The student hiring programs are available to attract students into the public sector. These programs changed to the new Pathways programs and offer on-the-job experience that could lead to a full-time career with the government after graduation. Industry and government utilize student programs to identify prospects for future hiring. Over 50,000 students are employed each year in United States federal government.
Agencies were advised in January of 2023 to increase the number of interns, fellows, and apprentices throughout the federal government, with an emphasis on increasing paid internship opportunities.
Agencies can now offer student loan payments for applicants in hard to fill jobs of up to $60,000. Where else can you find an employer willing to pay off your student loans. Plus you receive benefits while working and may be eligible for conversion to a full time permanent job after you graduate.
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Executive Order 13562, entitled “Recruiting and Hiring Students and Recent Graduates established two new programs and modified another. They are the Internship Program for current students; the Recent Graduates Program for people who have recently graduated from qualifying educational institutions or programs (2 years from the date the graduate completed an academic course of study); and the reinvigorated Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program for people who obtained an advanced degree (e.g., graduate or professional degree) within the preceding two years. Collectively the Pathways Programs, are streamlined developmental programs tailored to promote employment opportunities for students and recent graduates in the Federal workforce.
Student Internship Program
The Internship Program replaces the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) and Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP). This Program is designed to provide students enrolled in a wide variety of educational institutions, from high school to graduate level, with opportunities to work in agencies and explore Federal careers while still in school and while getting paid for the work performed. Students who successfully complete the program may be eligible for conversion to a permanent job in the civil service.
Current students in an accredited high school, college (including 4-year colleges/universities, community colleges, and junior colleges); professional, technical, vocational, and trade school; advanced degree programs; or other qualifying educational institution pursuing a qualifying degree or certificate.
Program Completion and Conversion
- Interns may be converted to a permanent position (or, in some limited circumstances, to a term position lasting 1-4 years) within 120 days of successful completion of the program.
- To be eligible for conversion, Interns must:
- Complete at least 640 hours of work experience acquired through the Internship Program
- Complete their degree or certificate requirements
- Meet the qualification standards for the position to which the Intern will be converted
- Meet agency-specific requirements as specified in the Participant’s Agreement, and
- Perform their job successfully.
- Agencies may waive up to 320 of the required 640 hours of work for Interns who demonstrate high potential as evidenced by outstanding academic achievement and exceptional job performance.
- In addition, students working in agencies through third-party intern providers may count up to 320 of the hours they work toward the 640 hour requirement.
- Time spent under previous Internship Program appointments may count towards required work experience hours.
Recent Graduate Program
The Recent Graduates Program provides developmental experiences in the Federal Government. It is intended to promote possible careers in the civil service to individuals who, within the previous two years, graduated from qualifying educational institutions with an associates, bachelors, masters, professional, doctorate, vocational or technical degree or certificate from qualifying educational institutions. To be eligible, applicants must apply within the previous two years of degree or certificate completion except for veterans precluded from doing so due to their military service obligation, who will have up to six years after degree or certificate completion to apply. Successful applicants are placed in a dynamic, developmental program with the potential to lead to a civil service career in the Federal Government. The program lasts for 1 year (unless the training requirements of the position warrant a longer and more structured training program). Here are some key provisions of the Recent Graduates Program.
- Recent graduates who have completed, within the previous two years, a qualifying associates, bachelors, masters, professional, doctorate, vocational or technical degree or certificate from a qualifying educational institution.
- Veterans unable to apply within two years of receiving their degree, due to military service obligation, have as much as six years after degree completion to apply.
Training and Development
- Orientation program for Recent Graduates hired for the program.
- Mentorship throughout the program.
- Individual Development Plan to create and track Recent Graduates’ career planning, professional development, and training activities.
- At least 40 hours of formal, interactive training each year of the program.
- Positions offer opportunity for career advancement.
After Program Completion
- Recent Graduates may be converted to a permanent position (or, in some limited circumstances a term appointment lasting 1-4 years).
- To be eligible for conversion, Recent Graduates must have:
- Successfully completed at least 1-year of continuous service in addition to all requirements of the Program.
- Demonstrated successful job performance.
- Met the qualifications for the position to which the Recent Graduate will be converted.