Work Ready Muskogee

Connecting Talent and Opportunities in Muskogee County

Student Trainee (Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor)

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs

Posted on Friday, June 28, 2024


This position provides for developing and training a student trainee interested in becoming a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. Training emphasizes the development of knowledge of the Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor's duties and responsibilities as explicitly related to the VR&E Division's organization and mission. Assignments become more responsible, and direct supervision lessens as the incumbent increases knowledge and skills through work experience and academic training.

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  • Accepting applications

This job is open to

Clarification from the agency

This announcement is open only to Students currently enrolled at least half-time in a graduate-level program (Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling, Counseling Psychology, or related field), rehabilitation services, clinical rehabilitation counseling, counseling psychology, mental health counseling, career counseling or social work).



Pathways Internship positions provide for development and training. Assignments become more responsible as incumbent increases knowledge and skills through work experience and academic training.

You will be assigned to a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor (VRC) or group of counselors. You will be assigned tasks designed to familiarize you with different aspects of the occupation. The VRC develops the purpose, objectives, services, and outcomes during the evaluation. The program's primary focus will be helping veterans find work and set goals and objectives to help them become more independent in their daily lives.

  • Provides services for employer consultation, employment development and placement, career counseling, and vocational planning and assessment.
  • Initiates evaluations to determine the presence of a vocational handicap, whether it qualifies as an employment handicap, the degree of the handicap, the viability of reaching a vocational objective, eligibility for Chapter 31 rehabilitation benefits, and the requirement for independent living services.
  • Under the discretion of the rehab counselor, explores treatment and other services for Chapter 31 Veterans.
  • Observe interviews conducted by counselors with veterans to learn about their psycho-social histories, and helps veterans make well-informed decisions about their careers using a variety of approaches, including Tele- counseling, depending on the needs of the Veteran.
  • Assists counselors with establishing partnerships with administrators at schools, Vet Centers, military bases, and federal, state, and local agencies to determine the individual needs of service members and veterans and to provide the essential assistance.
For more information on Internship opportunities within the Department of Veterans Affairs, please visit https://www.va.gov/EMPLOYEE/pathways-internship-program/ and https://www.usajobs.gov/help/working-in-government/unique-hiring-paths/students/

Work Schedule: Full time, Part-time; 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM. Hours may very based on duty location after selections have been made
Compressed/Flexible Schedule: At minimum 20 hours and maximum 80 hours each pay period depending on the student's school schedule.
Not To Exceed 1 year: The agency may extend this position without regard to service limits and restrictions in 5 CFR 213.104.
Telework: Yes, per Agency guidelines.
Virtual: This is not a virtual position.
Position Description/PD#: Student Trainee (Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor); 41363-A
Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not authorized
Physical Requirements: The work normally involves mental rather than physical exertion.
Financial Disclosure Report: Not required
Bargaining Unit Position: Yes


Conditions of Employment

  • You must be a U.S. Citizen to apply for this job
  • Be at least 16 years old (by closing date of this vacancy announcement)
  • Accepted for/currently enrolled in a qualified educational institution
  • Selective Service Registration is required for males born after 12/31/1959
  • Subject to a background/security investigation
  • Selected applicants will be required to complete an online onboarding process
  • Not To Exceed 1 year: The agency may extend this position without regard to service limits and restrictions in 5 CFR 213.104.
  • May be converted to a permanent appointment in the competitive service
  • If converted to a permanent position, selectee may be required to meet additional conditions of employment.
  • This is a trial period in accordance with agency policy
  • Those appointed to temporary Internship appointments (not to exceed 1 year), serve or the time served is creditable towards meeting a trial period.


To qualify for this position, applicants must meet all requirements by the closing date of this announcement:

Applicants must meet the Basic Pathways internship eligibility requirements, minimum qualifications requirements, and the selective placement factor to qualify for this GS-0199-7 Student Trainee (Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor) position.

Basic Pathways Internship eligibility
Are you currently a student that has been accepted for enrollment at least half-time in an accredited high school, college, professional, technical, vocational, or trade school and will be pursuing a qualifying degree or certificate?
Are you currently a student in good academic standing that is enrolled at least half-time in an accredited high school, college, professional, technical, vocational, or trade school and will be pursuing a qualifying degree or certificate?You must remain enrolled and in good academic standing throughout the Pathways Internship Program and will be required to provide proof of current student status to be eligible for this program. For more information, review USAJOBS Student and Recent Graduate resources. (https://www.usajobs.gov/StudentsAndGrads)


MINIMUM QUALIFICATION REQUIREMENT for a GS-0199-07: You must meet minimum qualifications for this GS-0199-07. You must submit transcripts to support your response if needed.

Applicant can qualify if they have at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GS-5 level in the federal service utilizing rehabilitation counseling skills, techniques, and resources needed to work with individuals with disabilities.

