Campaign encourages students to consider federal service

College students can make a difference through public service. That's the theme of a new campaign by the Partnership for Public Service (PPS) to encourage college students to consider careers in the federal government.

“There is no better place to work on critical issues that affect our country on a grand scale than the federal government,” said Max Stier, president at PPS. “If you care about fighting poverty, securing our homeland, protecting the environment or any other issue of national importance, the federal government provides hundreds of job opportunities where you can make a difference.”

As part of the “Making the Difference” campaign, PPS officials have circulated materials to more than 600 colleges and universities nationwide. Resources include a Web site, a library of guidebooks on topics such as student loan repayment and navigating the security clearance process, monthly job and internships listings, and workshops for students and university career services staff members.

The campaign grew out of the organization’s research during two years as a partner with the Office of Personnel Management on a project to identify cost-effective and sustainable ways to promote public service on campuses.

The partnership has released a report on the project, “Making the Difference: A Blueprint for Matching University Students with Federal Opportunities.” The report outlines what Congress, federal agencies and college officials can do to recruit the next generation of government leaders.

Major findings in the report include:


  • The more students learn about federal service, the more attractive they find it. Overall, 60 percent of students in a survey said information provided about federal job opportunities made them more interested in pursuing government careers.

  • Despite the rise in interest, the government needs to streamline the federal application process to get students on board.

  • Campus recruiting can be cost-effective. E-mail campaigns and campus visits have modest costs.

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