Student Rights & Career Center Policies

To ensure the safety, integrity, and effectiveness of events and services, the Sonoma State Career Center has developed the following list of student rights and services guidelines:

  • Service Eligibility
  • Access to Events and Services
  • Student Conduct at Events
  • No-Shows: Appointments, Interviews, and Limited-Capacity Events
  • SSU Handshake Student User Acknowledgement
  • Equal Opportunity Hiring and Work Environments
  • SSU Handshake Disclaimer: Fraudulent Postings
  • Reporting Suspicious or Discriminatory Employers
  • Withdrawing Job Offer Acceptance

Service Eligibility

Current SSU Students

For currently registered and matriculated (full-time, degree-seeking) Sonoma State University students, full access to our services is included in fees. Students taking a semester off maintain access to Handshake and on campus events for one semester.

SSU Alumni

SSU alumni retain access to basic services and access to career fairs and employer information sessions after graduation is included for all alumni.

New and Future Students, Extended Education Students

Start early on your career preparation! Check out our web site or stop by for a visit.  Incoming students may access our services before the start of the semester upon verifying their SSU admission with an admission letter or class schedule.  SSU Handshake access is automatically set up after students have registered for classes for new full time matriculated students. Extended Education students may request Handshake access.

Students and Alumni from Other CSU Campuses

Current students of other CSU campuses may gain access to our career fairs, events, and Handshake.

Open-Access Events

Most Career Center events are open to all current SSU students and alumni members on a first-come, first-served basis.  In cases when event interest exceeds space capacity, priority entry is offered to current SSU students in the majors and levels targeted for the event.  Check details for event admission on SSU Handshake.


Career Center events are wheelchair accessible. Individuals requiring Sign-Language interpreters, real-time captioners, or other accommodations for an upcoming event should contact as soon as possible to make arrangements.

Limited-Capacity Events

Some events have attendance capacity limits, which means that a combination of space limitations and employer requirements dictates such limits.  Check details for event admission on SSU Handshake. Limited-capacity events typically require advance registration for one participant slot per student ID for which access must be confirmed.  Registering for more than one slot in hopes of extending your time or bringing in other students may result in loss of privilege to attend the event. Students who have registered and received confirmation for such events are expected to attend or provide 48-hour notice of their inability to attend.  

Student Conduct at Events

Students are expected to behave and communicate with courtesy and equanimity at Career Center events.  Adherence to the CSU Standards for Student Conduct also is expected.  Failure to adhere to these standards and avoid the following unacceptable behaviors may result in suspended access to Career Center services and immediate removal from an event.  

Unacceptable behaviors include:  

  • Cutting in front of other students waiting to enter an event or speak with an employer.
  • Misrepresenting your event registration status for a limited-capacity event.
  • Demanding entrance and/or sneaking into an event after being made aware that an event is at capacity or the last entry time has passed.
  • Serving as an intermediary to pass on resumes of other students to employers.
  • Taking an exceptional length of time (more than five minutes) to talk to an employer when there is a long line of students waiting to speak with them.
  • Not honoring event ending times or lingering at the exits of recruiting events to gain exceptional access to employer representatives.
  • Yelling or using aggressive or foul language when interacting with career services team members who are managing events.
  • Misrepresenting one's qualifications, work authorization, or educational background.
  • Wearing pajamas or costumes to events where employers are present.

No-Shows: Appointments, Interviews, and Limited-Capacity Events

Students are expected to honor commitments for career appointments, on-campus interviews, and limited-capacity events. Students who fail to appear for such commitments have taken a spot that another student could have filled.

Students who are unable to make an appointment, interview, or limited-capacity event are expected to contact the Career Center or employer at least 48 hours in advance to cancel or reschedule, if possible.  Failure to provide such notice may result in suspended access to Career Center services. The decision to reschedule an on-campus interview is at the employer's discretion.

