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Frequently Asked Questions Employment

Student Educational Employment Program

  • Yes. However, time spent on the SCEP appointment may be credited towards probation provided it meets the requirements of 5 CFR § 315.802
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  • No. Time-in-grade restrictions apply only to competitive service positions. See 5 CFR § 300.603).
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  • Students are classified to an appropriate GS or Wage Grade (WG) series and grade and paid according to that classification. See 5 CFR § 213.2302(a)(11).
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  • OPM does not publish qualification standards for positions in the Excepted Service. Therefore agencies have the option of (1) developing their own qualification standards or (2) using OPM competitive service qualification standards. If an agency chooses option (1), it may develop its own standards or adopt or modify the former Schedule B student trainee qualification standard as their own. If an agency chooses option (2), it may use the competitive service qualification standard for the target position, or the competitive service student trainee qualification standards. See 5 CFR § 213.3202(a)(12) and 213.3202(b)(15).
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  • Yes. An individual participating in the Student Career Experience Program who otherwise meets the program requirements for conversion (i.e., work hours, satisfactory performance, educational requirements, etc.) may be converted to a position that has an established career ladder. For instance, a SCEP GS-0201-04 Human Resources Trainee may be noncompetitively converted to a GS-0201-05/7/9/11 Human Resources Specialist career ladder position. See 5 CFR § 213.3202(b)(11).
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  • Yes. Students in both programs are eligible for promotion. However, the Nature of Action Code (NOAC) for students in the Student Temporary Employment Program is actually a conversion to a new appointment (at the higher grade level) while keeping the current NTE date. Even though the actual nature of the action is a conversion to a new appointment, a GS employee is entitled to an increase in pay of at least two steps (about 6 percent) upon placement in a higher graded position without a break in service. A WG employee is entitled to an increase in pay of at least one step (about 4 percent). See 5 CFR § 213.3202(a)(12) and 213.3202(b)(15).
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  • Students in the Student Temporary Employment Program, provided they have completed one year of current continuous service, are in tenure group 3; Students in the Student Career Experience Program are in tenure group 2. See 5 CFR § 351.502, 5 CFR § 213.3202(a)(14) and 5 CFR § 213.3202(b)(19).
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  • Students are appointed under Schedule B, 5 CFR § 213.3202. This is the appointment authority regardless of the type of academic program.
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  • In establishing the Student Educational Employment Program, OPM intended, generally that students always be either attending classes, working at the agency, or both. However, agencies may use their discretion to permit a break in program during which time a student is neither attending classes nor working. The student would be placed on leave without pay (LWOP) during this time.
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  • Yes. Although the Federal Employees Part-Time Career Employment Act of 1978 defines part-time as from 16 to 32 hours a week, 5 CFR § 340.202(b) permits agencies to allow employees in tenure group 1 or 2 to perform regularly scheduled work of from 1 to 15 hours per week. Students in the Student Career Experience Program are in tenure group 2. The Act does not cover employees in tenure group 3 so students in the Student Temporary Employment Program (tenure group 3) may work any number of hours acceptable to all parties.
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