Two women teaching teachers in the forest.
The 2017 Teacher-Ranger-Teacher leading a teacher workshop

What is a Teacher-Ranger-Teacher?

The Teacher-to-Ranger-to-Teacher (TRT) program is an extended professional development opportunity for K-12 classroom teachers to learn about the resources and educational materials available through the National Park Service. Teachers selected as Teacher-Rangers spend the summer working with park staff on education projects, learning about park resources and visitor services, and developing lesson plans to use in their classrooms. Once they return to their schools, teacher-rangers bring their national park knowledge and experiences into the school and classrooms throughout the school year to engage students, faculty, and staff in lessons and activities that relate to Shenandoah National Park and other national park sites.

The emphasis of the TRT program is to connect National Park areas with teachers and their students who may have little or no experience with National Park Service. The program is a partnership with the University of Colorado Denver (CU Denver) which administers the program and provides graduate credits to participants.

Shenandoah National Park TRT Program

Teachers selected as a TRT spend 8-10 weeks between June and August working on a specific education-based project that varies from year to year based on the park's needs. TRTs must commit to a minimum of 240 hours and are automatically enrolled in an on-line graduate course through CU Denver. The tuition is paid by the National Park Service. TRTs are required to submit at least one lesson plan as part of the graduate course. The TRT receives a stipend for successful completion of TRT program commitments. The TRT must be able to commute to Shenandoah National Park (Luray, VA) as there is no temporary housing available.


To Teacher-Rangers:

  • Obtain new knowledge and skills by working with park staff

  • Enhance their curriculum in multiple content areas

  • Gain access to a wide array of teaching resources and tools

  • Create personal connection with national parks

  • Stipend for successful completion of TRT program commitments

  • Three graduate credit hours upon successful completion of course

To Students:

  • Provide an opportunity to connect to their nation's heritage in new and creative ways

  • Learn about the possibilities for volunteering and paid employment with the National Park Service

  • Receive new tools and resources for exploring natural and cultural history through national parks

To Shenandoah National Park:

  • Opportunity to reach new or under-served audiences through innovative, engaging programs

  • Build a network of enthusiastic, knowledgeable educators who are able to teach their students and colleagues about the significance of national parks and heritage conservation

  • Enrich the park visitor experience through the programming and visitor service offered by the teacher-ranger

Application Process

Shenandoah National Park recruits for TRTs with specific skills, grade levels, and subject matter expertise based on a specific education-based project each year. TRT project information is posted here and disseminated through the Virginia Department of Education. Teachers apply directly to the park by downloading and completing the application form.

Shenandoah National Park is no longer accepting applications for 2017. Download the previous application form.

More Information

Contact Tim Taglauer, via email at tim_taglauer@nps.gov or by phone, 540-999-3500 ext. 3488
The Shenandoah TRT program is funded by a generous donation from the Shenandoah National Park Trust.

Last updated: October 13, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Shenandoah National Park
3655 U.S. Highway 211 East

Luray, VA 22835


(540) 999-3500

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