Recreation & Outdoor Education

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Courses

For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

 ROE 182 - Introduction to Recreation and Outdoor Education (3 cred.)

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 - Principles of Outdoor Education (3 cred.)

An exploration of the theory and practice of outdoor education, with emphases on group dynamics, risk management, leadership, Leave No Trace, technical skills, and teaching, which are applied in a backcountry setting. This backcountry block course is offered outside the confines of the regular semester, so check dates before registering. Students who drop the course within two weeks of the start date will not have their course fees refunded. Prerequisite: Instructor permission.

 ROE 240 - Alternative Programming (3 cred.)

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 cred.)

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 - Outdoor Pursuits Education- Water (with laboratory) (3 cred.)

Skill development in areas such as leadership, facilitation, rescue techniques, white water rafting, stand-up paddle boarding, and kayaking, as well as a focus on environmental education. This backcountry block course is offered in summer only, so check dates before registering. Students who drop the course within two weeks of the start date will not have their course fees refunded. Prerequisites: ROE 189; ROE 283; and instructor permission.

 ROE 295 - Outdoor Pursuits Education- Snow (with laboratory) (3 cred.)

Skill development in areas such as leadership, teaching, traveling in avalanche terrain, backcountry skiing, and winter camping. This backcountry block course is offered outside the confines of the regular semester, so check dates before registering. Students who drop the course within two weeks of the start date will not have their course fees refunded. Prerequisites: ROE 189; ROE 283; and instructor permission.

 ROE 296 - Outdoor Pursuits Education- Land Based (with laboratory) (3 cred.)

Skill development in areas such as leadership, teaching, rock climbing, mountain biking, and backpacking. This backcountry block course is offered outside the confines of the regular semester, so check dates before registering. Students who drop the course within two weeks of the start date will not have their course fees refunded. Prerequisites: ROE 189; ROE 283; and instructor permission.

 ROE 333 - Recreation and Sport Marketing (3 cred.)

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 cred.)

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 - Entrepreneurship and Commercial Recreation (3 cred.)

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 398 - Program Planning (with laboratory) (3 cred.)

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 - Human Development and Counseling for Outdoor Educators (3 cred.)

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 cred.)

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 cred.)

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 and Ethics (3 cred.)

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 499 - Internship in Recreation and Outdoor Education (3 to 9 cred.)

A course providing full-time concentration on a specific practical experience at an approved agency. It allows for comprehensive involvement in an agency program with faculty and on-site supervision. Prerequisites: senior standing and instructor permission.

Faculty & Staff

Faculty

Matthew Ebbott, M.S. headshot
Senior Lecturer in Recreation & Outdoor Education and Environment & Sustainability, Director of First-Year Seminar Program
Phone: 970.943.2115
Office Location: Paul Wright Gym 222
Mark A. Gibson, Ed.D. headshot
Professor of Recreation & Outdoor Education
Phone: 970.943.7129
Office Location: Paul Wright Gym 229
Brooke Moran, Ph.D. headshot
Professor of Recreation & Outdoor Education for MEM Graduate Program, Graduate Faculty for Outdoor Industry MBA
Phone: 970.943.2118
Office Location: Wright Gym 223
Paul Tame, M.A. headshot
Senior Lecturer in Recreation & Outdoor Education
Phone: 970.943.2292
Office Location: Wright Gym 228
Jay Whitacre, Ph.D. headshot
Graduate Faculty for Outdoor Industry MBA, Lecturer in Recreation & Outdoor Education
Office Location: Paul Wright Gym 231

Scholarships

Program-Based Scholarships

Eastman Awards in Recreation & Outdoor Education (ROE)

Eligibility

  • ROE majors who show diversity and outstanding achievement

There are four Eastman Awards available:

1.) 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 
2.) 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
3.) Service to Humanity Award 

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

4.) 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.

Description

This scholarship is provided by Don Eastman, they are intended to recognize and encourage ROE majors who show diversity and outstanding achievement in the recreation field.

Amount depends on fund availability.

Selected by: ROE Faculty.

