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Policies, Practices, and Standards for Student Service Providers

Students have the opportunity to be of service to others by being a note taker for Purdue students who utilize the disability resource center. Note takers attend class with and take notes for students with disabilities.


The Disability Resource Center recruits top students to become service providers for the disability resource center. For note taking, we value course understanding and advanced note taking ability. An ideal applicant takes organized, detailed notes and has good handwriting. Although legible writing is preferred, exceptions are made for good students who are willing to type their notes. The minimum G.P.A. requirement is 3.0. Students who have taken Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math courses are strongly encouraged to apply.


Students can inquire about employment as a service provider by contacting the Service Provider Coordinator directly via email or phone at drc@purdue.edu or 765-494-1246.

The Service Provider Coordinator will respond and inform the potential service provider about whether there are any positions available that fit their schedule, skills and preferences. The potential student service provider will be asked to come in for a brief interview/orientation. If a decision is made to employ the student, the Coordinator will inform them about assignment details and payroll procedures.

After a student is hired, he or she will be part of a pool of students that will be contacted when new assignments are available. The student will continue to be employed until the student cannot fit any assignments into their schedule; they graduate, or cannot work for the Disability Resource Center for other reasons.

Note takers will receive notification about their assignment(s) at their interview/orientation, or through email communication.

To qualify for note taker positions, the student service provider need not have taken a course in the past or be enrolled in the class. However, if the class is advanced or technical, or if a student requests a specially-qualified provider, the Coordinator will make an effort to select a service provider who is experienced and/or has background in the subject area.


The student service provider should not discuss with anyone other than the Disability Resource Center staff any personal information about the student. Disclosure of such information would constitute a serious breach of confidentiality and be subject to sanctions, ranging from a warning to termination. All assignment related material or information regarding a student’s disability must be kept strictly confidential. Professional judgment should be used in sharing student information with DRC staff. Issues that must be discussed include:

  • Communication problems
  • Difficulty meeting student needs
  • Student’s habitual inattentiveness, tardiness, absence
  • Any problem the employee is unable to resolve by talking to the student


A confirmation email with both the student and the service provider’s name will be sent when an assignment is confirmed. A student who is assigned as a note taker should contact the student by phone or e-mail and arrange to meet the student before note-taking begins. Many meetings take place right outside the classroom or at another location convenient to both.

If the note taker and the student are for some reason unable to connect quickly, the student service provider should contact the Coordinator for assistance.


After obtaining permission from the student, the note taker should introduce him/herself to the professor/instructor and clarify his/her role in the classroom.


The student service provider is responsible for notifying the Disability Resource Center immediately of any changes that will impact their ability to provide services for the student. If contact information changes, please notify the DRC.


Punctuality: The note taker should arrive to class on time, or preferably a few minutes early. Professors/instructors often make announcements regarding assignments, quizzes, exams, etc., during the first 5 to 10 minutes of class. It is imperative that this information be recorded for the student.

Absence: If he/she cannot attend a class, the note taker is expected to notify the student in advance. If the student requires a note taker for that day, the service provider must find a substitute note taker. With advance notice, the Service Provider Coordinator can assist a student note taker in finding a substitute. In the event of illness or emergency, the note taker is expected to call or e-mail the Coordinator and the student as soon as possible before or after the class as a courtesy.

Student absence: If a student using a note taker service plans to be absent from a class, he/she is expected to notify the note taker prior to the class, as far in advance as possible. In the event of illness or emergency, the student is expected to notify the DRC and the note taker as soon as possible as a courtesy.

Student no-show: If the note taker reports to an assignment and the student is not present, the note taker should wait 15 minutes for the student to arrive, or to confirm the no-show. If, after 15 minutes, the student has not arrived, the note taker should conclude that the student is absent and leave the class.

If the note taker goes to class and the student is a "no-show," the note taker will be compensated for one hour (irrespective of the length of the class) and should record that hour as time worked.

If the student receiving the service is absent two days in a row without explanation, the note taker is required to contact the Service Provider Coordinator for further instruction.

Notification responsibilities: Note takers are responsible for contacting the Coordinator to report "no-shows" as well as chronic student tardiness. In addition, note takers should notify the Coordinator in the event of students' habitual inattentiveness. Prompt notification is necessary in order for the Disability Resource Center to monitor the attendance of students using auxiliary services and ensure the appropriate use of those services.


The Disability Resource Center will not guarantee hours in the event that a student is no longer enrolled in a class; only actual hours worked to that point will be billable.

