Recreation & Outdoor Education

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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.

Next Steps

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.

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  2. Get more information about the program.
  3. 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.
  4. Start the online application process - apply online now.
  5. Find scholarships, grants, or financial aid that match your interests and situation.

Courses

FOR REQUIRED COURSES AND DEGREE PLANS, VISIT THE OFFICIAL UNIVERSITY CATALOG. This is a list of courses offered by Western State Colorado University. To ensure the courses you need are offered during the current semester, please visit the current university catalog at http://www.western.edu/catalog. To determined the courses required for your major, check the "Majors and Minors" tab for your area of study.

 ROE 182 - INTRO TO REC OUTDOOR EDUCATION (3 credits)

An introduction to the history, philosophy, founders, and principles of recreation and outdoor education, the agencies providing programs, and an investigation of professional employment opportunities in recreation.

 ROE 189 - PRINCIP OF OUTDOOR RECREATION (3 credits)

An exploration of the characteristics of wilderness and backcountry environments in terms of potential hazards and human capability for adverse impact on resource lands.The course is designed to create an outdoor education foundation and to enhance the knowledge of and appreciation for the natural environment so that safe, responsible and enjoyable outdoor adventures are possible. Leave No Trace Trainer curriculum will be covered and students will be provided the opportunity to earn a certificate. Prerequisite: Instructor Permission.

 ROE 230 - INTRP OF NATRL CULTL HISTORY (3 credits)

A study of the principles, philosophies, and practices of interpretation, as well as active approaches to describing, relating, displaying, and revealing resources to a variety of audiences, primarily through observation and involvement in a variety of interpretation programs. Prerequisites: BIOL 130, BIOL 150, BIOL 151 or GEOL 101.

 ROE 235 - FOUNDTN OF TEACHING ENVIR EDUC (3 credits)

A survey of environmental education examples from land management agencies, nature centers, and educational organizations. Students are guided to create their own curriculum employing environmental content. Field trips required.

 ROE 240 - ALTERNATIVE PROGRAMMING (3 credits)

Course participants gain insight into alternative programming for special populations. Students explore case studies, specialized equipment, and profiles of special populations. Guest speakers and site visits will help students understand the intricacies of alternative programming and requisite career qualifications. Field trips required.

 ROE 283 - LEADERSHIP AND FACILITATION (3 credits)

A study of recreation and outdoor education leadership, including leading activities, managerial leadership, and the art of facilitation. Emphasis is placed upon appropriate theories and techniques for varying populations.

 ROE 293 - OTDR PURSUITS EDUC-WATER W LAB (3 credits)

Water-based outdoor leadership, skill development in areas such as rescue techniques, rafting, and kayaking. Field trips required. Summer offering only. Consult with instructor prior to registration week. Prerequisites: ROE 189; ROE 283; and instructor permission.

 ROE 295 - OTDR PURSUITS EDUC-SNOW W LAB (3 credits)

Snow-based outdoor leadership, skill development in areas such as rescue techniques, mountaineering, back-country skiing, and winter camping. Field trips required. Spring offering only. Consult with instructor prior to registration week. Prerequisites: ROE 189; ROE 283; and instructor permission.

 ROE 296 - OUTDR PURSUITS EDUC-LAND BASED (3 credits)

Land-based outdoor leadership and skill development in areas such as rescue techniques, mountaineering, rock climbing, backpacking, and caving. Field trips required. Fall and summer offering only. Consult with instructor prior to registration week. Prerequisites: ROE 189; ROE 283; and instructor permission; co-requisite: ROE 320.

 ROE 320 - LEAVE NO TRACE EDUCATOR (1 credits)

A comprehensive overview of Leave No Trace skills and ethics. Time in the classroom, as well as in a backcountry setting, allows students to gain understanding of LNT history, theory, wilderness ethics and practical application of the seven principles and teaching techniques. Prerequisites: ROE 189; ROE 283; instructor permission; and pre-requisite or co-requisite of ROE 293, ROE 295, or ROE 296.

 ROE 333 - RECREATION AND SPORT MARKETING (3 credits)

A survey of recreation and sport marketing topics: buyer behavior, segmentation, positioning, demand analysis, information and research, pricing, promotion, channels, 'product' policies, destinations, sponsorship, endorsement, merchandising, and fundraising. Prerequisites: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of C- and completion of at least 30 credits; or instructor permission.

 ROE 351 - INQUIRY INTO SUSTAINABILITY (3 credits)

An investigation of sustainability and the interconnectedness of environment, economics, and society. Students are provided opportunities to examine their thoughts and behaviors as they pertain to sustainability. The course examines theoretical and practical examples of sustainable businesses, communities, and other systems. Teaching, applied projects, field trips, and/or participation in conferences may be required. Prerequisites: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of C- and completion of at least 30 credits; or instructor permission.

