Is this the Right Program for You?
Creating an Application
Adding Internship Positions
Status of Application
The Complete Application
SCA offers multiple programs based on age and location. If you're not sure which one is right for you, explore the options before starting an application.
Expense-paid internships are for those 18 and older. They include team-oriented experiences and individual postings.
Learn about National Conservation Crews or Community Programs for ages 15-19. (Some Community Programs use a different application process. Use the contact information for specific cities to learn more about their opportunities and application.)
Field Leader staff positions are seasonal or year-round, and provide employment for those 21 and older.
The Student Conservation Association (SCA) partners with federal agencies and other public and private organizations to provide expense-paid internships. We recruit a national pool of applicants, then we help them complete his or her online application. Finally, we presecreen candidates for our partners. Generally, non-SCA staff at the site where an internship is located select specific candidates from our pool to interview. Those site supervisors make the actual selection of interns.
Early review for summer positions begins in mid-February each year.
A $25 application fee ($40 for non-US citizens) is due once per person per lifetime and covers an unlimited number of internship positions. The fee helps us develop and maintain the technolgoy for our green - almost paperless - process.
Once the fee page appears, it's necessary to submit payment before finishing or editing what you've already worked on. The application software itself limits further access until the $25 fee is paid.
There are two ways to pay:
Student Conservation Association National Headquarters
PO Box 550
Charlestown, NH 03603
Once you've created one account for internships, you never need to create another. Just update your existing application. If you've forgotten your username and password, you can retrieve them. Just click on Login to MySCA and follow the instructions. Periodically, check and update your availability dates in order to keep your application current.
Taking the time to include your interests, abilities and preferences in detail is vital to creating a competitive application. Be specific about tasks you've accomplished and skills in which you've achieved full competency. Include volunteer service projects, independent study, or science lab assignments. Identify outdoor skills gained in scouting, summer camp experiences or on family trips. Be specific. Can you hike 2 miles? 10? 20? Have you done public speaking to groups outside class? Did you compile data or analyze it?
We consider all of this carefully to find candidates who closely match the requirements and overall needs of available positions.
Placement happens almost every business day, so there's no single deadline. Each deadline is relative to the position start date. We review and coordinate applications and positions throughout the year.
Read carefully to find positions that match the dates you'll be available, the skills you offer and any specific requirements listed (car available, valid driver's license, etc.). If an internship requires a car and you haven't checked that you have one, we can't consider you.
Be sure to consider the living situation and daily routine. Will you be comfortable living in a tent? Do you love to spend lots of time alone in the woods? Or would your prefer to be part of a group?
In this case, the site supervisors are still looking for just the right person. The actual start date will be as soon as possible once that person is found. The length of the internship will be the same length as stated in the position description, regardless of start date, so the end date will be extended.
Add at least 4-8 to increase your chances of being selected. Don't hesitate to add many more if you find more you're seriously interested in.
You'll be more competitive if you choose several geographic areas and more than one type of position.
Yes, it does. It's best to choose a variety of locations around the country and different types of positions.
The most competitive sites are in Alaska and Hawaii, as well as the most well known National Parks, such as Yellowstone and Yosemite. For better success, be sure to include less familiar sites in other states. Interns have amazing experiences wherever they serve.
Please be reasonably sure that if a position were offered to you, you would accept it.
At least one reference is required before your application is considered complete. The first step is easy; you just send the request found in the application to someone who knows your skills and abilities. It's a really good idea to check in a few days to make sure he or she has submitted the reference to the SCA. You're welcome to ask several people to provide a reference for you.
IMPORTANT: We only review complete applications; those include at least one reference.
After you've logged in, look at the "Applications" section of the Home tab. Your application status will be listed next to each of your applications.
You will qualify to be considered for an invaluable expense-paid internship when:
You can go back and update information or add positions at anytime.
If your plans change and you're no longer available at this time but think you might wish to apply in the future, please change your availability dates - move them ahead a year, for instance. See FAQs to learn how.
Our partners submit their internship positions to SCA on a rolling basis throughout the year. Some are posted more than three months in advance. Others are posted much closer to the start date. Because of this, the process is dynamic. Check back often to learn the status of the internships you've added.
Review and sending applications to sites is done by SCA Advisors. The hiring official for each position considers the candidates whose applications we’ve sent to them.
Review and placement begins 3 months prior to position start dates and continues until all positions have been filled.
One of the services SCA provides our partners is prescreening applications to reduce the number they review. This is invaluable to them because some of the most popular positions have up to two hundred applicants.
Absolutely. If you are in the first group reviewed but do not get selected by a site, there may be an opportunity for your application to be sent to additional sites. Sometimes site supervisors don't find just the right person in the first group we send them and ask to see more applications. We'll screen more candidates who qualify.
Keep checking back to see if positions you're interested in have been filled or cancelled. Search for and add more positions for us to consider you for.
Yes. New positions are constantly coming in to SCA and quite often there is a relatively short interval between posting and the start date. Check back frequently to search for positions that have recently been posted. You can continue to add more as long as you wish.
Once your application is Sent, you'll receive an email. It will usually contain information about how to reach the site coordinator. It's a good idea to give them a quick call so that they hear directly from you about your interest.
If you don't receive contact information, the site staff member in charge of hiring has chosen to contact you and would prefer not to be contacted directly by candidates.
The more active and involved you are, the better your chances of landing one of our highly sought-after internships.
Go to the FAQs for additional details.