National Park Service goes back to college
By The Post's Federal Diary columnist Joe Davidson:
Like a good manager, Jill Hawk could see staffing problems looming.
As chief ranger for the National Park Service's northeast region, she knew that about 55 percent of her rangers are eligible to retire in the next five years. With white rangers making up more than 80 percent of her force, there was a clear need for diversity. There's also the problem of Park Service law enforcement rangers in urban areas quitting after a year or two to join other agencies or move to one of the large, rural parks, like Yellowstone.
That's not the scenario she wanted.
So in 2007, she teamed with Anthony Luongo, director of criminal-justice programs at Temple University. It was a good fit. Temple has a nationally ranked criminal-justice program and a student body more diverse than most. Hawk and Luongo developed ProRangers, a different kind of internship program that is designed to attract a broad range of students who might not have considered careers in law enforcement, particularly in an urban national park like Baltimore's Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. This is the first year ProRanger Philadelphia has been in operation. San Antonio College in Texas, a two-year institution, has a similar program.
| August 11, 2010; 11:00 AM ET
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