 ROE 364 - ENTREP AND COMMERC RECREATION (3 credits)

An analysis of the types of commercial and private enterprises, along with the qualities of the entrepreneur specific to recreation businesses. The student is also exposed to smallbusiness management practices as they relate to commercial recreation. Case study analysis and field investigation methods are emphasized to provide the student the opportunity to learn through active participation. Prerequisites: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of C- and completion of at least 30 credits; or instructor permission.

 ROE 391 - EXPTL EDUC THEORY PEDAGOGY (3 credits)

An introduction to the historical, theoretical, and pedagogical foundations of experiential education. Teaching opportunities in the classroom and/or in the outdoors allow students to hone facilitation styles and effectiveness. Course topics include the experiential learning cycle, reflective learning, feedback, edgework, communication techniques, and multiple intelligences. Prerequisites: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of C- and completion of at least 30 credits; or instructor permission.

 ROE 398 - PROGRAM PLANNING W LAB (3 credits)

Equips students with a variety of program-planning methodologies and skills. Emphasis is placed on the planning, organization, implementation, and evaluation of recreation programs. Theories are applied in an experiential setting. Prerequisites: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of C- and completion of at least 30 credits; or instructor permission.

 ROE 454 - HMN DVLPMT COUNS FOR OTDR ED (3 credits)

An investigation of human development theories enabling students to better understand their own motives in outdoor pursuits and allow them to more effectively program for, manage, and support a variety of client needs. Prerequisite: ROE 182; ROE 189; ROE 283; and one of the following: ROE 293, ROE 295, or ROE 296; and senior standing; or instructor permission.

 ROE 466 - FACILITIES MANAGEMENT (3 credits)

A study of management, clientele considerations, facilities, outdoor area planning, and operation. Also addressed are personnel, finance, architectural and environmental barriers, plus equipment as related to recreation areas and facilities. Field visits required. Prerequisites: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of C- and completion of at least 30 credits; or instructor permission.

 ROE 468 - LEADERSHIP AND ADMINISTRATION (3 credits)

A focus on the implementation of recreation and outdoor education programs, including planning, management and leadership, administrative duties, risk management, and specialized populations. Practical projects are employed as a means to provide students authentic experience in the field. Field trip(s) may be required. Prerequisites: senior standing or instructor permission.

 ROE 490 - RECREATION PHILOSOPHY ETHICS (3 credits)

An exploration of recreation philosophy from Plato to Petzoldt and its implications to professionals in the field. Designed to prepare ROE majors for the ethical challenges and time use dilemmas of the 21st century. Prerequisites: senior standing; corequisite: ROE 491.

 ROE 490 - RECREATION PHILOSOPHY ETHICS (3 credits)

An exploration of recreation philosophy from Plato to Petzoldt and its implications to professionals in the field. Designed to prepare ROE majors for the ethical challenges and time use dilemmas of the 21st century. Prerequisites: senior standing; corequisite: ROE 491.

 ROE 491 - REC OUTDR EDUC CAPSTONE (3 credits)

A small group of graduating seniors pursue a practical project necessitating professional levels of problem solving, research, written and oral prowess, critical thinking, and familiarity with core curriculum. Final projects are of high quality, so they can be used by professionals and decision-makers in the field. Prerequisites: senior standing. Corequisite 490.

 ROE 491 - SENIOR SEMINAR (3 credits)

A small group of graduating seniors pursue a practical project necessitating professional levels of problem solving, research, written and oral prowess, critical thinking, and familiarity with core curriculum. Final projects are of high quality, so they can be used by professionals and decision-makers in the field. Prerequisites: senior standing. Corequisite 490.

 ROE 496 - FE:SUSTAINABILITY TA (3 credits)

Provides students with directed field experiences in teaching, coaching, and laboratory settings. Guidelines for the field experiences are provided and agreed upon prior to registering for the course. Graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory only. Prerequisite: instructor permission.

 ROE 496 - FE:TEACHING ASST (3 credits)

Provides students with directed field experiences in teaching, coaching, and laboratory settings. Guidelines for the field experiences are provided and agreed upon prior to registering for the course. Graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory only. Prerequisite: instructor permission.

 ROE 496 - FE:VIDEOGRAPHER (1 credits)

Provides students with directed field experiences in teaching, coaching, and laboratory settings. Guidelines for the field experiences are provided and agreed upon prior to registering for the course. Graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory only. Prerequisite: instructor permission.

 ROE 496 - FIELD EXPERIENCES (1 credits)

Provides students with directed field experiences in teaching, coaching, and laboratory settings. Guidelines for the field experiences are provided and agreed upon prior to registering for the course. Graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory only. Prerequisite: instructor permission.

 ROE 496 - FE:FIRE CREW (1 credits)

Provides students with directed field experiences in teaching, coaching, and laboratory settings. Guidelines for the field experiences are provided and agreed upon prior to registering for the course. Graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory only. Prerequisite: instructor permission.

