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Frequently Asked Questions Employment

  • Agencies may wish to modify their performance plans to allow student evaluations after a minimum of 320 hours in order to take advantage of this new flexibility. If the student meets the criteria for exceptional job performance and outstanding academic achievement, the program allows an agency to evaluate a SCEP student after 320 hours.
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  • Students in the Student Career Experience Program are eligible for within-grade increases. For students in the Student Temporary Employment Program, eligibility for within-grade increases depends on the pay system of the occupation. Temporary WG employees are eligible for within-grade increases; temporary GS employees are not eligible for within-grade increases.
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  • There is no overarching requirement that applicants applying for positions in the excepted service be U.S. citizens. However, the student must have been lawfully admitted to the United States as a permanent resident or otherwise authorized to be employed. Note, some agencies are precluded from hiring non-citizens by a ban in their appropriations act. Agencies should check with their financial officer or general counsel's office when considering a student who is a non-citizen. Students who participate in the Student Career Experience Program may not be converted to career conditional employment in the competitive service unless they are citizens at the time of conversion.
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  • Students appointed to the Student Career Experience Program who have met all requirements of the program and have satisfactorily completed the requirements of their diplomas may continue on the appointment for 120 days beyond the date of completing their work and academic requirements. This 120 day period is permitted by Executive Order 12015. At the end of the 120-days, if the graduate has not been converted to a position in the competitive service, he/she must be separated. Once a student appointed to the Student Temporary Employment Program has completed the requirements for his/her degree/diploma/certificate (as appropriate), he/she is no longer a student as defined by 5 CFR § 213.3202(a)(2), and must be separated, even if the NTE date on their current appointment has not been reached. The reason for the separation is that people in this situation are no longer "students" and therefore no longer meet the basic eligibility for the program. Executive Order 12015 does not permit these graduates to remain on a STEP appointment beyond the date of completing academic requirements. If enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an additional educational program, they may be given a new appointment.
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  • OPM provides information about the application process at www.opm.gov/disability/appempl_3-11.asp.  There are several other application options available to applicants with disabilities.  For example:
    • Competitive Appointments.  Many applicants with disabilities find employment through standard competitive procedures in the same manner as individuals without disabilities.  (www.usajobs.gov)
    • Student Employment Programs.  This program helps Federal employers find the right people to fill current and future hiring needs.  It also gives students the opportunity to get hands-on experience.  This program has two major components – the Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP) and the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP).  (www.usajobs.gov/students.asp)
    • Federal Career Intern Program.  This program is designed to help agencies recruit and attract exceptional individuals into a variety of occupations.  It was created under Executive Order 13162, and is intended for positions at grade levels GS-5, 7, and 9.  In general, individuals are appointed to a 2-year internship.  Upon successful completion of the internships, the interns may be eligible for permanent placement within an agency.  (www.opm.gov/careerintern/)
    • Veterans Appointments.  There are a number of authorities available to assist veterans who are seeking, or wish to change, Federal employment including, Veterans Recruitment Appointment (VRA), 30% or More Disabled Veterans Program, and Veterans Employment Opportunity Act (VEOA) appointments.  See OPM's VetGuide at http://www.opm.gov/veterans/vetguide.pdf [208 KB]
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  • No. The required work experience must be gained prior to, or concurrent with the completion of the student's education. This requirement is stated in the Executive order.
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  • Agencies develop their own procedures for interview practices. The decision to interview may depend on a variety of factors, including your ranking against other candidates, the number of positions being filled, and the number of people who applied.
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  • The Federal Register has posted the new regulation on the Federal Register website at http://origin.www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/ and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) has posted it on its website at www.opm.gov/fedregis and www.opm.gov/disability. OPM provided notification to Federal agencies through the Chief Human Capital Officer Council.
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  • No. The requirement that noncompetitive conversions must take place within 120 days after completion of educational requirements is in Executive Order 12015 and has not been changed.
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  • Under Executive Order 11935, only United States citizens and nationals may be appointed to competitive service Federal jobs. In rare cases, agencies may hire certain non-citizens when there are no qualified U.S. citizens available, unless the appointment is prohibited by statute. In addition, Congress frequently restricts agencies’ ability to hire non-citizens into the excepted service as well, through appropriations provisions. For more information about citizenship requirements, please visit: http://www.usajobs.opm.gov/EI9.asp.
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