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Student Career Experience Program (SCEP)



Purpose: The Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) was established to recruit
high quality employees into the Federal Service, to support equal employment
opportunity objectives, to provide exposure to public service, and to promote education.
After working 640 hours for the Service and completing their degree, SCEP students
may be converted into permanent federal employees.

Eligibility Criteria:
1) Must be U.S. Citizen or a National
2) Must be at least 16 years of age
3) Must be enrolled or accepted as a degree-seeking student
4) Must be taking at least half-time academic/vocational/technical course load
5) Must maintain a good academic standing in school (GPA above 2.00)
6) Work experience MUST be related to academic field of study/career goals

Types of Positions: This program includes positions in all occupational groups

(Professional, Administrative, Technical, Clerical, and Wage Grade) within the Service
but particularly biologist and natural resource positions that promote the agency
mission. The position MUST BE relevant to the student’s field of study.

Grade Levels: Students may be appointed at any General Schedule (GS) or Wage
Grade (WG) based on the classification of the position and the student’s qualifications.

Classification: Classification pertains to an evaluation process that determines the

appropriate pay system, occupational series, title, and grade/pay depending on the
student position. Classification should reflect the duties of the position. Positions subject
to the General Schedule are classified as student trainees (XX99 series) for the
appropriate occupational group. Positions covered by the Wage Grade System are
classified as student trainees (XX01 series) of the appropriate occupational group.

Additional information on classification can be found at Federal Classification and Job

Grading Systems also refer to Classification Guidance.
Qualifications Required: Qualifications describe the knowledge, skills, and/or abilities
a person must have to be successful in a particular occupation. Student employees are
evaluated by the OPM Qualification Standards as student trainees.

Please ensure each student meets the qualifications of the position description or the
student WILL NOT be allowed employment for the position being filled.

Appointment Status: Accepted service appointment under Schedule B, 213.3202(b).

Appointments are subject to all requirements and conditions of career or career
conditional employment.

Work Schedules: Students may work part time or full time and are occasionally allowed
intermittent work schedules. During the academic school year there are no limitations
on the number of hours worked. However, the designated work schedule, determined
by the student and the student supervisor, may not interfere with the student’s academic
schedule. Students must complete at least 640 hours of career-related work, prior to
completing all education requirements, to be eligible for conversion to permanent

Promotions: Students are eligible for promotion based on education, work experience,
and performance.

Conversion Eligibility: Students are eligible for noncompetitive conversion to the

permanent competitive service within 120 calendar days after completing educational
and work requirements. Students must be a U.S. Citizen to be converted. In rare
situations, students can be moved to term positions noncompetitively and then
converted to a Career Conditional (Permanent) appointment as long as it is before the
term appointment expires.

Tuition Assistance: Tuition assistance may be offered to students after the first
successful work period. In accordance with the Fish and Wildlife Service and the Office
of Personnel Management training guidance, the payment of authorized expenses is for
courses in a field of study directly related to their official duties.

Relocation: In making decisions regarding travel expenses, the following is a summary

of possible travel costs associated with SCEP employees:

Temporary Duty Travel - When hiring SCEP students, there may be travel implications,
depending on the location of the student's school to the work site. Regional Director
Order (RDO) provides that SCEP students are to be reimbursed for travel between their
duty station and their school. This cost would count towards the travel ceiling

RDO also states that "SCEP students at temporary work stations, during their official
work periods, will be reimbursed for lodging only." Depending on the method of
payment, the lodging cost may or may not be subject to the travel ceiling. If the
Government directly pays the provider for the lodging (e.g. via a purchase order), this
expense is categorized as a contract with the lodging provider. However, if the
Government reimburses the student for lodging expenses incurred, this expense is
categorized as travel and would count towards the travel ceiling restrictions.

Permanent Change of Station (PCS) - Converting to a Permanent Position: SCEP

students fall under the category of new hires (new appointee's appointed to their first
duty station). New hires can be offered limited PCS benefits. Those benefits are: (1) En-
route per diem for employee only; (2) Transportation for employee and family; (3)
Shipment of household goods or mobile home; (4) Temporary storage of household
goods; and (5) Shipment of POV (when applicable).

The decision to pay all or part of the PCS relocation expenses is at the discretion of
management officials in the Regional Office 225 FWS 9. The process for the payment of
PCS expenses is initiated by the selecting supervisory official. After the selection is
approved, the supervisor prepares the required justification for the payment of PCS
expenses and obtains the proper approval from the Regional Director.

Applicable Benefits: Eligibility for retirement, TSP, health benefits, and life insurance
depends on the proposed work/study schedule. Students are eligible for holidays,
annual and sick leave.

Other Comments: Nepotism Rule – Students may work in the same agency with a
relative only when there will be no direct reporting relationship and the relative has no
influence or control over the students employment.

Special Provisions: SCEP provisions require a written agreement between the agency,
school, and student.

Region 3 has Active Working Agreements with the following


Ball State University - Muncie, IN

Bellevue University - Bellevue, NE
Chicago State University - Chicago
Cleveland State University
College of St. Catherine - St. Paul
Crowder College - Neosho, MO
Eastern Michigan University
Florida Atlantic University - Boca Raton
Fort Hays State University - Hays, KS
Indiana University Southeast
Iowa State University - Ames
Kent State University - Kent, Ohio
Lake Superior State University - Salute Ste. Marie, Mi
Metropolitan State - Minneapolis, MN
Michigan State - East Lansing
Michigan Technical University
Minnesota State University - Mankato
Moraine Park Technical College - Fond Du Lac, WI
North Dakota State University
Northeastern Illinois University - Chicago
Northern Michigan University - Marquette
Ohio State University - Columbus
Oregon State University - Corvallis
Puxico High School - Puxico, MO
Ridgewater College - Willmar, MN
Roosevelt University - Chicago
Sangamon State University - Springfield, IL
Sandhills Community College - Pinehurst, NC
South Dakota State - Brookings
Southeastern Illinois University - Harrisburg
Southeastern Oklahoma State University
Southern Illinois University - Carbondale
St. Ambrose University - Davenport, IA
St. Cloud State University
Saint Mary's University of Minnesota - Winona
St. Paul College - MN
Tiffin University - Ohio
University of Minnesota - Carlson School of Management
University of Minnesota - Crookston
U. of Central Missouri - College of Science and Technology, Warrensburg
University of Minnesota - College of Natural Resources
University of Missouri - Columbia
University of Rhode Island - Kingston
University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
University of Wisconsin - Madison
University of Wisconsin - Steven's Point
University of Wisconsin- Stout
University of St. Thomas - St. Paul, MN
Utah State University - Logan

All Colleges/Universities are eligible to establish SCEP Working Agreements, including

Historical Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic Colleges and Universities, and
Tribal Colleges and Universities.

How to apply: Interested students should apply DIRECTLY to the specific office or field
station where they are interested in working. Project Leaders MUST be contacted first to
be sure they are actually recruiting. If they are not recruiting, they may be able to let you
know of other Project Leaders who are recruiting.
The following Student Employment Appointment Reference Chart has been created to
assist you while filing appointment paperwork for student employment. In addition,
please use the SCEP Appointment Checklist when submitting new student
appointments to Human Resources after the student has been selected.

Additional information on student employment can be found at FWS Manual 130,

Guidelines for Managers and Supervisors or by contacting Human Resources at

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