Why Recreation & Outdoor Education?
In Colorado alone, outdoor recreation contributes nearly $35 billion annually in economic activity, and creates over 310,000 jobs. Colorado's 2014 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) identifies five priority areas to focus on for the next five years, and Outdoor Education is at the top of the list. In the United States, wildlife-related recreation had 90.1 million participants, and accounted for $144.7 billion in expenditures, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2011 report. The goal of Western's Recreation & Outdoor Education program is to prepare students for a career in this diverse field!
At Western, high value is placed on experiential learning as well as field-based learning. In addition to in-school curriculum, all students majoring in Recreation & Outdoor Education must work or volunteer for a total of 600 hours within their chosen area of specialization within four years prior to graduation. The Outdoor Leadership or Outdoor Environmental Education emphases also have the requirements of a consecutive two-week backcountry expedition with an industry leader, as well as Leave No Trace Master Educator and Wilderness First Responder certifications. These requirements help our students with job placement after graduation!
In addition to the traditional competencies and critical and creative thinking skills expected of all liberal arts students, those majoring in Recreation & Outdoor Education learn how the overall quality of life can be enhanced by the integration of appropriate leisure and educational activities. As well, students who graduate from the program gain confidence and leadership skills that can be applied in a variety of professional fields. Recreation & Outdoor Education majors pursue careers in many different areas. Options include employment with outdoor and environmental education centers, specialty outdoor training schools, municipal park and recreation departments, social services, land management agencies, military programs, student services in higher education, and commercial guiding operations, among others. With additional graduate work, even more options are available.
If you're interested in Western's Recreation and Outdoor Education Program, we invite you to take the next steps towards becoming a part of the Mountaineer family.
Share your interest with friends and family:
- Get more information about the program.
- Schedule a campus visit so you can meet professors, see the beautiful Gunnison Valley, and find out if Western is the perfect school for you.
- Start the online application process - apply online now.
- Find scholarships, grants, or financial aid that match your interests and situation.