Application:

Contact the RESS Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2010 | Wright Gym 209  

RESS Student Professional Development Fund

Eligibility

  • Exercise & Sport Science and Recreation & Outdoor Education majors
  • Full-time at Western

Description

This scholarship is provided by Alumni Donations. The Student Professional Development Fund is to support professional activities such as professional certification exams, conference attendance, research, or other professional preparation activities. 

Approximately $400 awarded every semester.

Selected by: Western RESS faculty committee  

Application:

Contact the RESS Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2010 | Wright Gym 209

Learn more about Western's Exercise & Sport Science Program

Learn more about Western's Recreation & Outdoor Education Program

Ernest Degutis Scholarship

The Ernest Degutis Scholarship

This scholarship is available to Exercise & Sport Science (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 four 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)
  • Two letters of recommendation from Western 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 depends on fund availability.

Scholarship Recipients Selected by: 

Western Recreation, Exercise & Sport Science (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.

Eastman Awards in Recreation & Outdoor Education

Eligibility

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

There are four awards available:

1.) 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 
2.) 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
3.) Service to Humanity Award 

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

4.) 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.

Description

This scholarship is provided by Don Eastman.

Amount depends on fund availability.

Selected by: ROE Faculty

Application:

Contact the RESS Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2010 | Wright Gym 209  

Eastman Award In Recreation & Outdoor Education

Eastman New Student Award

Eligibility

  • Must be a new freshmen or a new transfer student
  • Minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA
  • Freshmen must also have 21 ACT/990 SAT
  • Must show documented commitment to the Recreation & Outdoor Education major 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

Description

This scholarship is provided by Don Eastman.

Amount depends on fund availability.

Selected by: Western ROE Faculty

Application:

Contact the RESS Department for application and deadline information

 Phone: 970.943.2010 | Office: Wright Gym 209

Institutional Scholarships

Common Scholarships

Western offers approximately 70 common scholarships for which a wide variety of students are eligible (e.g., locals, veterans, transfers). Apply for any number of these common scholarships using Western’s Common Scholarship Application, which is due April 1. For more information, visit western.edu/scholarships.

Early Action Credit

If a student is accepted to Western by Nov. 1 and qualifies for a merit scholarship, the student will receive an additional $500 for the first year. Use our Net Price Calculator to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

Western Colorado University alumni can nominate prospective students for a $500 scholarship ($250 per semester) for first year only. Application deadline is typically June 1. For more information, visit western.edu/mars.

Neighboring States Program

Students with a permanent address from one of the seven contiguous neighboring states to Colorado who have demonstrated financial need are automatically considered for a special $1,000 per year grant, totaling $4,000 over four years.

The Western Neighboring States program can be added to WUE, CP or merit scholarships. So, if you are a permanent resident of one of those seven states—and show financial need—you are eligible.

For more information about the Neighboring States program, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Presidential Promise

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential promise, visit western.edu/scholarships.

Tuition Discount Programs

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Western Merit Scholarship

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student's GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship. 

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit western.edu/scholarships.

Get Involved

A college education is more than just taking courses. Meet new people, apply your skills and stretch beyond your comfort zone. Make your education an experience.

  • Advanced Leadership Expedition: Students expand their global perspectives and hone their leadership skills by traveling to developing nations. 
     
  • Certifications: Students are required to obtain 100 hours of professional certifications in addition to their Wilderness First Responder certification.
     
  • Field Courses: Four courses feature multiple days and nights spent in the backcountry.
     
  • Internships: Students often land full-time professional positions in the agencies they intern with for their capstone experience.
     
  • Teaching: Many students apply to work as TAs after their freshman year.

Recreation & Outdoor Education (ROE) is about creating opportunities for people to live healthy, engaged and happy lives. Students learn the technical, interpersonal and leadership skills—as well as managerial know-how—required of a successful professional in the billion-dollar outdoor industry. Located in the magnificent Gunnison Valley, Western’s ROE program combines a tightknit classroom environment with world-class field experiences for students to turn their passion for the outdoors into rewarding careers with organizations like Outward Bound, National Outdoor Leadership School and the National Park Service.

Learn More

Reach out for more information about the program.

Mark_A_Gibson
Professor of Recreation & Outdoor Education
Phone: 
Office Location: 
Paul Wright Gym 229

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