Helen A. Kellar Institute for Human disAbility - George Mason University
About Us

The Kellar Institute for Human DisAbilities (KIHd) is an interdisciplinary campus-based organization focusing on improving the lives and productivity of children and adults with disabilities. KIHd combines the resources of the university with local, state, regional, national, public, and private sector agencies and organizations to develop products, services, and programs for persons with disabilities.

Information for New Mason LIFE Employees

If you have received an offer letter from the Mason LIFE Program, please read the employment document instructions in your offer letter very carefully. If you have not been employed by George Mason University in any capacity, you will have to go through an onboarding process. You will receive an email from hr@gmu.edu to complete the Form I-9 (confirming eligibility to work in the United States) along with other required hiring paperwork. Employment is contingent upon receipt of proof of eligibility to work in the United States (Form I-9) within three business days from your start date and completion of a satisfactory background investigation. You will receive a separate email from applicationstation@truescreen.com to complete the requirements to conduct a background investigation. Failure to complete this process in a timely manner will delay you being put into the payroll system.

Your signed offer letter, a copy of your unofficial transcripts and a copy of your current class schedule should be submitted to Stephanie Atkins at satkins5@gmu.edu or in person at the Mason LIFE office, Krug Hall, room 110.

If you have any questions please contact Stephanie Atkins, the Mason LIFE Program Office Manager at 703-993-3905 or by email at satkins5@gmu.edu.

Mason LIFE Program Employment/Timesheet Policy

The Commonwealth of Virginia’s Department of Human Resource Management (DHRM) and Virginia’s Secretary of Education have stated that wage employees will not be allowed to work more than 20 hours on average per week (Liaisons may work up to 25 hours per week) and up to 1500 hours per year. This rule applies to Mason LIFE Program wage and student wage employees. Therefore, you may not work more than 40 hours per week (50 hours for Liaisons only) without permission from your Mason LIFE Program Component Coordinator as your timesheet will be flagged in the system and require special approval. Please note that going over the 1500 hour mark in a calendar year (May 1 to April 30) will result in immediate termination. Students with multiple university jobs should be aware that hours over all jobs are cumulative so if you reach the 1500 hour limit, you will be terminated from ALL employment for the university.

Your signed offer letter is your employment contract with the Mason LIFE Program. Until your signed offer letter and any other required employment documents have been received by Stephanie Atkins, the Mason LIFE Program Office Manager, and you have completed any onboarding requirements, you are not in the George Mason University payroll system. When a timesheet is available in your Patriot Web account, you will be able to log hours for pay. Any hours worked up until the point your timesheet appears will be considered volunteer hours. Please note that returning your signed offer letter and completing any online hiring documents immediately is the best way to ensure that you will be added to the payroll system in a timely fashion.

Any students eligible to use Federal Work Study funds are encouraged to do so. You will need to fill out and submit the Student Employment Verification form each year to Stephanie Atkins for the process to begin.

All compensated positions begin with mentorship.

Mentors must support one semester to be eligible for a compensated position. Mentors must be in good program standing in attendance, reliability, and open to learning to be offered a compensated position.

    Mason LIFE Program employment opportunities are in the following areas:
  • Employment Support Staff
  • Exploration Support Staff (attend catalog classes with a Mason LIFE student)
  • Instructor (must be in the Masters of Special Education program)
  • Residential Support Staff (both day and overnight positions available)

The beginning stipend rate is between $8.00 and $12.00 per hour, depending on the position, the duties the position entails, and the qualifications required. Increases in the stipend rate are based on time with the program, experience or an increase in responsibilities. Mason LIFE Program student wage workers are paid on a bi-weekly basis and the schedule for bi-weekly pay may be found at the GMU Human Resources website under the Payroll tab. Time sheets should be submitted online through the Patriot Web timesheet by the deadline in order to ensure on time delivery of payment to your account.

NOTE: All licensure Internships, Practicums, Service Learning Hours, and Independent Studies are not compensated with stipend hours. In other words, if you are getting credit, you will not be receiving money for those hours.