Park Ranger Law Enforcement Academy


About This Program

Students must have completed a prior degree to apply for the Park Ranger Law Enforcement Academy (PRLEA). This certificate has dual certification in both Minnesota POST training and Federal Type II commission. Most commonly accompanying a law enforcement based degree, this program is one of only seven federal programs in the nation. (Previously titled Seasonal Park Law Enforcement Ranger Training or SPLERT).

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Degrees & Credits

Certificate (19 credits)


Program Video

Leader shaking hands of police offers with medals
Career Opportunities

An essential companion to a degree program

Traditionally the PRLEA certificate accompanies a law enforcement based degree program. This combination allows students to complete requirements for both a state and federal law enforcement position. Minnesota careers include Police Officer, Sheriff, Highway Patrol, and Conservation Officer. Federal Careers include National Park Ranger and Forest Ranger.


Bennett Sauve

Peace Officer Faculty and Program Director

Meet Our Alumni

Matthew Sanford in his uniform posing outdoors

Matthew Sanford

Seasonal Park Ranger Law Enforcement Certificate, '19

Minnesota North - Vermilion

US Army veteran Matthew Sanford was not your typical college student. The thirty-year old military police army captain came from the Department of Veteran Affairs Police in Connecticut with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice. Matthew’s goal for attending Vermilion the fall of 2019 was to become a National Park Service law enforcement park ranger somewhere “Out West.” Matthew possessed a quiet competence and maturity that influenced his Park Ranger Law Enforcement Academy classmates to work harder and achieve more.

After completing Vermilion’s program Matthew had three seasonal ranger jobs offers. He turned down offers at Everglades National Park and Cumberland Island National Seashore. Matthew chose Pecos National Historic Park because it helped him achieve his dream to get “Out West” to Santa Fe, New Mexico. Matthew impressed the park superintendent and chief ranger enough that they offered him a fulltime position, so his seasonal ranger job transitioned into a fulltime job at Valles Caldera National Preserve, the Nation’s newest preserve. The park offers him a variety of law enforcement, search, and rescue, and other opportunities. Matthew loves assisting park visitors, enforcing the law, and protecting the National Park Service’s resources.

Additional Information

Application Information

The PRLEA program is offered every fall semester. We do not offer the program at any other time. The program runs 16 weeks starting, usually, the third week of Aug- Mid December.

  • Step One: Apply to Minnesota North College – Vermilion and submit $20 application fee and transcripts
  • Step Two: Complete and Return PRLEA specific application materials (These are sent to College Applicants after Dec 1. for the next fall academy).
  • Step Three: After Feb 15. Spaces begin to be offered to applicants for upcoming Fall Semester.
  • Step Four: Attend PRLEA meeting and pay deposit (Late April TBA)


While not designed specifically to transfer, the PRLEA program has been accepted as a part of several bachelor degree programs for educational credit.