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
The Federal Cyber Service: Scholarship for Service (SFS) program seeks
to increase the number of qualified students entering the fields of information
assurance and computer security and to increase the capacity of the United
States higher education enterprise to continue to produce professionals
in these fields. The program has two tracks, Scholarship and Capacity
Building. The workshop, SFS Student Placement Issues: Exploration of the
Solution Space, focused on problems associated with placing students participating
in the Scholarship Track described below:
The Scholarship Track provides funding to colleges
and universities to award scholarships in information assurance and
computer security fields. Scholarship recipients will become part of
the Federal Cyber Service of information technology specialists who
ensure the protection of the U.S. Government's information infrastructure.
Upon graduation after their two-year scholarships, the recipients will
be required to work for a federal agency for two years in fulfillment
of their Federal Cyber Service commitment.
The service agreements that each scholarship student signs with the
Office of Personnel Management (OPM) states that upon graduation if a
Federal position has not been made available, the student is then released
from any obligation to the program. SFS students are selected partially
based on their desire to go to work for the Federal government. The university
principal investigators, OPM, and NSF in partnership are all very motivated
to make these placements happen. Heroic efforts on all sides to date have
resulted in a placement rate well over 90%. A concern over the ability
of the program to maintain and improve on this high placement rate as
the program continues to grow was the primary force behind this workshop.