FAQ

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?

The ProRanger Philadelphia Program is an academic and technical skills training and internship program that is cooperatively administered by the National Park Service and Temple University. The program was established to recruit, train and employ law enforcement park rangers for the National Park Service. National Park Service Law Enforcement Rangers are sworn, commissioned law enforcement officers whose duties include detection, investigation and apprehension of persons responsible for criminal activity as well as protecting parks' natural and cultural resources, educating the public and providing public safety services.

After successfully graduating from Temple University and meeting all program requirements and program standards, ProRangers are eligible for non-competitive conversion to a position as a Law Enforcement Ranger within the National Park Service. Students must apply for positions and be selected under the applicable hiring authority. There is no guarantee that a position will be obtained; however, it may be noted that all previous students who have successfully completed the program have obtained employment within the National Park Service.

How does the ProRanger Philadelphia program work?

Upon acceptance into the program during the sophomore year, participants will enroll in the Certificate in National Park Service Management. Paid summer internships, which take place between the sophomore - junior and junior - senior years, expose the ProRanger to the scope, breadth and complexities of working in a National Park setting. During the summer following graduation, the ProRanger will attend the Temple University Seasonal Law Enforcement Training Program, to gain the necessary qualifications to be issued a National Park Service law enforcement commission. The final requirement will be to complete an identified conservation project at an eligible national park along with members of the cohort. After successfully graduating from Temple University and meeting all program requirements and program standards, ProRangers are eligible for non-competitive conversion to a position as a Law Enforcement Ranger within the National Park Service.

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 at National Park Service sites primarily in the eastern half of the United States, but could be at a National Park Service unit anywhere in the nation. The 3-credit academic course (PRAN1577) 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 will last 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.

Will I be paid during my summer internship?

During their summer internships, ProRangers will receive a weekly stipend of $200; housing and uniforms will be provided. During attendance at the Seasonal Law Enforcement Training Program, tuition and weekly stipend will be provided.

How will I be placed after graduation?

After successfully graduating from Temple University and meeting all program requirements and program standards, ProRangers are eligible for non-competitive conversion to a position as a Law Enforcement Ranger within the National Park Service. Students must apply for positions and be selected under the applicable hiring authority. Although there is no guarantee that a position will be obtained, it may be noted that all previous students who have successfully completed the program have obtained employment within the National Park Service.

What would be my salary upon completing the program?

Upon initial placement after graduation, appointees will earn a base salary of $39,012, which will increase to $49,520 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.