Students in our Adventure Education (AE) major learn to be educators, facilitators, and leaders—qualities that make the difference between getting the job and not getting it, regardless of the field. The kind of problem-solving that goes into risk assessment, the facilitation skills required to manage group dynamics in challenging situations, and the ability to communicate clearly enough for someone else to learn a task when there are real consequences are skills in demand everywhere.
The AE faculty collectively hold over 100 years of professional experience in a variety of fields in the outdoor industry and beyond—from wilderness therapy, outdoor education, and wilderness travel guiding, to executive leadership training and work in government agencies. AE faculty regularly call on their professional networks in introducing their students to life beyond FLC. Additionally, spending time with students in the field, faculty gain key insights into students’ strengths and where their key learnings lie ahead of them. Combining these insights, with their knowledge of the industry, faculty act as mentors for students in helping them navigate this uncertain time.
Professional development opportunities
Every bit as much a professional development program as it is an academic one, Adventure Education relates its methodologies to work in real-life situations throughout the program.
AE students complete an internship as part of the program to put their academic training into context with an actual program. While students intern around the country, there are many, many options right in Southwest Colorado.
Research & presentations
AE students conduct research and present their findings at regional conferences held by the Association of Experiential Education. In fact, it’s common for AE students to receive employment offers at these conferences, based largely on the strength of their presentations.
Through courses such as Teaching Methods for Adventure Education (AE 220), and Organization and Administration of Adventure Education (AE 450), you’ll partner with local groups to work directly with the people they serve, learn about their operations, and gain an inside perspective on running adventure education programs.