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Student Opportunities

Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP)

The Student Temporary Employment Program provides maximum flexibility to both students and managers, because the nature of the work (job opportunity) does not have to be related to the student's academic field of study or career goals. Employment is offered on a temporary basis that can range from summer jobs to positions that continue as long as you are a student. You may work full-time or part-time schedules.

Students hired under this authority must be enrolled and taking at least 6 semester hours or the equivalent quarter hours and maintain a semester grade point average of 2.0. They must also submit a copy of their official transcript upon initial appointment and at the conclusion of each semester and proof of enrollment at the start of the semester. A formal agreement among the parties (student, employer, and school) is not required for STEP employment.

STEP employees earn annual and sick leave, but are not eligible for benefits, with the exception of health insurance. Temporary employees become eligible to enroll in FEHB after completion of one year of uninterrupted service. Should a STEP employee choose to enroll when eligible, they will be responsible for the full premium.


Student Career Experience Program (SCEP)

The Student Career Experience Program provides government agencies the opportunity to employ students in a training environment and, upon successful completion of a degree, conversion from an accepted service appointment to a career or career-conditional appointment.

The program defines a student as an individual seeking a degree or certificate from an accredited institution. This includes high school diploma or GED, vocational/technical certificate, associate degree, baccalaureate degree, graduate degree, or professional degree. The type of work experience must be directly related to the student’s academic program and career goals.

Student employees, when enrolled, must take at least 6 semester hours or the equivalent quarter hours and maintain a semester grade point average of 2.0. Documentation required for the initial appointment of a student includes a résumé or application, official transcript, and proof of enrollment or acceptance in a degree program. The program requires formal agreements between the student, the Corps of Engineers, and the educational institution as well as a formal training plan for the student.

Students must provide an official copy of their transcripts at the end of each semester and proof of enrollment at the start. Promotion within the program is based on academic progress, hours of work training completed, and supervisory recommendation. Noncompetitive conversion may be effected within 120 days following completion of the academic program and 320 hours of work training and with supervisory recommendation.

Recruitment of students is generally accomplished through the student employment or career placement office of local institutions and at community or school job fairs. Students may also submit their résumés directly to the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center (CPAC/Human Resources) for solicitation of positions. Appointments may be made year round at grade levels commensurate with the applicant’s education and experience. All student appointments should be coordinated through the CPAC.

SCEP employees earn annual sick leave and are eligible for health and life insurance and are generally eligible for retirement benefits. They may work a part-time schedule of up to 32 hours per pay period or full-time. Students may also alternate semesters of full-time work and full-time school.

What does this mean for you? This program offers valuable work experience directly related to your academic field of study during formal periods of work and study while you are attending school. Upon successful completion of your education and the requirements of this program, your student appointment may be converted to a permanent appointment in an occupation related to your academic training and work-study experiences.

Student programs are designed to provide an opportunity:

  • To apply knowledge gained in school
  • To develop skills through meaningful and challenging work
  • For year-round employment with a flexible work schedule.


Defense Career Intern Program (DCIP)

In July 2000, President Clinton signed Executive Order 13162 authorizing the Defense Career Intern Program as a tool to attract exceptional men and women to the Federal workforce who have diverse professional experiences, academic training, and competencies. This is a noncompetitive recruitment program. DCIP positions do not have to be publicly advertised. Hiring managers directly recruit the desired individual(s) for a two-year internship beginning at a pay level up to GS-9 (generally intended for positions at grade levels GS-5, 7, or 9). DCIP employees may be promoted while serving the internship. Each intern must complete a formal training and development program during the internship. DCIP interns are noncompetitively converted to permanent appointments upon satisfactory completion of the internship. Interns who are US citizens may be converted to career or career-conditional appointments within the agency at the completion of the program. DCIP employees are eligible for all standard government benefits during the two-year internship.

Features of the Program

  • No public announcement required for Career Intern appointments
  • Candidates must meet Office of Personnel Management (OPM) qualification requirements for the position being filled
  • There is no nominating process for the Career Intern Program – Candidates apply directly to the agency filling the position
  • May be appointed year round
  • No limitations on promotion potential
  • Appointments are made in the accepted service
  • Appointments are not subject to Interagency Career Transition Assistance Program (ICTAP) requirements
  • Requires a two-year, formal training and development program
  • Agencies must adhere to veterans preference when considering candidates
  • Has a return right provision for career/career-conditional employees within its own agency
  • Does not require participants to go on rotation assignments
  • Administered by the agencies, not OPM.

Positives of the Program

  • Provides flexibilities in targeting and hiring
  • Faster selection and commitment process
  • Less bureaucracy in hiring process
  • Can be used at job fairs, college recruitment fairs and other similar events
  • Closest to a “direct-hire” authority that we have.

Process of the Program

  • Agency must develop a formal training and development program for the career position to be filled
  • Agency can use this appointment authority at job or college fairs
  • Job announcements can be posted wherever it is believed prospective applicants can find it (i.e., post it at a college career counseling office)
  • Recruiters, managers, or functional representatives can make tentative job offers on the spot
  • Job offers can be finalized by Human Resources (CPAC) as long as applicants meet OPM qualification requirements, veterans preference rules have been applied, and the DoD priority placement program has been cleared.

This program can be used to fill engineering and architectural positions. Positions that are covered under the Luevano Consent Decree (formerly called Administrative Careers With America or ACWA) cannot be filled through the Defense Career Intern Program.

The Luevano Consent Decree is a consent decree approved by the United States District Court for the District of Columbia that established the Outstanding Scholar Program and a Bilingual/Bicultural Program.

The Defense Career Intern Program has been utilized to successfully recruit for and hire employees within the Southwestern Division and Fort Worth District.