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 SRU Park Ranger Program Named Best in Nation by Outside Magazine 



Aug. 19, 2003

CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine (724) 738-4854; e-mail:


           SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – The September issue of Outside magazine names Slippery Rock University’s Park Ranger Program the best in the country, calling it one of 10 “fast tracks to adventure” in academia.

           The program is so good Rock graduates may soon be calling Yosemite “the office,” the Santa Fe-based magazine, circulation 650,000, noted in a special report on colleges.

            Outside named its 10 favorite adventure jobs and the top academic programs in higher education that will get you there. Other careers and universities included environmental activist Duke University, environmental architect University of California, Berkeley, and geologist University of Michigan.

Building on 30 years of leadership

           SRU has offered park ranger training for more than 30 years, having launched its program in the early 1970s after the National Park Service recognized the need for additional ranger staffing.

           The program includes five, three-hour courses over two consecutive semesters. The program is based on an integrated academic model, which allows students to pursue a degree program while in ranger training. The ranger curriculum is certified by the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

           “There has never been a better time to start a career in this field,” says SRU’s  Dr. John Lisco, program director. “The pay has increased significantly over the last 10 years, and many parks expect to experience significant retirements in the next two-to-six years.”

National parks hire Rock graduates

           Lisco says the program accepts a maxim of 32 students. Graduates have found full-time employment at Yellowstone National Park, Yosemite National Park, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gates of the Arctic National Park (Alaska), Antietam Battlefield, Chesapeake and Ohio National Park, and Glen Cannon National Recreation Area in Arizona, among others.

            Park ranger is offered by SRU’s department of parks and recreation/environmental education,  in the College of Health, Environment and Science.

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