Scholarships

Scholarships associated with academic programs usually have a specific scholarship application form that can easily be obtained by contacting that academic program's office or visiting that academic program's web page. If you have any questions, please contact the Financial Aid office at 970.943.3085 or 800.876.5309.

 Eastman Awards in Recreation & Outdoor Education (ROE)

Eastman Awards in Recreation & Outdoor Education 

ROE Award is Available to:

The Eastman Awards recognize and encourage ROE majors who show diversity and outstanding achievement in the recreation field.

There are 4 Eastman Awards available:

New Student Award

Open to both new freshmen and new transfer students. Students must have a 3.0 cumulative grade point average and freshmen must also have a 21 ACT or 990 SAT. Students must also show a documented commitment to recreation as their major field of study at Western. Must show outstanding achievement in at least three of the following five areas:

  • Special Recreational Talents
  • Unique Recreational Endeavors
  • Obstacles Overcome
  • Community Service
  • Leadership 
Achievement Award

Available to junior and senior ROE majors with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Students must act as an outstanding role model in and out of the classroom and uphold the values of the recreation and leisure profession.  Must show outstanding achievement in at least three of the following five areas:

  • Special Recreational Talents
  • Unique Recreational Endeavors
  • Obstacles Overcome
  • Community Service
  • Leadership
Service to Humanity Award 

Available to junior and senior ROE majors. Must provide documentation of their outstanding service project(s).

Eastman Academic Award

Available to junior and senior ROE majors with a minimum GPA of 3.6 in the ROE program. Students must act as an outstanding academic role model.

ROE Awards are Provided by:

Don Eastman.

Amount: Amount depends on fund availability.

ROE Award Recipients Selected by: 

Western ROE Faculty.

Application:
Contact the RESS Department for application and deadline information. (970) 943-2010 - Wright Gym 209  

Find out more about Western's Recreation and Outdoor Education Program at www.western.edu/roe.

 RESS Student Professional Development Fund

RESS Student Professional Development Fund

Exercise and Sport Science Scholarship is Available to:

ESS and ROE majors who are full-time students at Western. The Student Professional Development Fund is to support professional activities such as professional certification exams, conference attendance, research, or other professional preparation activities. 

ESS Scholarship Provided by:

Alumni Donations 

Amount: Approximately $400 awarded every semester.

Scholarship Recipient Selected by:

Western RESS faculty committee  

Application:
Contact the RESS Department for application and deadline information. (970) 943-2010 - Wright Gym 209

Find out more about Western's Exercise and Sport Science Program at www.western.edu/ess.

Find out more about Western's Recreation and Outdoor Education Program at www.western.edu/roe.

 Ernest Degutis Scholarship

The Ernest Degutis Scholarship

This scholarship is available to ESS majors with demonstrated excellence in academics, and outstanding achievement in personal fields.

Eligibility Criteria:
  • ESS Major
  • Junior or Senior Class Standing
  • 3.0 Minimum GPA
  • Demonstrated Excellence in Academics
  • Show Outstanding Achievement in 4 of the following:
    • Special Talents
    • Leadership
    • Obstacles Overcome
    • Community Service
    • Unique Endeavors
Application Procedures:
  • A written letter of application - please include local address
  • Unofficial transcript (may use DegreeWorks)
  • 2 Letters of recommendation from WSC faculty or staff
    • Letters must NOT be from ESS department members
    • At least one letter must be from a faculty member
  • Essay addressing at least four of the five areas listed above

The Ernest Degutis Scholarship is Provided by:

Ernest Degutis

Amount: Amount depends on fund availability.

Scholarship Recipients Selected by: 

Western RESS Faculty.

Completed applications must be turned in to Terri in the RESS Department office in Wright Gym no later than the second Friday of April for the upcoming academic calendar year.

Find out more about Western's Recreation and Outdoor Education Program at www.western.edu/roe.

Faculty & Staff

Faculty

Senior Lecturer in Recreation and Outdoor Education
B.A., John Carroll University; , M.S., Western Illinois University
Phone: (970) 943-2115
Office Location: Wright Gym 222
Professor of Recreation and Outdoor Education
B.A., Eastern Washington University; M.S., Colorado State University; Ed.D., University of Northern Colorado.
Phone: (970) 943-7129
Office Location: Wright Gym 224
MEM Graduate Faculty, Professor of Recreation and Outdoor Education, Recreation and Outdoor Education Program Coordinator
B.S., University of New Hampshire; , M.A., Harvard Graduate School of Education;, Ph.D., University of New Hampshire.
Phone: (970) 943-2118
Office Location: Wright Gym 223
Senior Lecturer in Recreation and Outdoor Education
B.A., University of Western Sydney; M.A., University of New England at Armidale.
Phone: (970) 943-2292
Office Location: Wright Gym 232