Southeast Region
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Division of Human Resources

Student Programs


The Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP)

This program is designed to introduce talented students to the advantages and challenges of working for the Federal Government; to provide opportunities for students to combine academic study with on the-job work experience; and to provide opportunities for students to earn money while continuing their education. This program includes positions in all occupational groups (Professional, Administrative, Technical, Clerical, Wage Grade) within the Service. 

To be eligible for the STEP, students must be:

  • At least 16 years of age.
  • A U.S. citizen or a national.
  • 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 requirement 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 a good standing with the academic institution and maintaining the grade point average (GPA) requirements of the school.

STEP Advantages:

  • Provides maximum flexibility to agencies and students.
  • Appointments are for 1 year, and may be extended in 1-year increments as long as the student continues to meet program eligibility requirements.
  • Duties of STEP positions are not required to be related to the student’s academic/career goals.
  • Students are eligible for annual (vacation), holiday, and sick leave.
  • Students are eligible for health insurance once they are continuously employed for one year.
  • Students may be converted to the Student Career Experience Program (SCEP); and STEP work experience may be creditable toward SCEP work experience 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.
  • Work schedules may be part-time, full-time, alternating, or concurrent with course work. 

Recruitment of Candidates:

  • STEP positions are recruited and filled based on the needs of the Service.  Any open recruitment of candidates will appear on the Human Capital page under “Recruitment Notice”.
  • STEP candidates are also recruited at targeted recruitment events (e.g., job fairs, college recruitment activities, and similar events).  Potential applicants will be informed of the recruitment event, the jobs under recruitment and the appointment requirements.  All applications submitted during the event for positions covered by the event will be accepted.
  • Application packages must contain (1) a resume, (2) a current transcript and (3) a school letter of current enrollment and in good standing.  Application packages will only be accepted for a specific position notice.

The Student Career Experience Program (SCEP)

This program was established to recruit and train degree-seeking students for professional, administrative and technical Fish and Wildlife Service positions.  Students are given the opportunity to work in field such as fishery or wildlife biology, forestry, wildlife refuge management, law enforcement, and engineering.  Opportunities in administrative positions may also become available.  Student will combine their studies with a variety of practical work experience in our regional office, national fish hatcheries, national wildlife refuges and ecological field stations.  The work experience is related closely to the student’s educational program to provide a career-related on-the-job experience.

To Be Eligible for the SCEP, Students Must Be:

  • At least 16 years of age.
  • A U.S. citizen. Lawfully admitted resident aliens may be considered absent qualified citizens; however, students accepted into the program as trainees must be U.S. citizens if and when they are converted to permanent appointments after graduation.
  • Enrolled or accepted for 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 requirement is permitted when a student is in the final period before graduation and needs to be less than a halftime course load.
  • A student is in good standing with the academic institution and maintains 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 of 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 Parameters Include:

  • A written agreement must be initiated by the Service and signed by all parties (the student, 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 (GS) or Wage Grade (WG).  Those under the GS 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 the duty station; and low or no-cost housing.
  • Work schedules may be part-time, full-time, alternating, or concurrent with the course work. The work schedule should not interfere with the student’s academic schedule or progress.

After graduation, Students:

  • Must meet qualification standards for the target position. 
  • Are eligible for non-competitive to a career or career conditional appointment within 120 days of the degree conferment and satisfactory program requirements.
  • May be converted within the Service or to a position in another Federal agency.

Recruitment of Candidates:

  • SCEP positions are recruited and filled based on the needs of the Service.  Any open recruitment of candidates will appear on the Human Capital page under “Recruitment Notice”.
  • SCEP candidates are also recruited at targeted recruitment events (e.g., job fairs, college recruitment activities, and similar events).  Potential applicants will be informed of the recruitment event, the jobs under recruitment and the appointment requirements.  All applications submitted during the event for positions covered by the event will be accepted.
  • Application packages must contain (1) a resume, (2) a current transcript and (3) a school letter of current enrollment and in good standing.  Application packages will only be accepted for a specific position notice.

 

For More Information on STEP and SCEP Programs contact Danny Louallen at 404-679-4024

Student Educational Employment Program Questions and Answers


The Workforce Recruitment Program for College Students with Disabilities

 What is the Workforce Recruitment Program?

The Workforce Recruitment Program for College Students with Disabilities (WRP) is a resource to connect public and private sector employers nationwide with highly motivated post-secondary students and recent graduates with disabilities who are eager to prove their abilities in the workforce.  Employers seek to fill both temporary and permanent positions in a variety of fields.

Myths, stereotypes, and misconceptions about people with disabilities stand in the way when people with disabilities look for jobs, resulting in a high rate of unemployment.  Statistics show that people with disabilities from minority backgrounds encounter even greater difficulty in obtaining work.  The WRP aims to eliminate this workplace discrimination one student, one employer, and job at a time.

Who is Eligible to Participate in the WRP?

An applicant for the program must

  • have a substantial disability
  • be a United States citizen
  • be enrolled in an accredited two-year or four year college or university, or a graduate or professional school, as a degree-seeking student taking at least a half-time course load OR
  • be enrolled in such an institution as a degree-seeking student taking less than a half-time course load in the enrollment period immediately prior to graduation OR
  • have graduated from such an institution within the past year

What Does the WRP Offer to Colleges and Universities?

The WRP provides a unique opportunity for colleges and universities to

    • tap into a system that has been successfully placing students with disabilities in summer and permanent jobs in the public and private sectors for several years at no cost to the school, the student or the employer.
    • bring together the resources of their disability services and career services offices to promote more effectively the job seeking skills and career readiness of their students with disabilities
    • provide their student with disabilities a chance to grow personally and professionally through participation in this nationwide program

What Does the WRP Offer to Eligible Students?

The WRP is an excellent way for students with disabilities in all fields of study to

  • market their abilities to a wide variety of potential employers across the United States
  • sharpen their interviewing skills during a required one-on-one meeting with a WRP recruiter
  • gain valuable skills, experience, and contacts on the job
  • prove that people with disabilities can be excellent employees

How Does the Program Work?

The WRP operates on the following timeline:

  • By mid-September, the schedule of recruitment visits to schools is confirmed.
  • From late January through the end of February, recruitment visits, which include 30-minute personal

interviews with individual students, are conducted.

  • By late March, a database composed of student information gathered during the recruitment visits is made available to employers in the public and private sectors.
  • Once the database is released, interested employers make direct contact with students about temporary and permanent job offers.  The database is active for one year.

The WRP is co-sponsored by the Office of Disability Employment Policy and the Department of Defense, with support from other federal agencies.

How Can You Participate?

  • If you are a college coordinator for disability services or career services, contact the WRP Coordinator at the Office of Disability Employment Policy at wrp@dol.gov.
  • If you are an eligible student, share this information with your school's disability services or career services coordinator, and ask him or her to contact the WRP Coordinator at wrp@dol.gov.  Please understand that we work directly with college coordinators, and cannot respond to inquiries from individual students.

 

 

 

 

Last updated: May 4, 2010