Division of Human Resources
Mountain-Prairie Region
Student Career Experience Program (SCEP)

The U.S. Fish and wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency assigned to the protection, conservation and enhancement of fish, wildlife, and their habitats.

To accomplish its mission, the Service employs many of the country's best biologists, wildlife managers, engineers, realty specialist, law enforcement agents, and others who work to save endangered and threatened species and conserve migratory birds and inland fisheries.  The Service provides expert advice to other Federal agencies, industry and foreign governments, and manages more than 700 offices and fields stations, among which are;

  • 8 Regional Offices

  • Over 500 National Wildlife Refuges

  • Nearly 80 national Fish Hatcheries (raising over 200,000 fish a year)

  • Field offices in every state

  • The Service's headquarters office in Washington D.C.

The Student Career Experience Program (SCEP), was established to recruit high quality employees into Federal Service, to support equal employment opportunity objectives, to provide exposure to public service, and to promote education.  This program includes positions in all occupational groups (Professional, Administrative, Technical, Clerical, Wage Grade) within the Service.

To be eligible for the SCEP, Students must be:

  • At least 16 years of age.

  • A U.S. citizen.

  • Enrolled or accepted for enrollment in a program of study leading to a degree, diploma, or certificate, at an accredited high school, technical or vocational school, two or four year college or university, graduate or professional school.

  • Taking at least a half-time course load as defined by the school. An exception to this requirements is permitted when a student is in the final period before graduation and needs to complete less than a half-time course load.

  • A student in good standing with the academic institution and maintain the grade point average (GPA) requirements of the school.

Student trainees in the SCEP must:

  • Meet qualifications/suitability requirements.

  • Be employed by the Service in a position related to the student's academic field study.

  • Be either working for the Service, attending school, or both, at any time during the year.

  • Meet performance and conduct standards during periods of work with the Service.

Other Program parameter include:

  • A written agreement must be initiated by the Service and signed by all parties (the student, the school, and the Service).

  • The student must complete at least 640 hours (16 weeks) of career-related work with the Service prior to completion of or concurrently with academic course requirements.

  • Appointments may be made at any grade for which a student qualifies, under either the General Schedule or Wage Grade.  Those under the General Schedule are eligible for locality pay, and if applicable, special pay rates.

  • Students are eligible for health insurance, life insurance, retirement, and leave accrual on the same basis as permanent employees with comparable work schedules.

  • The Service may provide for financial assistance, which always includes salary, and may include tuition assistance; travel and transportation expenses between the school and duty station; and low or no-cost housing.

  • Work schedules may be part-time, full-time, alternating, or concurrent with course work.  The work schedule should not interfere with the student's academic schedule or progress.

After meeting degree requirements:

  • Must meet qualification standards for the target position.

  • Are eligible for non-competitive conversion to a career or career conditional appointment within 120 days of degree conferment and satisfactory completion of SCEP requirements.

  • May be converted within the Service or to a position in another Federal agency.

Last updated: June 9, 2011