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Since its inception in 1916, the National Park Service (NPS) has been dedicated to the preservation and management of the country’s most outstanding natural, historical and recreational resources. Today, the NPS encompasses 393 sites across the United States and in American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
So what is the "ProRanger Philadelphia" program?
"ProRanger Philadelphia" is an academic and training program that is cooperatively administered by the National Park Service and Temple University and was established to recruit and train park rangers for the National Park Service. Upon graduation from Temple University and successfully completing the ProRanger program, participants are placed in a permanent career tenure law enforcement park ranger position with the National Park Service.
How does the ProRanger Philadelphia program work?
Upon acceptance into the program during the freshman year, participants will enroll and successfully complete a three credit course on NPS Fundamentals, which will serve as a primer for the first of two summer national park internships. These paid summer internships, which take place between the freshman - sophomore and sophomore - junior years, expose the ProRanger Philadelphia trainee to the scope, breadth and complexities of working in a National Park setting. During the junior - senior summer, the ProRanger Philadelphia trainee will attend the Temple University Seasonal Law Enforcement Training Program Academy, thereby gaining the necessary qualifications to be issued a National Park Service law enforcement commission. After graduating from Temple University and completing the requirements of the ProRanger Philadelphia program, trainees will transition from trainee status into being a permanent full-time federal law enforcement park ranger.
What is the difference between the Certificate and the ProRanger program?
The ProRanger program is the partnership between Temple and the National Park Service. Students must first be accepted as a ProRanger to enroll in Temple’s Certificate in National Park Service Management. Successful completion of the ProRanger program will require attainment of the certificate and fulfillment of additional National Park Service requirements.
What do Commissioned Law Enforcement Park Rangers do?
The duties of a commissioned National Park Service law enforcement park ranger are as diverse as the 393 National Park units. In the morning, a park ranger may be busy doing traffic enforcement, the afternoon crime scene investigation or possibly taking part in a search and rescue mission. No two days are ever the same, and every day rangers go to work knowing that they are playing an important part in protecting some of America's greatest and grandest treasures.
What sort of duties will ProRangers complete on their internships?
The exact nature of the duties will in part depend on which park the ProRanger Philadelphia trainee is placed, and quite possibly on the background and interests of the trainee as well. If, for example, a trainee is a history major, an opportunity may exist to work in a park's cultural resource management or interpretive programs. Whatever area or areas the trainee is assigned to, the internship will provide the participant with an overview of park operations and a taste of working for the National Park Service.
Where will I do my summer internship and how will I receive credit?
Student internship placements will be made by the National Park Service at sites primarily in the Northeast and Capitol regions but could be at any location in the U.S. The academic course that accompanies the internship will be conducted in a distance learning format which will include virtual meetings.
How long are the summer internships?
Each summer internship is projected to last between 10 and 12 weeks.
Where (what parks) will ProRanger trainees be assigned to work at?
For internships, ProRanger trainees will be assigned to parks in pairs, and will be placed at one of the 76 National Park areas within the 13 states (and District of Columbia) that make up the Northeast and National Capital Regions. Trainees may request a specific park assignment within the Region, but the final decision on placement will be made by the ProRanger Philadelphia placement panel.
What about housing and transportation during the internships?
A number of options exist with regards to housing and transportation, all of which depend in part on the park and the mobility of the trainee. In many cases, National Parks are located in urban areas, or are serviced by public transportation, eliminating the need for private transportation. Even if a ProRanger Philadelphia trainee lacks access to private transportation, every effort will be made to accommodate that individual with a workable assignment. With regards to housing, it will be available for ProRanger Philadelphia trainees who will be working outside of commuting distance of their primary residence.
How much do ProRanger Philadelphia trainees get paid? What would be my salary upon completing the program?
ProRanger Philadelphia trainees are federal employees and pay is set by the General Schedule pay system for law enforcement officers (GL). At present, ProRanger Philadelphia trainees are paid a base rate of $14.74/hr for the first and second year internships. Upon initial placement after graduation, appointees will earn a base salary of $37,953, which will increase to $48,179 within 2 years, pending performance reviews. In all cases, it is likely that the participant's actual salary will be higher, depending on duty location (locality pay adjustments for urban areas) and work schedule (premium pay for overtime, nights, Sundays and holidays).
What if a ProRanger trainee wishes to continue their education at the graduate level?
Absolutely! National Park Service law enforcement park rangers have traditionally come from a diversity of educational backgrounds, and many have advanced degrees in the sciences and arts. Advanced degrees combined with career progression diversity supports employee upward mobility, and facilitates more successful competition for more senior or specialized opportunities.
Is the ProRanger Philadelphia program restricted to criminal justice majors?
Absolutely not! While the primary duties of the positions filled by ProRanger Philadelphia graduates will be law enforcement, interested parties willing to become law enforcement officers from any major or discipline are encouraged to apply.