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Frequently Asked Questions Employment

Student Educational Employment Program

  • Determining financial need and the definition of financial need is left up to each agency's discretion. Factors to consider might be the size of the family, local cost of living indicators, household income, medical expenses, educational expenses, etc. Agencies might also wish to consider other types of financial aid that the family is already receiving as indicators of financial need (e.g., food stamps, public assistance, subsidized housing, student financial aid). If the student is attending a post secondary school, information available from the financial aid office might also be considered.
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  • Yes, however, generally there is no requirement for students to meet any specific economic income criteria to be eligible. Agencies may design their Student Educational Employment Programs to include outreach to those students who are most in need of financial assistance. The criteria and documentation to demonstrate financial need must be established by the agency. See 5 CFR § 213.3202(a)(8) and 213.3202(b)(8).
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  • Yes. Agencies are reminded when considering the outstanding academic achievement and exceptional job performance accomplishments from a STEP appointment, the outstanding academic achievement and exceptional job performance must have been related to the student's current SCEP position.
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  • OPM encourages agencies to establish performance plans and conduct performance evaluations for student employees to: (1) document what the student is expected to do, and (2) advise the student on how well he/she is performing. Student Temporary Employment participants, who are on appointments not-to-exceed (NTE) one year, could be excluded by their employing agency from the requirements for performance appraisal if certain requirements are met and the student agrees to not having his/her performance appraised. (See 5 CFR § 430.202.) Participants in the Student Career Experience Program, who are eligible for noncompetitive conversion to career conditional status, do not fall under any of the exclusions specified in the OPM regulations and, therefore, are required to have written performance plans and be appraised on their performance as specified in the agency's performance appraisal system. Performance appraisals can be used as documentation to support both positive and negative consequences of the student's performance. Further documentation for the Student Career Experience Program students may be included in the written agreement signed by all parties (student/school official/agency) prior to the initial appointment.
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  • Referrals and financial certification for student employment opportunities are no longer required by the Student Educational Employment Program regulations. Agencies may wish to continue to work with local employment service offices to continue to refer students. If financial need is a factor in an agency's program, the criteria and documentation must be developed by the agency.
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  • No. An agency may credit only up to a total of 320 hours toward the required 640 hours. However, agencies may add or combine these flexibilities to credit a student up to 320 hours for non-SCEP work experience. See 5 CFR § 213.3202(b)(11)(i)(A)
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