Western State Colorado University
600 N. Adams Street
Gunnison, CO 81231
Fax: (970) 943-2363
Take a look at any map of the Gunnison Valley and it’s apparent that the opportunities available to Western outdoor education students are extraordinary. At Western, you will find a personable and relaxed learning environment that fosters the growth of the philosophical and physical skills you need to succeed. World class resources in the area mean you that have the opportunity to cultivate world class skills.
Western students majoring in recreation and outdoor education (ROE) may choose the standard Recreation & Outdoor Education program, the ROE outdoor environmental education emphasis, or the ROE outdoor leadership emphasis. Depending on your emphasis, you will graduate with skills that can range from broad to highly specialized.
Combining the study of educational and leadership theory and practice with technical outdoor travel and adventure skills, you may explore issues ranging from ethical controversies and risk management to program design.
Recreation and outdoor education is a great choice if you want to work in the field, but are unsure of a specific path. Students in recreation and outdoor education often pursue to careers with the U.S .Forrest Service, U.S. National Parks Service, community recreation departments or the manager or owner of a recreation based business.
Outdoor environmental education emphasis centers on the development of harmonious relationships between people and the natural environment. This program combines the hands-on field work of ROE with a focus on environmental stewardship which is so important in maintaining the opportunities we have today for generations to come.
Graduates go on to become high school or college educators, facilitators of outdoor education programs and environmental sustainability advocates.
The outdoor leadership emphasis develops your skills so you can take others to places they have never been. If you want to be a guide, this is your path to follow. With a combination of leadership theory, experiential learning and skills development and hands-on opportunities to lead, you will be prepared to lead field trips and adventure trips within the leisure industry.
Students who graduate from this program often go on to work for groups like NOLS, as independent or chartered guides and facilitators of corporate development programs.
At Western, the ability to refine your skills in a location which provides so many opportunities is part of what helps to make all our outdoor programs’ comprehensive and unique. The Gunnison Valley provides activities and terrain to keep you, no matter your skill level, challenged. You will learn new skills or refine existing talents on your own as your explore our unique environment.
Work with groups like Wilderness Pursuits or the Search and Rescue Team to developed strong institutional practices and knowledge. Internships with organizations like Outward Bound or Crested Butte Mountain Resort provide professional contact and real world job experience. What you do while you’re here depends on where you want to go, but everyone from the professional athlete to park ranger will find opportunities outside the classroom which will help to further develop your aspirations.