’s professional development opportunities.

Projects & Assignments:

  • Consider working with your student to develop a long-term project they can complete at your site. This ensures the student leaves with meaningful, marketable skills and benefits your site.
  • Assign and/or brainstorm potential tasks or projects. Discuss ongoing project development and progress.
  • Brainstorm ways the student can utilize downtime at your site.
Addressing Performance Concerns

The ULN Experiential Learning team is here to support you if you see performance concerns with a ULN student. ULN provides a three-step process for addressing performance concerns, outlined in our expectation guidelines for ULN students and ULN supervisors. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact ulninterships@austin.utexas.edu.

Evaluation and Feedback

Ongoing feedback is a vital part of supervising ULN students. You are encouraged to utilize weekly supervision sessions for you and your ULN student to share feedback with one another. This open communication often quickly addresses potential performance concerns. Revisit and revise your expectations as necessary with your ULN student.

In addition to ongoing feedback, ULN requires site supervisors provide end-of-semester evaluations to their ULN students. These evaluations recognize ULN students’ growth and opportunities for additional development. If you completed an initial learning agreement, evaluations should be tied to the goals outlined in the agreement.

The student self-evaluation and supervisor evaluation templates are provided as a potential tool for these end-of-semester evaluations. ULN recommends that you provide the self-evaluation form to your student prior to your evaluation meeting so you can jointly discuss their progress and growth. The information you collect is designed to be utilized internally at your site and does not need to be shared with ULN.