Uncle Sam Seeks Interns, Fellows
July 9, 2012
The government's new program to attract students and recent graduates to public service takes effect Tuesday.
Agencies must transition from the current system to Pathways Programs, an initiative that grew out of a 2010 executive order directing agencies to make it easier for students and recent grads to pursue careers in the federal government. The new program includes three tracks: for current students, recent graduates and Presidential Management Fellows. Participants will be classified under a new Schedule D within the excepted service, and each program will honor veterans' preference. Excepted service positions are designed to streamline the hiring process and have different evaluation criteria from the competitive service, in which applicants compete for jobs under the merit system.
John Berry, director of the Office of Personnel Management, outlined the program's rules in a May briefing with reporters. "These new pathways will place a welcome sign on federal service for students and recent graduates," he said at the time. "The aim is to enable students and recent graduates to more effectively compete for federal service. Over the summer, we will continue to work with federal agencies to implement these regulations and to identify specific opportunities for students and recent graduates."