In the event that the student's note taker service is suspended for repeated no-shows, suspension of service will result in suspension of billable hours.


The note taker is performing a service for the student and should regularly communicate with the student before or after class. The note taker should solicit from the student about the format, quantity, and quality of the notes. The note taker should incorporate the student's suggestions and preferences so that the notes are of maximum value to the student.

If problems arise that cannot be resolved, note takers should notify the Coordinator (765) 494-1246. Every reasonable effort will be made by the Coordinator to help resolve the problem(s) quickly and fairly. The Coordinator's office is located in Young Hall, Room 849; appointment may be scheduled between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. The Coordinator's voicemail is available 24 hours/day.


If allegations are made that a note taker has violated these policies, the Coordinator will review the allegations and determine whether or not a violation has occurred. If the Coordinator concludes that there has been a violation, appropriate sanctions, ranging from a warning to termination of employment, will be imposed. Possible violations include, but are not limited to breach of confidentiality, frequent tardiness, failure to report to assignments, and habitual last-minute cancellations.


  • The service provider may not begin work until payroll procedures required by the Vice President of Student Affairs Business Office have been completed. To fill out the necessary payroll forms, the provider needs specific original documentation to verify identity and eligibility for employment.
  • It is important that the provider notify the Coordinator if he or she is working for another department on campus. If the provider is employed simultaneously by two or more departments, work hours will be combined and the provider will receive one check from the University per pay period.
  • When the provider has complete payroll procedures, he/she will receive time cards. The provider must comply with the instructions received from the Coordinator or Secretary of Auxiliary Services related to completion and submission of the time cards.
  • Time cards are due every other Friday at noon. Exceptions to this rule are indicated on the Pay Schedule. The time card must be returned by the provider to the Secretary of Auxiliary Services, or the box located outside of Young Hall, room 842. University policy requires that time cards be submitted at the end of each pay period. If the provider is late in submitting time cards, he/she may not receive payment on schedule.
  • If providers have questions or concerns, they should contact the Coordinator at adiamode@purdue.edu.


  • Arrive on time (or a few minutes early
  • Maintain a high level of attentiveness throughout the class period. Do not engage in any activity that is not directly related to taking notes in that class.
  • Record the course, date, and page number on each sheet of paper.
  • Take notes using black or blue ink. Write on only one side of the paper to make if easier for the student to read, unless the student expresses a different preference. Supplies should be provided by the student.
  • If using NCR carbonless paper, apply sufficient pressure when you write to ensure a legible copy.
  • Leave wide margins (at least 2 inches) to allow the student to make notations (e.g., key words/concepts, study questions) or punch holes.
  • Take very legible and detailed notes to maximize the benefit of the service to the student. Do not assume that the student possesses previous understanding of the material. Remember that your notes are the sole permanent record for that student in that class, a record that should be a valuable tool for future reference.
  • During the first couple of weeks, designate mutually acceptable abbreviations pertinent to the subject matter. Both the notetaker and the student should have a list, which can be expanded throughout the semester.
  • Use complete sentences whenever possible, rather than telegraphic phrases.
  • Use an informal outline format to organize information and to clearly distinguish between principal and secondary (subordinate) concepts/ideas. Alternatives to outlines include diagramming, bracketing, and sectioning. Use emphasis techniques - such as underlining, asterisk, check mark, box, circle - for key words and concepts.
  • Listen carefully for explicit and implicit cues from the professor/instructor regarding the relative importance of information. Implicit cues include voice inflection, pitch, amplitude; facial expression; and hand/arm gestures. Be sure that your notes reflect the emphasis of the professor/instructor.
  • Whenever possible, use meaningful examples, diagrams, etc. to illustrate/explain concepts.
  • Define difficult vocabulary whenever possible. One effective method is to add a synonym in parentheses after the word.
  • Include students' questions and comments as well as lecture material in your notes, in order to provide as complete a record as possible of the class session. Use good judgment as to which comments are most relevant. If there is extensive class discussion, you may want to summarize the main points.
  • Write notes pertaining to handouts directly on the handouts.
  • The note taker should not participate in class discussion but may ask for clarification when necessary in order to ensure that the notes are complete and accurate.
  • If there is a gap in your notes for any reason (e.g., unfamiliar vocabulary, difficult concepts, lapse of attention), seek help from the professor/instructor immediately after class if possible to clarify the material and complete the notes.
  • Give notes to the student after each class. Note takers are expected to interact with students before and after class to explain/clarify the material in the notes.