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Heading: Working for the Great Outdoors.
 
Student Programs (header)
Student Employment (subheader)

  Multicultural Work Force Strategic Initiatives
STEP Program
SCEP Program
Q & A About STEP and SCEP
Other Student Programs

  Q & A About SCEP and STEP

How many times can a student be appointed to the Student Temporary Employment Program? Student Career Experience Program?

Is a student pursuing a GED eligible for the Student Educational Employment Program?

What are the age requirements for students to participate in the Student Educational Employment Program?

Can a son or daughter of a Forest Service employee participate in that agency's Student Educational Employment Program?

Can a student appointed to one of these programs remain on the appointment once they have completed their educational requirements?

Does veteran's preference apply in the selection process for students?

Do students need to take any written tests to apply for the student employment programs?

Are students only paid minimum wage?

Can students be promoted?

Are students eligible for annual and sick leave?

Are students eligible for health and life insurance benefits?

Must students work or attend school during the summer?

Must students be U.S. Citizens at the time they're appointed?

Do students get within grade increases?

Are students eligible for retirement benefits?

Can students be placed on intermittent schedules?

Can students work less than 16 hours a week?

May students still alternate school and work (i.e. work full time this semester, and next semester go to school full time, and not work at all)?



Q. How many times can a student be appointed to the Student Temporary Employment Program? Student Career Experience Program?

A. There is no limit on the number of times a student may be appointed, as long as he/she meets the eligibility requirements for the appointment.

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Q. Is a student pursuing a GED eligible for the Student Educational Employment Program?

A. Yes, a student enrolled in GED courses and pursuing a GED diploma meets the definition of "student." Due to the general nature of the coursework, the student might not be eligible for the Student Career Experience Program but would be eligible for the Student Temporary Employment Program.

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Q. What are the age requirements for students to participate in the Student Educational Employment Program?

A. Participation in this program must be in conformance with Federal, State, or local laws and standards governing the employment of minors.

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Q. Can a son or daughter of a Forest Service employee participate in that agency's Student Educational Employment Program?

A. Yes. The only requirement is that the parent and student have no direct reporting relationship and that the relative not advocate the employment, promotion or advancement of the student.

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Q. Can a student appointed to one of these programs remain on the appointment once they have completed their educational requirements?

A. Students appointed to the Student Career Experience Program may continue on the appointment for 120 days beyond the date of completing their work and academic requirements. At the end of the 120 days, if the graduate has not been converted to a position in the competitive service, he/she must be separated. Once a student appointed to the Student Temporary Employment Program has completed the requirements for his/her degree/diploma/certificate (as appropriate), he/she is no longer a student, and must be separated, even if the NTE date on their current appointment has not been reached. If enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an additional educational program they may be given a new appointment.

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Q. Does veteran's preference apply in the selection process for students?

A. Yes.

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Q. Do students need to take any written tests to apply for the student employment programs?

A. No. Written tests are waived for students in the Student Career Experience Program. This includes initial appointment and conversion. Although not explicitly stated, written tests are also waived for entry into the Student Temporary Employment Program.

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Q. Are students only paid minimum wage?

A. Students in the Student Educational Employment Program must be paid according to the classification of the job.

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Q. Can students be promoted?

A. Yes. Students in both programs are eligible for promotion.

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Q. Are students eligible for annual and sick leave?

A. Yes. Students in both programs earn annual and sick leave.

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Q. Are students eligible for health and life insurance benefits?

A. 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. 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.

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Q. Must students work or attend school during the summer?

A. The intent of the Student Educational Employment Program is that students are always 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.

Q. Must students be U.S. Citizens at the time they're appointed?

A. There is no requirement that students who wish to participate in the STEP (Student Temporary Employment Program) positions be citizens. However, students who wish to participate in the SCEP (Student Career Experience Program) cannot be appointed to career-conditional employment in the competitive service unless they are citizens at the time of conversion.

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Q. Do students get within grade increases?

A. Students who participate in the STEP (Student Temporary Employment Program) are not eligible to receive a within grade increase while in a grade. Students who participate in the SCEP (Student Career Experience Program) are eligible for within grade increases.

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Q. Are students eligible for retirement benefits?

A. Students who wish to participate in the STEP (Student Temporary Employment Program) are generally ineligible for retirement coverage. Students who wish to participate in the SCEP (Student Career Experience Program) with less than 5 years of prior civilian service, are generally covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS).

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Q. Can students be placed on intermittent schedules?

A. An intermittent schedule is only appropriate when the nature of the work is so sporadic and unpredictable that a regularly scheduled tour of duty cannot be scheduled in advance. It is not the intent of the Student Educational Employment Program to have students working in these types of positions. Students can work full or part time schedules, as best meets their needs and the needs of the Forest Service.

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Q. Can students work less than 16 hours a week?

A. Yes. The regulations allow students who wish to participate in the SCEP (Student Career Experience Program) to work 1 to 15 hours per week if it is a regularly scheduled tour of duty. Students who wish to participate in the STEP (Student Temporary Employment Program) may work any number of hours acceptable to all parties.

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Q. May students still alternate school and work (i.e. work full time this semester, and next semester go to school full time, and not work at all)?

A. Yes. The student, the academic institution and Forest Service need to work together to accommodate the academic needs of the student and the work related needs of the Forest Service. For students participating in the SCEP (Student Career Experience Program), there must be a written agreement and a formally arranged schedule of school and work.

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