Department Chair: Lee Frazer
Through the interdisciplinary umbrella of the liberal arts, Adventure Education prepares students in the scholarship, pedagogy, and technical skills for a variety of professional leadership and instructional opportunities. Students learn how to lead and teach in a variety of settings that use outdoor and adventure environments to promote positive change in individuals, organizations, and society. They learn how to use human-powered outdoor pursuits including backpacking, ropes-challenge courses, rock climbing, mountaineering, and river paddling to expose individuals and groups to new growth opportunities. Adventure Education majors also complete a three-course research requirement where they learn statistics and research methodology; and write and present an original research thesis to the campus community.
The Adventure Education major is academically rigorous and prepares students for professional positions with school and college outdoor programs; with non-profit and commercial outdoor education organizations; and with therapeutic adventure, environmental, and community recreation programs.
Students considering the Adventure Education major or minor should:
- Want to be an educator, using adventure programming to help others learn about the environment, enhance interpersonal and intrapersonal skills, and build community. This is not the program for those who want to be climbing guides, raft guides, hunting or fishing guides because a college degree is generally not required for these more seasonal positions.
- Be intellectually curious and want to learn the “why” behind the “what.” Adventure Education courses involve a great deal of reading, writing, critical thinking, research and analytical skills. This is not the program for those who just want to be outside.
- Be committed to education as much as to adventure. This includes academic motivation and a commitment to 20 to 30 hours a week outside of class reading, writing, engaging in group projects, and preparing for class. A minimum cumulative 2.5 grade point average and grades of C+ or higher are required to continue as an Adventure Education major or minor.
An immersion semester includes a 15-credit package of courses where students are in the mountains, canyons, and on the rivers several days and weeks at a time, and in full-day class sessions throughout the entire semester. Along with these 24/7, semester-long commitments, many of the field-based courses occur on weekends, over college breaks, and in summer sessions. Therefore, the schedule for Adventure Education students may limit extra-curricular and job involvements some semesters.
A note to transfer students: The Adventure Education immersion semester requires that students enroll in Wilderness Expedition (AE 201 ), Adventure Leadership (AE 210 ), and Teaching Methods for Adventure Educators (AE 220 ) in the same fall semester, along with two other AE courses - one of which is Wilderness First Responder (AE 230 ). AE 201 , AE 210 , and AE 220 must be taken together; they cannot be completed separately. Therefore, transfer students entering the program with one or two, but not all of these courses, will need to still take all courses in the immersion semester for on-time graduation. This may result in non-acceptance of some transfer credit.
Adventure Education Program Admission Requirements
The professional adventure educator must be competent in a variety of technical, instructional, leadership, and intellectual skills. In order to properly prepare students for this profession, and to help ensure that students are able to maintain satisfactory academic progress (which includes space available in scheduled courses), students admitted to the College must declare Adventure Education as their major or minor before being able to enroll in Adventure Education courses.
After matriculating at Fort Lewis College, all applicants for the Adventure Education program must submit the following materials to the program director by the Friday before Fall or Spring mid-term grades are posted. A completed application and meeting of all admittance requirements does not necessarily guarantee acceptance into the program.
Students interested in an Adventure Education Major or Adventure Education Minor must meet the requirements below:
- Students interested in the major: show proof of enrollment in or completion of: AE 101 with a grade of C+ or better and one outdoor skills and management course.
- Students interested in the minor: show proof of enrollment in or completion of: AE 101 with a grade of C+.
- Have a current minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.50, and a minimum Adventure Education grade point average of 2.50.
- Submit a completed Adventure Education major or minor application form to the program director by the Friday before Fall or Spring mid-term grades are posted.
||Students applying to the Adventure Education major must also submit (by the above deadlines): 1. A current professional résumé. 2. Two letters of recommendation, one from a Fort Lewis College faculty member (excluding Adventure Education faculty), and one from an adult professional (excluding immediate family) who is familiar with the student’s professional goals and work ethic.
Students applying for admission to the Adventure Education major or minor while they are still completing the courses described in #1 above may be granted conditional admission until proof of completing these courses with grades of C+ or higher is provided, along with proof of 2.50 grade point average both cumulative and in Adventure Education courses. Meeting all program admittance requirements does not necessarily guarantee acceptance into the program as a major or minor. Students not meeting these admittance requirements must select a different major.
The minor in Adventure Education is intended to allow students to complement their major with an adventure education component. Due to course capacity limitations, Adventure Education majors may have priority over minors.
Major in Adventure Education
Adventure Education Major
Minor in Adventure Education
Adventure Education Minor