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Frequently Asked Questions Employment

  • 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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  • 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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  • Health and life insurance coverage for Federal employees depends on the type of appointment an employee has and the expectation of substantial employment during the year. Students in the Student Temporary Employment Program are considered temporary employees and are generally not entitled to these benefits. However, once students have been continuously employed for a year without a break in service exceeding 5 days, they may enroll in the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program, but they would have to pay 100 percent of the premium (i.e., both the employee and government share). There is no provision for temporary employees to be eligible for life insurance coverage.

    Students in the Student Career Experience Program are eligible for both health and life insurance coverage as long as they are expected to be employed under this appointment authority for at least one year and are expected to be in a pay status for at least one-third of the total period of time from the date of their initial appointment to the date of the completion of the program. Cost of premiums is split between the employee and the agency, as for all permanent employees. (See 5 CFR § 870.202 for life insurance and 5 CFR § 890.102 for health benefits.)

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  • Upon satisfactory completion of course requirements.
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  • An individual can make either an oral or written request for accommodation. To request an accommodation, an individual may use "plain English" and does not need to mention the Rehabilitation Act or "reasonable accommodation." A family member, friend, health professional, or other representative may request a reasonable accommodation on behalf of an individual with a disability. An individual with a disability may request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application process or during the period of employment. The request for a reasonable accommodation must be made for a reason related to a medical condition.
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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 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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  • 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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  • Federal vacancy announcements are the means by which an agency advertises its vacancies. Job vacancy announcements describe position information including the title, salary, duties, qualification requirements, closing date, and application procedures. There is no universal format for vacancy announcements: each agency creates and manages announcements independently, so you should carefully review each section. Announcements are removed from the USAJOBS Website on the closing date; therefore, you are encouraged to maintain for future reference a copy of announcements to which you apply
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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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