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Recruitment Policy Studio

Federal Section
Planning for Recruiting - Pathways
Pathways for students and recent graduates to federal careers

General Provisions

Why were the Pathways Programs created? (READ MORE)
The Federal Government benefits from a diverse workforce that includes students and recent graduates. The competitive hiring process for the Federal civil service is structured in a manner that favors job applicants who have significant previous work experience for entry level positions. That factor and the complexity of the rules governing admission creates a barrier to recruiting and hiring students and recent graduates and places the Federal Government at a competitive disadvantage compared to private-sector employers when it comes to hiring from that segment for entry-level positions. In Executive Order 13562 the President established or refined ground rules for several excepted service authorities in order to offer clear paths to internships and potential civil service careers for students and recent graduates, to establish meaningful developmental programs, and to provide a means by which students and recent graduates may be evaluated on the job.

What is the Pathways Programs framework? (READ MORE)
The Pathways Programs framework consists of three separate programs for students and recent graduates in Schedule D of the excepted service. These programs are: the Internship Program, the Recent Graduates Program, and the PMF Program.

Where are the Pathways Programs regulations codified? (READ MORE)
These regulations can be found in 5 CFR, 213, 302, 315, and 362.
  • General Pathways Program rules are codified in 5 CFR part 362 subpart A.
  • Rules specific to the Internship Program are codified at 5 CFR part 362 subpart B.
  • Rules specific to the Recent Graduates Program are codified in 5 CFR part 362 subpart C.
  • General provisions about Schedule D of the excepted service are codified in 5 CFR 213.3401-2.
  • Regulations governing how to fill excepted service positions, including how to apply veterans’ preference, are codified at 5 CFR part 302.
Agencies are advised to refer to these provisions before filling jobs under the Pathways Programs and to confer with their counsel if they have any questions.

Why is public notification a requirement before filling Pathways Positions despite these positions being in the excepted service? (READ MORE)
The public notification requirement promotes fairness, transparency, and compliance with merit system principles by giving all interested applicants a way to learn about these opportunities and to do so through a single portal,