U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
|FHWA Personnel Management Manual; Part 1: Personnel Systems & Procedures, Chapter 2: Employment, Section 1: Student Educational Employment Program|
|M3000.1C||January 8, 2004|
What is the purpose of this section? The purpose of this section is to provide instructions and guidelines for student employment under the Federal Student Educational Employment Program in the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The consolidated program reduces the appointing authorities and simplifies regulatory requirements. The program is divided into two components: the Student Temporary Employment Program and the Student Career Experience Program.
Does this directive cancel an existing FHWA directive?Yes. This directive cancels FHWA Personnel Management Manual Part 1, Chapter 2, Section 1, Summer Employment Program and Section 2, Student Educational Employment Program, dated June 28, 1996. Information from Section 1 and Section 2 has been combined.
Student. An individual who has been accepted for enrollment, or who is enrolled, as a degree (diploma, certificate, etc.) seeking student in an accredited high school technical or vocational school, two-year or four-year college or university, or graduate or professional school. If the student is enrolled the student must be taking at least a half-time academic, vocational, or technical course-load.
Half-Time Student. A half-time student is defined by the school in which the student is enrolled. Students need not be in actual physical attendance, so long as all the other requirements are met. An individual who needs to complete less than the equivalent of half an academic, vocational, or technical course-load in the class enrollment period immediately prior to graduating is still considered a student for the purposes of this program.
Schedules. A student may work a full-time or part-time schedule at any time during the year, but the student's work schedule should not interfere with the student's academic schedule.
Break-in Program. A period of time when a program participant is working but is unable to go to school, or is neither attending classes nor working at the agency. Agencies have discretion to approve or deny a break-in program.
Employment of minors. Participation in the Student Educational Employment Program must be in conformance with Federal, State, and local laws and standards governing the employment of minors.
Term Appointment. A non-permanent appointment expected to last longer than one year, but less than four years.
Career Appointment. The employment status of a permanent employee who has completed three years of substantially continuous, creditable service.
Career-Conditional Appointment. The employment status of a permanent employee who has not completed three years of substantially continuous, creditable service.
Career Tenure. After serving three years of substantially continuous creditable service, a career conditional employee becomes a career employee and gains career tenure. Employees with career tenure have permanent reinstatement eligibility and may be considered for positions without having to take another competitive civil service examination.
Substantially Continuous Service. Service without a break for more than thirty calendar days (i.e., the break must be less than or equal to thirty calendar days).
What is the Student Educational Employment Program?The Student Educational Employment Program combines all student hiring authorities into two components and two appointing authorities. It has two major programs: The Student Temporary Employment Program and the Student Career Experience Program.
Student Temporary Employment Program. Job opportunities under this program offer temporary employment. Employment can range from summer jobs to positions that can last as long as the student remains in school. These employment opportunities need not be related to a specific academic field.
(1) What is the appointing authority for the Student Temporary Employment Program? Students are appointed in the excepted service under Schedule B 213.3202(a). This is the appointment authority regardless of the academic program pursued.
(2) How long are student appointments in the Student Temporary Employment Program? Students are appointed to a position not to exceed (NTE) one year. Appointments under this authorization may be extended in one-year increments as long as the individual meets the definition of a student. Once a student appointed to the Student Temporary Employment Program has completed the requirements for his/her degree, diploma, or 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 he/she is no longer a "student" and therefore no longer meets the basic eligibility for the program. If enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an additional educational program, they may be given a new appointment. Agencies may establish minimum academic requirements and on-the-job performance requirements for continuation in the program.
(3) Are students eligible to be converted non-competitively under this program? No. Students are not eligible for non-competitive conversion to a term, career, or career-conditional status.
(4) Is there a mandatory requirement regarding the documentation of financial need for students in this program? No. There is no mandatory requirement for students to document financial need in order to be eligible for this program.
(5) How are students classified under the Student Temporary Employment Program? The classification of students appointed under this program is based on the occupational series for which they are hired. Grade level is set according to the criteria in the appropriate General Schedule or Wage Grade classification standard.
(6) Can a student convert from a Student Temporary Appointment to the Student Career Experience Program? Yes. A student's work experience while in the Student Temporary Appointment does count towards the required 640 hours necessary for non-competitive conversion to career conditional employment as long as the work performed is related to the student's academicstudies and career goals. There should be clear documentation showing the "relation" between the work (actual duties, tasks, or assignments) performed while on the Student Temporary Employment Program appointment and the Student Career Experience Program appointment.
