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Pathways for Students & Recent Graduates to Federal Careers

President Obama signed Executive Order 13562, entitled "Recruiting and Hiring Students and Recent Graduates," December 27, 2010.  This Executive Order established two new programs and modified another. They are the Internship Program for current students; the Recent Graduates Program for people who have recently graduated from qualifying educational institutions or programs (2 years from the date the graduate completed an academic course of study); and the reinvigorated Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program for people who obtained an advanced degree (e.g., graduate or professional degree) within the preceding two years. These programs, collectively called the Pathways Programs, are streamlined developmental programs tailored to promote employment opportunities for students and recent graduates in the Federal workforce.

Internship Program

The new Internship Program provides students in high schools, colleges, trade schools and other qualifying educational institutions with paid opportunities to work in agencies and explore Federal careers while completing their education.

Eligibility

Current students in an accredited high school, college (including 2-year or 4-year colleges/universities, community colleges, and junior colleges); professional, technical, vocational, and trade school; advanced degree programs; or other qualifying educational institution pursuing a qualifying degree or certificate.

Program Administration

  • Interns may be hired on a temporary basis for up to one year for an initial period, or for an indefinite period, to complete the educational requirement.
  • Interns may work either part- or full-time.
  • Each agency must sign a Participant Agreement with the Intern that sets forth the expectations for the internship.
  • All Intern positions will be related to the Intern's academic career goals or field of study.

Program Completion and Conversion

Interns may be converted to a permanent position (or, in some limited circumstances, to a term position lasting 1-4 years) within 120 days of successful completion of the program.

To be eligible for conversion, Interns must:

  • Complete at least 640 hours of work experience acquired through the Internship
    Program
  • Complete their degree or certificate requirements
  • Meet the qualification standards for the position to which the Intern will be converted.
  • Meet agency-specific requirements as specified in the Participant's Agreement.
  • Perform their job successfully.
  • Time spent under previous Federal Internship Program appointments may count towards required work experience hours.

Program Highlights

Applicants must be: a U.S. Citizens ∙ Enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a degree-seeking student with a major field of study in a science, engineering, technology, or business discipline ∙ Must be able to work a minimum requirement of 16 weeks (640 hours) prior to graduation ∙ Must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.6 (on 4.0 scale) or its equivalent ∙ Salary based on completion of academic semester hours.

Recent Graduates Program 

The Recent Graduates Program affords developmental experiences in the Federal Government intended to promote possible careers in the civil service to individuals who have recently graduated from qualifying educational institutions or programs. To be eligible, applicants must apply within two years of degree or certificate completion (except for veterans precluded from doing so due to their military service obligation, who will have up to six years after degree completion to apply). Successful applicants are placed in a dynamic, developmental program with the potential to lead to a civil service career in the Federal Government. The program lasts for 1 year (unless the training requirements of the position warrant a longer and more structured training program). Here are some key provisions of the Recent Graduates Program.

Eligibility

Recent graduates who have completed, within the previous two years, a qualifying associates, bachelors, masters, professional, doctorate, vocational or technical degree or certificate from a qualifying educational institution.

Veterans unable to apply within two years of receiving their degree, due to military service obligation, have as much as six years after degree completion to apply.

Program Administration

Each agency must sign a Participant Agreement with the Recent Graduate that sets forth the expectations for the Program.

After Program Completion

Recent Graduates may be converted to a permanent position (or, in some limited circumstances a term appointment lasting 1-4 years).

To be eligible for conversion, Recent Graduates must have:

  • Successfully completed at least 1-year of continuous service in addition to all requirements of the Program.
  • Demonstrated successful job performance.
  • Met the qualifications for the position to which the Recent Graduate will be converted.

Program Highlights

Applicants must be: a U.S. Citizens ∙ Enrolled or accepted for enrollment as a degree-seeking student with a major field of study in a science, engineering, technology, or business discipline ∙ Must maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.6 (on 4.0 scale) or its equivalent ∙ Salary based on completion of academic semester hours.

Job postings for the Students and Recent Graduates programs can be found here.

Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program

For more than three decades, the PMF Program has been the Federal government’s premier leadership development program for advanced degree candidates. This program is now for individuals who have received a qualifying advanced degree within the preceding two years.

 

What Will You Get?

In addition to salary and benefits, the PMF Program gives you a lot in return for your hard work. Your two-year appointment will provide a fast-paced opportunity to gain experience and develop your talents. You will be challenged with opportunities to flourish into a problem solver, strategic thinker and future leader. In addition to working at a single Federal agency, you may have the option to participate in a rotational opportunity at another agency. These rotational opportunities will challenge you even further and give you insight into how other areas of government operate.

While serving as a PMF, you will receive:

  • 160 hours of classroom training (on leadership, management, policy and other topics)
  • Challenging work assignments
  • Feedback on your work
  • At least one 4 to 6 month developmental assignment
  • Potential for promotions and career ladders
  • Upon certification of completion, which permits immediate conversion to a permanent or term position and carries prestige anywhere you go thereafter

How to apply 

Visit the PMF Website at http://www.pmf.gov/opportunity/index.aspx  

Science, Mathematics, and Research For Transformation Defense Scholarship For Service Program (SMART)

The Department of Defense (DoD) is proud to offer scholarships to undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students who have demonstrated ability and special aptitude for training in Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) fields. The DoD also offers career opportunities for students to continue their research as civilian employees at a DoD laboratory after graduation.

Program highlights

  • All applicants must be U.S. citizens
  • Annual stipend ranging from $25,000-$38,000 depending on prior educational experience (may be prorated depending on award length)
  • Full tuition and education related fees (does not include items such as meal plans, housing, or parking)
  • Miscellaneous Supplies Allowance of $1,000 per academic year
  • Summer research internships
  • Mentoring
  • Employment placement after graduation
  • Health insurance reimbursement allowance of up to $1,200 per calendar year.

How to Apply

Interested students should visit the SMART website for descriptive materials and to access on-line application.

 

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