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Martin Luther King, Jr., Scholars Program Fact Sheet

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Martin Luther King, Jr., Scholars Program Fact Sheet

Summer 2003

Program Description:

The Martin Luther King, Jr., Scholars Program is a unique summer internship experience at the U.S. Department of Education, established in commemoration of the late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and his contributions to civil and human rights in America.

Up to ten outstanding undergraduate or graduate students with an interest in education policy or public policy and administration will be selected to participate in the program this summer.
Selected students will be designated as Martin Luther King, Jr., Scholars and will receive temporary Federal appointments in the excepted service for an eight-week period,

June 16-August 8, 2003. This time period may be extended for an additional four weeks on a case-by-case basis. Scholars will be hired at grades GS-4, 5, 7, or 9, depending on qualifications and education level completed (corresponding pay range: $10.86 to $18.40 per hour).

Scholars will be assigned to the Office of the Secretary and the immediate offices of the Assistant Secretaries of Education at the Department’s headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Scholars will assist with a variety of projects related to critical education programs and initiatives, analysis, policy development, legal, or other work designed to provide developmental experiences and exposure to government and public policy in a Cabinet –level Department.
Eligibility Requirements:

The program is open to continuing juniors, seniors, and graduate students. Students must be enrolled on a full-time basis in an accredited undergraduate or graduate degree program and have plans to register for the Fall semester. Students can be from any field of study.

Note: Graduating baccalaureate, master’s, or doctoral students who are not enrolled and continuing their education in the academic semester following the summer internship are not “continuing students” and are not eligible for this program.
Students must be in good academic standing (academic transcripts required). Two academic references will also be a required part of the student’s application.
Recruitment Procedures:

The U. S. Department of Education, Office of Management, Human Resources Services, will post a special announcement for the Martin Luther King, Jr., Scholars Program. The recruiting announcement will briefly describe the program and specify eligibility requirements, application procedures, citizenship requirements, contact information, and other required announcement information.

It will be posted on, on the U. S. Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) USAJobs website (, and on the new website.
The announcement will be open on January 8, 2003, and close on February 21, 2003. Scholars will be notified by March 31, 2003, of their acceptance to the program.

Students desiring to be Martin Luther King, Jr., Scholars will be required to submit:

  • A resume or application form (OF-612)

  • Proof of continuing enrollment (transcript or letter from the registrar)

  • Proof of academic good standing (transcript)

  • Two academic references (name, title, contact information)

  • Brief essay (500 words, 2 pages) on the link they see between the philosophies of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and education policy or public policy and administration.

  • A one-page cover letter on why the student wishes to be a Martin Luther King, Jr., Scholar and what he or she has accomplished or plans to accomplish that embraces Dr. King’s philosophies.

Applicants may also include a preference for an area of interest within the Department. Possible areas include: elementary and secondary education, vocational education, postsecondary education, civil rights, research, special education, English language acquisition, education innovation, teacher quality, legislation, and technology.

The U. S. Department of Education’s Human Resources Services will review the application packages for legal, regulatory, and program requirements.
Applications from eligible students will be referred to a panel for review of letters, essays, academic references, and transcripts. The panel will develop a list of the top

25-30 candidates. Applications will be evaluated based on academic achievement, the quality of thought exemplified in the letter and essay, and the strength of the candidate’s interest in education policy or public policy and administration. A second panel will be convened to make final selections from the top group of candidates.


Scholars will be expected to:

  • Commit to an eight-week period beginning June 16 and ending August 8, 2003;

  • Work closely with a Senior Official on a specific issue/project;

  • Participate in periodic briefings and other activities held for Scholars;

  • Prepare a final paper on the experience as a Martin Luther King, Jr., Scholar; and

  • Present a brief summary to Senior Staff outlining the specific issue or project worked on and any results or recommendations OR present a brief summary of their experience as a Martin Luther King, Jr., Scholar.

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