SSU Handshake Student User Acknowledgement

SSU Handshake is a career services system for Sonoma State University students and alumni that can be used for seeking employment.  All users of SSU Handshake agree to:

  • Provide accurate information about their qualifications, work authorization, and educational background in SSU Handshake, including in their online profile, resume, and any supplemental job-search documents they upload to the system.
  • Understand that furnishing false information is a violation of conduct standards and may result in being blocked from using SSU Handshake.
  • Refrain from posting material that is inappropriate for professional settings in the system.
  • Keep their login credentials confidential and notify the Career Center immediately of any unauthorized use of their SSU Handshake account.
  • Authorize the Career Center to release their resume to employers via SSU Handshake when they have opted to publicly display their profile and actively submitted their resume to an application process.

Depending on the contents of your profile and uploaded documents, your personal information, such as name, address, telephone number, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, GPA and most recent previous educational institution attended may be shared. Employers may not share this information for commercial purposes.  The default setting of your profile is public to employers, which you may change in privacy settings.

Equal Opportunity Hiring and Work Environments

The Career Center welcomes employers who adhere to federal, state, and local employment laws and campus policies in their recruiting practices.  Generally, such laws and policies prohibit discrimination and/or harassment of job candidates and/or employees on the basis of race, color, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, physical or mental disability, age (40 or older), or genetic information.  The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission provides detail on how to recognize and protect yourself against discrimination and harassment.  Beyond upholding federal and state policies, the SSU Career Center expects and advocates for equitable hiring and treatment practices. The SSU Career Center reserves the right to refuse to work with any employer or company who does not work in congruence with these values.

SSU Handshake Disclaimer: Fraudulent Postings

The Career Center monitors SSU Handshake employers and job postings, but cannot screen deeply every individual employer or job posting due to the large volume of postings. The Career Center, its staff, the CSU System, and the State of California assume no liability for the accuracy of information provided in job listings and do not represent or act on behalf of the hiring authority. Users are urged to validate job postings and use caution when applying.  

Tips that a posting might be a scam:

  • You are asked to provide personal information, such as social security or bank account numbers
  • The pay is unrealistically high or they are sending you payment prior to working
  • The position requirements are simplistic or vague
  • You are offered employment or payment on the spot
  • You are asked to provide payment for an opportunity, training, or equipment
  • The posting appears to be from a reputable employer, yet the domain in the contact’s email address does not match the organization's website
  • You are offered contract work without a written contract
  • The posting appears on a list maintained by the Internet Crime Complaint Center

Students who believe an employer has misrepresented themselves or their organization, violated non-discrimination or harassment laws, posted an illegally/unethically structured position, or generally not complied with Career Center employer policies should contact the Career Center at to initiate an investigation.

Possibly experienced discrimination or harassment?

The CSU system provides a complaint process for instances of discrimination and harassment associated with on-campus employment. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission facilitates a complaint process for all other employers. The Career Center aims to serve as a resource and advocate for all students - please share this information with your Career Advisor as soon as possible.

Possibly involved in a scam?

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has given the following instructions to individuals who have responded to fraudulent postings:

  • The student should immediately contact local police, who will conduct an investigation whether the scam artist is local or in another state.
  • If a student has sent money to a fraudulent employer, the student should contact their bank or credit card company immediately to close the account and stop the charges.
  • If the transaction occurred over the internet, the student should file an incident report with the Department of Justice Internet Crime Complaint Center.

Withdrawing a Job Offer Acceptance

After a student has accepted a job or internship offer, they should cease seeking or considering other positions, even if a more appealing offer is received at a later date.  Withdrawing accepted offers creates negative repercussions that extend well beyond the student’s reputation. In fact, reneging on an offer may lead to an employer ending on-campus recruiting, which affects the whole campus.

Students who withdraw accepted offers of employment and/or internships may have their access to Career Center services suspended.  In addition, students will be required (under the guidance of Career Center staff) to professionally resolve the situation with the employer. If a student has received multiple job/internship offers and is uncertain how to proceed, they should contact the Career Center for an appointment with a career counselor for assistance in evaluating the offers.