B. I have completed one (1) full academic year of graduate level education.

C. I have completed a bachelor's degree and meet eligibility under the Superior Academic Achievement (SAA) Provision. S.A.A. is based on (1) class standing, (2) grade-point average, or (3) honor society membership. 1) Class standing -- Applicants must be in the upper third of the graduating class in the college, university, or major subdivision, such as the College of Liberal Arts or the School of Business Administration, based on completed courses. 2) Grade-point average (G.P.A.)-- Applicants must have a grade-point average of: 3.0 or higher out of a possible 4.0 ("B" or better) as recorded on their official transcript, or as computed based on 4 years of education, or as computed based on courses completed during the final 2 years of the curriculum; or 3.5 or higher out of a possible 4.0 ("B+" or better) based on the average of the required courses completed in the major field or the required courses in the major field completed during the final 2 years of the curriculum. Grade-point averages are to be rounded to one decimal place. For example, 2.95 will round to 3.0 and 2.94 will round to 2.9. 3) Election to membership in a national scholastic honor society -- Applicants can be considered eligible based on membership in one of the national scholastic honor societies. These honor societies are listed by the Association of College Honor Societies - https://www.achshonor.org/.


Selective Placement Factor.
To qualify for potential conversion into a GS-0101-09 Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor VRC applicants must have completed or be enrolled in following specific degree programs: rehabilitation counseling, rehabilitation services, clinical rehabilitation counseling, counseling psychology, mental health counseling, career counseling or social work from an accredited college or university.(NOTE: You must attach a copy of your transcripts and/or verification of class standing for further verification.)

  • Customer Service
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Therapy and Counseling

Experience refers to paid and unpaid experience, including volunteer work done through National Service programs (e.g., Peace Corps, AmeriCorps) and other organizations (e.g., professional; philanthropic; religions; spiritual; community; student; social). Volunteer work helps build critical competencies, knowledge, and skills and can provide valuable training and experience that translates directly to paid employment. You will receive credit for all qualifying experience, including volunteer experience.

Note: A full year of work is considered 35-40 hours per week. Part-time experience will be credited based on time spent in appropriate activities. Applicants wishing to receive credit for such experience must indicate the nature of their duties and responsibilities in each position and the number of hours a week spent in such employment.

Program Completion and Conversion
  • Interns may be converted into a GS-0101 Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor permanent position (or, in some limited circumstances, to a term position lasting 1-4 years) within 120 days of successful completion of the program.
  • To be eligible for conversion, Interns must:
  • Complete at least 640 hours of work experience acquired through the Internship Program
  • Complete their degree or certificate requirements
  • Meet the qualification standards for the position to which the Intern will be converted
  • Meet agency-specific requirements as specified in the Participant's Agreement, and
  • Perform their job successfully.
  • If converted to a permanent or term appointment, the target position and Full performance level may change based on the need of the organization at the that time. Interns must meet the qualification requirements for the position to which converted.
  • For conversion into a GS-0101 Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor - Applicants must be enrolled in a master's degree (or higher) program in rehabilitation counseling, rehabilitation services, clinical rehabilitation counseling, counseling psychology, mental health counseling, career counseling or social work from an accredited college or university. To verify your enrollment, you must provide proof of current student status. Note: you must remain enrolled in the degree or certificate program to be eligible for this Internship. (NOTE: You must attach a copy of your transcripts and/or verification of class standing for further verification.)

For more information on these qualification standards, please visit the United States Office of Personnel Management's website at http://www.opm.gov/qualifications.


Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education to be credited towards qualifications. Provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
All education claimed by applicants will be verified upon appointment. If you are using foreign education to meet qualification requirements, you must send a Certificate of Foreign Equivalency with your transcript to receive credit.

Additional information

Telework: VA supports the use of telework as a way to help attract and retain talented individuals in public service, increase worker productivity, and better prepare the agency to operate during emergencies. This position may be authorized for telework. Telework eligibility will be discussed during the interview process.

Salary: The salary range indicated in this announcement will be adjusted to include locality payment for selected duty location. General Schedule locality pay tables may be found under Salaries & Wages

Receiving Service Credit or Earning Annual (Vacation) Leave: Federal Employees earn annual leave at a rate (4, 6 or 8 hours per pay period) which is based on the number of years they have served as a Federal employee. VA may offer newly-appointed Federal employee's credit for their job-related non-federal experience or active duty uniformed military service. This credited service can be used in determining the rate at which they earn annual leave. Such credit must be requested and approved prior to the appointment date and is not guaranteed.

VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply, including those eligible for hiring under 5 CFR 213.3102(u), Schedule A, Appointment of persons with disabilities [i.e., intellectual disabilities, severe physical disabilities, or psychiatric disabilities], and/or Disabled veterans with a compensable service-connected disability of 30% or more. Contact the Agency Contact for information on how to apply under this appointment authority via the Selective Placement Coordinator.

