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Federal Cyber Service:
Scholarship For Service (SFS)

Student Placement Issues:
Exploration of the Solution Space

A report from a NSF workshop
held August 5 -6, 2003.

I. Executive Summary
II. Introduction
III. Actions Taken in
Response to Problem
IV. Recommendations
Meeting Participants

SFS Program Statistics

Agencies That Have
Hired SFS Students
NSF Disclaimer and
Contact Information

II. Introduction

Simply stated, the problem addressed by this workshop is the ability to place SFS students in internships and permanent Federal positions as the number of students continues to grow. The goal was to bring together principal investigators (PIs) (see Appendix 1) of the SFS scholarship track to address concerns about student selection and placement. Day One of the workshop focused on developing short-term solutions for student selection, internship opportunities, and job placement. Day Two was devoted to long-term approaches to improving these and other aspects of the SFS program. The group identified best practices and areas for improvement, and developed a list of recommendations for the Interagency Coordinating Committee (ICC), which oversees the SFS program.

By the end of 2005, the SFS program will have produced about 350 graduates. The Office of Personnel Management provided a breakdown of current student enrollment as of August 1, 2003 (see Appendix 2) (some PIs acknowledged they had incoming students who were not yet registered with OPM). A total of 301 students were registered at 19 universities; one student is enrolled in a doctoral program while the majority are seeking master’s degrees. Of 55 graduates, as of August 2003, 30 have been placed in full-time positions, and 17 are awaiting security clearances related to placements. Graduates have been placed at 17 Federal agencies (see Appendix 3) to date, 60–70 percent of placements are related to the National Security Agency (NSA). Two students have not yet been placed, and six have been released from the program without obligation.

Of 35 students expected to graduate in December 2003, 20 have tentative placements. OPM projected that 77 students will graduate between March and May of 2004. In May 2004, 190 students will need internship opportunities to satisfy their program requirements.

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