Welcome

 

The Outdoor Leadership Studies Program at Warren Wilson College focuses on outdoor adventure education and leadership. This comprehensive program benefits from the fact that Warren Wilson College is a special liberal arts college: a college where professional education in outdoor leadership studies is fused with study of the arts and humanities.

A unique aspect of the program is the cooperative efforts between the North Carolina Outward Bound School, which has its administrative offices near the campus, and Warren Wilson College. The North Carolina Outward Bound School is one of the premiere outdoor education centers in the United States.

In addition to the Outward Bound connection, the department is a proud partner of the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics. We share in, practice, and support Leave No Trace skills and ethics.

The Outdoor Leadership Studies Department offers the Outdoor Educator Term course in cooperation with the North Carolina Outward Bound School. This is an eight week field based course that will examine teaching, leadership and safety issues pertaining to outdoor adventure education. The course is designed to provide students with the opportunity to learn and develop knowledge and skills that will assist them in teaching, living and traveling in a backcountry environment. The course will have a strong commitment to the Outward Bound philosophy and methodology. It emphasizes group process, effective communication, wilderness medicine, risk management, basic technical skill development, including wilderness skills, leave no trace camping, rock climbing, orienteering, canoeing, and trip planning.

Who Majors in Outdoor Leadership Studies?

General Course Load

Our curriculum focuses on education, facilitation and experiential learning methodologies. We are not a technical skills training program. All of our courses combine theory with practice and many incorporate some type of service learning.

The course of study includes interpersonal and leadership skills such as group process, conflict resolution, program planning, a broad understanding of administrative issues, and introduction to technical skills such as backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, and rock-climbing. In addition, students take supporting course work from various outside disciplines depending on career interests and needs. Options include Social Work, Education, Business, Psychology, Religion, and Environmental Studies.

Special Programs

Opportunities made available to majors in this program include:

Curriculum

Leave No Trace

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The Bachelors of Arts degree program is designed to prepare you for a leadership role in the professional field of outdoor adventure education. We focus on education, facilitation and experiential learning methodologies. We are not a technical skills training program.

Your course of study includes interpersonal and leadership skills such as group process, conflict resolution, program planning, a broad understanding of administrative issues, and introduction to technical skills such as backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, and rock-climbing. In addition, you will take supporting course work from various outside disciplines depending on career interests and needs. Options include Social Work, Education, Business, Psychology, Religion, Forestry and Environmental Studies.

As an Outdoor Educator you will be developing skills and expertise in a variety of areas: outdoor leadership, program planning and design, group process, counseling theories, camp craft, and technical skills (rock climbing, canoeing, back-packing) needed to be a competent professional. All of the faculty take pride in working closely with students, and are convinced that the personal instruction offered by the faculty is critical to the success of our graduates.

The faculty who teach in the Outdoor Leadership degree program come from a variety of backgrounds and expertise. We all have a strong commitment of providing you with the highest quality education. We do this through a combination of both classroom and field experiences. Incidentally, all of our faculty participate in outdoor adventure education activities such as white water rafting, rock and ice climbing, back-packing, mountain biking and wilderness expeditions.

If you have any questions about Warren Wilson College, or the Outdoor Leadership Degree Program, please call us at 828-771-3007.