Placement Policy: The posting of this announcement does not obligate management to fill a vacancy or vacancies by promotion. The position may be filled by reassignment, change to lower grade, transfer, appointment, or reinstatement. Management may use any one or any combination of these methods to fill the position.
It is the policy of the VA to not deny employment to those that have faced financial hardships or periods of unemployment.

This job opportunity announcement may be used to fill additional vacancies.

Veterans and Transitioning Service Members: Please visit the VA for Vets site for career-search tools for Veterans seeking employment at VA, career development services for our existing Veterans, and coaching and reintegration support for military service members.

For more information on the "Who may apply" eligibility requirements, please refer to the OHRM Status Candidates and Other Candidate Definitions document.

If you are unable to apply online or need an alternate method to submit documents, please reach out to the Agency Contact listed in this Job Opportunity Announcement.

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How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

You will be rated on the following competencies based on your application for this position:

  • Customer Service - Works and communicates with clients and customers (e.g., any individuals who use or receive your work unit's services or products, including those who work in your agency or other agencies or organizations outside the Government) to satisfy their expectations. Committed to quality services.
  • Interpersonal Skills - Shows understanding, friendliness, courtesy, tact, empathy, concern, and politeness to others; develops and maintains effective relationships with others; may include effectively dealing with individuals who are difficult, hostile, or distressed; relates well to people from varied backgrounds and different situations; is sensitive to cultural diversity, race, gender, disabilities, and other individual differences.
  • Therapy and Counseling - Knowledge of diagnosis and treatment of physical and mental ailments, and career guidance
Narrative responses are not required at this time. If you are referred for consideration, you may be asked to submit additional job related information, which may include, but not limited to; responses to the knowledge, skills and abilities; completion of a work sample, and/or an interview.

Your resume and/or supporting documentation will be verified. Please follow all instructions carefully. Errors or omissions may affect your rating or consideration for employment.

Required Documents

To apply for this position, you must provide a complete application package to include the documents detailed below. Your resume and supporting documentation will be verified; errors, omissions, or failure to submit the documents as specified will affect your rating or result in loss of consideration for employment.

  • Resume detailing specialized experience and competencies as they relate to this position
    • For each position in your resume, you must specify the start and end dates (month/year) and a description of duties. If the position was Federal, you must also indicate the grade level. Resumes containing a general summary of all positions held, not specifying start/end dates, and/or not including Federal grade level(s) are insufficient to determine basic qualifications.
  • Transcript or other proof of enrollment (e.g. official acceptance letter) in a qualifying educational institution
  • Veterans: Member-4 DD-214 and disability rating letter (if applicable)
    • If you are currently on active duty to be released within 120 days, you may submit an armed forces certification in lieu of a Member-4 DD-214.
Please use this checklist to make sure you have included other documents required for your application, such as a copy of your transcript (if using education to qualify), SF-50's (current/former Federal employees), documentation to support Veterans Preference claims, or ICTAP/CTAP documentation (for displaced Federal employees). You will not be contacted for additional information.

Veterans' Preference: When applying for Federal Jobs, eligible Veterans should claim preference for 5pt (TP), 10pt (CP/CPS/XP), or for Sole Survivor Preference (SSP) in the questionnaire. You must provide a legible copy of your DD214(s) which shows dates and character of service (honorable, general, etc.). If you are currently serving on active duty and expect to be released or discharged within 120 days you must submit documentation related to your active duty service which reflects the dates of service, character of service (honorable, general, etc.), and dates of impending separation. Additionally, disabled veterans and others eligible for 10-point preference (such as widows or mothers of eligible Veterans) must also submit an SF-15 "Application for 10 Point Veteran Preference" with required proof as stated on the form. Documentation is required to award preference. For more information on Veterans' Preference, please visit http://www.fedshirevets.gov/job/vetpref/index.aspx.

How to Apply

Complete the questionnaire and submit the documentation specified in the Required Documents section below. The complete application package must be submitted by 11:59 PM (ET) on 07/09/2024 to receive consideration. It is your responsibility to ensure your responses and appropriate documentation is submitted prior to the closing date. To preview the questionnaire click https://apply.usastaffing.gov/ViewQuestionnaire/12447326.

  1. To begin, click Apply Online to create a USA JOBS account or log in to your existing account. Follow the prompts to select your USA JOBS resume and/or other supporting documents and complete the occupational questionnaire.
  2. Click Submit My Answers to submit your application package.
Click here for instructions on viewing your application status.
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Agency contact information

GHOST Continental District
Denver Regional Benefit Office
155 Van Gordon St
Lakewood, CO 80228
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Next steps

Once your online application is submitted you will receive a confirmation notification by email. After we receive application packages (including all required documents) and the vacancy announcement closes, we will review applications to ensure qualification and eligibility requirements are met. After the review is complete, a referral certificate(s) is issued and applicants will be notified of their status by email. Referred applicants will be notified as such and may be contacted directly by the hiring office for an interview. All referred applicants receive a final notification once a selection decision has been made.

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