The Secretary of Defense shall ensure that the director of each defense laboratory establishes, in association with one or more public or private colleges or universities in the United States or one or more consortia of colleges or universities in the United States, cooperative work-education programs for undergraduate and graduate students.
(b) Under a cooperative work-education program established under subsection (a), a director referred to in that subsection may, without regard to any applicable non-statutory limitation on the number of authorized personnel or on the aggregate amount of any personnel cost—
make an offer for participation in the cooperative work-education program directly to a student and appoint such student to an entry-level position of employment in the laboratory of such director;
pay such person a rate of basic pay, not to exceed the maximum rate of pay provided for grade GS–9 under the General Schedule under section 5332 of title 5, that is competitive with compensation levels provided for entry-level positions in similar industry-sponsored cooperative work-education programs;
(c) A director of a defense laboratory may—
require a student, as a condition for receiving payments referred to in subsection (b)(4), to enter into a written agreement to continue employment in such defense laboratory for a period of service specified in the agreement; or
(2) In this subsection, the term “qualifying employee” means a student who is employed at the National Security Agency under—
a Student Educational Employment Program of the Agency conducted under this section or any other provision of law; or