(7) Are students eligible for promotions? Students under the Student Temporary Employment Program may be evaluated either by agency-developed standards or Office of Personnel Management (OPM) qualification requirements for the position to which appointed. Students are not eligible for promotions. However, appointments may be made to a higher graded position and should be documented as a conversion to another excepted appointment, citing the same authority as was used for the original appointment and maintaining the original "NTE" date.
(8) How are training expenses paid for under the Student Temporary Employment Program? The employing office for a student in this program may use their authority under 5 U.S.C. Chapter 41 and 5 CFR Part 410 to pay for all or part of the student's training expenses.
(9) Are students eligible to earn annual and sick leave? Yes. Students are eligible to earn annual and sick leave.
(10) Are students in the Student Temporary Employment Program eligible for health and life insurance? 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 five days, they may enroll in the Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) Program, but they must 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. See 5 CFR 890.102(2) and 870.301(2).
(11) Are students in the Student Temporary Employment Program eligible for the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS)? Students in the Student Temporary Employment Program are generally ineligible for retirement coverage. See 5 CFR 831.201 and 842.105.
(12) Can students work less than sixteen hours a week? Students in the Student Temporary Employment Program (Tenure Group III) are not covered by the Part-time Career Employment Act of 1978 and therefore may work any number of hours acceptable to all parties. See 5 CFR 340.202(b).
Student Career Experience Program. This program offers a student valuable work experience directly related to his/her academic field of study. It provides formal periods of work while the student is attending school. The student may be eligible for permanent employment under this program after successfully completing their education and work requirements.
(1) What is the appointing authority for the Student Career Experience Program? Students are appointed under Schedule B 213.3202(b). This is the appointing authority regardless of the academic program pursued.
(2) Are students eligible to be converted non-competitively under the Student Career Experience Program? Appointments of participants who have met all the requirements of the program may be non-competitively converted to term, career, or career conditional appointments at any time within 120 (calendar) days after satisfactory completion of the requirements for his/her diploma, certificate, or degree. The 120-day period is permitted by Executive Order 12015. After 120 days, if the graduate has not been converted to a position in the competitive service, he/she must be separated.
(3) What are the written requirements under the Student Career Experience Program? The Student Career Experience Program is a formally structured program that requires a written agreement by all parties (agency, school, and student) regarding the following:
(a) Nature of work assignments,
(b) Schedule of work assignments and class attendance,
(c) Evaluation procedures, and
(d) Requirements for continuation and successful completion of the program.
(4) How are students classified under the Student Career Experience Program? Students classified under thisprogram will be classified as student trainees, to the 99 series of the appropriate occupational group.
(5) Are students eligible for promotions in the Student Career Experience Program? Yes. Students are eligible for promotion in accordance with the OPM's Qualifications Standards.
(6) How are training expenses paid for under the Student Career Experience Program? Observing the prohibitions in 5 U.S.C. 4107, agencies may use their training authority in 5 U.S.C. Chapter 41 and 5 CFR Part 410 to pay for all or part of training expenses directly related to students' official duties.
(7) Are students eligible to earn annual and sick leave under the Student Career Experience Program? Yes. Students appointed under this program will earn annual and sick leave.
(8) Are students eligible for the FERS under the Student Career Experience Program? Yes. Students with less than five years of prior civilian service are generally covered by the FERS. See 5 CFR Part 842.
(9) Are students in the Student Career Experience Program eligible for health and life insurance? Yes. 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. The cost of premiums is split between the employee and the agency, as for all permanent employees. See 5 CFR 870.202(a)(1) and (2) for life insurance and 5 CFR 890.102(c)(1) and (2) for health benefits.
(10) Can students work less than sixteen hours a week? Yes. Students in the Student Career Experience Program (Tenure Group III), are allowed to work less than sixteen hours per week according to 5 CFR 340.202(b), which permits agencies to allow employees in Tenure Group I or II to perform regularly scheduled work from one to fifteen hours per week.
Can FHWA employ non-citizens under the Student Temporary Employment Program or the Student Career Experience Program? FHWA may appoint non-citizens to the Student Temporary Employment Program or the Student Career Experience Program provided that the students are lawfully admitted to the United States as a permanent resident or otherwise authorized to be employed. All students in the Student Career Experience Program must be U.S. citizens at the time they are non-competitively converted to a career conditional appointment.
What is the policy on the employment of relatives in student programs? In accordance with 5 CFR 213.3202 (b)(6), a student may work in the same agency with a relative when there is no direct reporting relationship and the relative is not in a position to influence or control the student's appointment, employment, promotion, or advancement within the agency.