» Questions and Answers

Questions and Answers

Q. What is the Student Educational Employment Program?

A. The Student Educational Employment Program has two components student temporary employment and student career experience. It is available to all levels of students: high school, vocational and technical, associate degree, baccalaureate degree, graduate degree, and professional degree students.

Q. What are the eligibility requirements for the Student Educational Employment Program?

A. You are eligible under the Student Educational Employment Program if you are:






  1. permitted by a Federal agency's appropriation act, and
  2. eligible to work under U.S. immigration laws.

U.S. citizenship is required for conversion to permanent employment under the Student Career Experience Component

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. This 120 day period is permitted by Executive Order 12015. 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. The reason for the separation is that they are no longer "students" and therefore no longer meet the basic eligibility for the program. The Executive Order 12015 does not apply to these graduates. If enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an additional educational program they may be given a new appointment.

Q. Can Students Be Promoted?

A. Yes. Students in both programs are eligible for promotion. However, the NOAC (Nature of Action Code) for students in the Student Temporary Employment Program is actually a conversion to a new appointment (at the higher grade level) while keeping the current NTE date. Even though the actual nature of action is a conversion to a new appointment, a GS employee is entitled to an increase in pay of at least two steps (about 6 percent) upon placement in a higher graded position without a break in service. A WG employee is entitled to an increase in pay of at least one step (about 4 per cent).

Q. Are Students Eligible For Annual And Sick Leave?

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

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. However, once students have been continuously employed for a year without a break in service exceeding 5 days, they may enroll in the Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) Program, but they would have to pay 100% of the premium (i.e., both the employee and government share). There is no provision for temporary employees to be eligible for life insurance coverage.

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. Cost of premiums is split between the employee and the agency, as for all permanent employees.

Q. Are Students Eligible For Retirement Benefits?

A. Students in the Student Temporary Employment Program are generally ineligible for retirement coverage. Students in the Student Career Experience Program with less than 5 years of prior civilian service are generally covered by the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS). (See 5 CFR, part 842)

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 agency.

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. The student would be placed on LWOP during this time.

Q. Does A Student's Work Experience, While On The Student Temporary Appointment, Count Towards The Required 640 Hours Necessary For Noncompetitive Conversion Career Conditional Employment?

A. Yes, if the work performed is related to the students academic studies and career goals. There should be clear documentation showing the "relatedness" between the work (actual duties/tasks/assignments) performed while on the Student Temporary Employment Program appointment and the Student Career Experience Program appointment.

Q. Does A Student's Work Experience, While On The Former Stay In School Program And Prior To Conversion To The New Student Temporary Employment Program, Count Toward The Required 640 Hours?

A. Yes. Agencies may consider and count work experience gained under the former Stay in School Program toward the 640 hours. However, there should be clear documentation showing the "relatedness" between the work (actual duties/tasks/assignments) performed under the Stay in School appointment and the work being performed under the Student Career Experience Program.

Q. Does The Time Spent On The Student Temporary Employment Program Count Towards Career Tenure? Time In Grade?

A. The time does not count towards career tenure because the three year period must begin and end with non-temporary employment in the competitive service. However, the time spent on the student temporary appointment would be creditable towards any time in grade calculation. (Time spent on the former Stay In School appointment would also be credited towards time in grade)

Q. May Students 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, school and agency need to work together to accommodate the academic needs of the student and the work related needs of the agency. For students participating in the Student Career Experience Program there must be a written agreement and a formally arranged schedule of school and work.

Q. How do I apply for a U.S. Department of Justice student position:

A. You may apply with a resume or an Optional Application for Federal Employment (OF-612). If you decide to use a resume, please include information such as: job announcement, job title, grade, full name, SSN, citizenship, veterans preference (if applicable), education, work experience and other qualifications.