Special Hiring Initiatives

Pathways Programs  Executive Order 13562 establishes the “Pathways” program (OPM will issue implementing regulations) which consists of the following:

Internship Program – The Pathways Internship Program is for current students and replaces the existing SCEP and STEP. Participants will be referred to as “interns” and must be enrolled in qualifying institutions, as determined by OPM.  Interns must have meaningful work experience and agencies must set clear expectations regarding their work experience. The current SCEP and STEP  Programs will continue until OPM issues final regulations in May 2012. For more information please visit http://www.opm.gov/hiringreform/pathways/

Recent Graduates Program – This program is intended to promote careers with the Federal government by providing individuals who have recently graduated from qualifying education institutions or programs with developmental experiences in the Federal Government.  Participants will be referred to as “recent graduates” and must have obtained a qualifying degree, or completed a qualifying career or technical education program, as determined by OPM, within the preceding 2 years, except for veterans who due to military service obligations, must be appointed within 6 years of obtaining a qualifying degree or completing a qualifying program.  OPM must issue final regulations implementing this new program. We anticipate OPM issuing implementing regulations within 6 to 12 months.

Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program – This program is applicable to individuals from a variety of academic disciplines at the graduate level.  Participants will continue to be known as PMFs or Fellows and must have received, within the preceding 2 years, a qualifying advanced degree, as determined by OPM.  OPM will establish the eligibility requirements and minimum qualifications for the program, as well as a process for assessing eligible individuals for consideration for appointment as a PMF.  The present PMF program will continue until OPM issues final regulations within the next 6 to 12 months with the program changes.

Student Educational Employment (STEP) and Student Career Experience Program (SCEP)

Student Career Experience Program (SCEP) -  Provides for periods of attendance at accredited schools combined with periods of career-related work. This is a formally structured Program and requires a written agreement by all parties (agency, school, and student) as to the nature of work, continuation in, and successful completion of the Program. Students who have met all the requirements of this Program may be noncompetitively converted to a career or career-conditional appointment in an occupation related to their academic training and work study experiences.


Student Temporary Employment Program (STEP) - Provides flexibility to appoint students on a temporary basis to jobs that may or may not be related to their academic field of study. Employment can range from summer jobs to positions that can last for as long as the individual is a student. Appointments are not to exceed one year; extensions are permissible in one-year increments. Students may be converted to the Student Career Experience Program when requirements of that program are met and an appropriate position is available.