Frequently Asked Questions:
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 over 400 sites across the United States and in American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands.
What is the "ProRanger Philadelphia" program?
ProRanger Philadelphia 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 and train 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. Law enforcement rangers as also protect national parks' natural and cultural resources, educate the public about the parks and provide 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. It is, however, important to note that all previous students who have successfully completed Temple’s program have obtained employment within the National Park Service.
What should I expect during the recruitment process?
After you fill out the initial application, you will receive an invitation to Preview Day. At Preview Day, you will have the opportunity to meet alumni of the ProRanger Program and other park rangers who can tell what the job is really like and answer your questions. You will be asked to participate in a series of group activities during which you will be observed by the rangers. You will also participate in a PEB (Physical Efficiency Battery) to establish your baseline physical fitness.
After Preview Day, you should complete the full application which will be read by park rangers around the country. Then you will be invited to an interview. Interviews will be conducted by two representatives of the program – one from Temple and one from the NPS.
Information from every step of this process will be used to make selection decisions. If you are selected, you will be invited to an Orientation Day.
It is important that you are available for every step of the selection process. Please check the calendar and let Vicki McGarvey or Adrian Fernandez know if you have any pre-existing conflicts. You will be provided with a letter for your instructors if you must miss a class.
How does the ProRanger Philadelphia program work?
Upon acceptance into the program, participants will enroll in the Certificate in National Park Service Management. Paid summer internships, expose the ProRanger to the scope, breadth, and complexities of working in a National Park setting. During the academic year and breaks students participate in required activities and training to prepare them for their internships and careers as rangers. During the summer following graduation, the ProRanger will attend the Temple University Park Ranger Law Enforcement Academy,(located at the Temple Ambler Law Enforcement Training Center) to gain the necessary qualifications to be issued a National Park Service law enforcement commission. 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. Students may begin taking coursework for the certificate prior to applying to the program.
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 400+ National Park units. In the morning, a park ranger may be busy doing traffic enforcement, the afternoon crime scene investigation or 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. Duties also vary widely based on the park location. Many parks are located in or near Urban areas like Philadelphia!
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. During the course of the internship, the opportunity will exist to work across a park's divisions which may include resource management, administration, maintenance, interpretive programs and of course law enforcement. Wherever an intern is assigned, the internship will provide the participant with an overview of park operations and a taste of working for the National Park Service, as well as in-depth exposure to being a law enforcement ranger.
Where will I do my summer internship and how will I receive credit?
Student internship placements will be at National Park Service sites and will not be completed for credit. During your summer internship, you will be required to take a 2-credit academic course (PRAN1577) which will be conducted in a distance learning format and will include virtual meetings.
What other commitments should I know about?
The ProRanger Program seeks to provide students with comprehensive experience to prepare them for their summer internships and for their careers as rangers. Students must commit to additional training which may take place over Winter Break, Spring Break and on weekends. See the calendar for specific dates.
How long are the summer internships?
Summer internships will last 12 weeks.
Where (what parks) will ProRangers be assigned to work?
While most interns will be placed at one of the partner parks in the Northeast or National Capital Region, the program includes partner parks across the country. Intern requests for specific partner parks will be considered; however, the final park placement will be made by the ProRanger Program Manager.
What about housing and transportation during the internships?
Housing will be provided for interns who will be working outside of commuting distance of their primary residence. In many cases, National Parks are located in urban areas or are serviced by public transportation. Every effort will be made to accommodate individuals with a workable assignment.
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 be hired at a GL-5 on the federal law enforcement officer salary scale. Within a year new hires will be promoted to a GL-7, and with two years of good performance reviews, they will be promoted to a GL-9. It is likely that the graduate'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).
Is the ProRanger program restricted to criminal justice majors?
Absolutely not! The primary duties of ProRanger graduates will be visitor and resource protection, which includes law enforcement, fire fighting, search and rescue, and emergency medical response. Interested students from any major or discipline are encouraged to apply.