ProRanger cadets return to Prairie View A&M, share stories of summer success in national parks

ProRANGER – PVAMU cadets return summer report 8-8-2016 (003)

ProRanger cadets return to Prairie View A&M, share stories of summer success in national parks

College Station, TX —  Twelve Texas college students training to become National Park Service (NPS) law enforcement park rangers will report on their first summer of duty in several western parks on Thursday August 11, 2016 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. The presentations are open to the public and news media.

 The students, all first-year cadets in the NPS’s ProRanger Program at Prairie View A&M University, Texas A&M University and San Antonio College, will make individual presentations (8:30 a.m.– 2:30 p.m. CDT) in the Prairie View A&M Agriculture-Business Building, Room 114. This summer’s interns were assigned to nine national parks and monuments in seven states. (List of cadet interns and parks on page 2 of this news release.)

 The cadets serve two 12-week summer internships as part of their training in ProRanger. The program is a partnership between the eight-state, 84-park Intermountain Region of NPS and the Texas schools to recruit and train a new generation of diverse national park rangers. In particular, the involvement of Prairie View A&M, a historically black institution, gives NPS an opportunity to diversify the ranks of law enforcement rangers with young African American recruits, an underrepresented demographic.

 The two-year development program includes academic courses, paid internships, and attendance at the NPS Law Enforcement Academy at Colorado Northwestern Community College in Rangeley, CO. Cadets become commissioned law enforcement rangers in their second summer. Upon graduation, cadets are eligible for permanent hire as career U.S. park rangers.

ProRanger Program Manager Dr. Lavell Merritt established the program in December 2009 at San Antonio College in Texas.  The Intermountain Region program’s headquarters is now at Texas A&M in College Station, in the university’s Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Sciences. ProRanger continues to recruit students from San Antonio and the other four Alamo Colleges as well as Texas A&M and Prairie View A&M. It has placed 17 graduates in permanent law enforcement ranger posts in national parks.