Posts Tagged ‘durango’

The Top 5 Job Opportunities for a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Fort Lewis College in Adventure Education

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013


Frequently we are asked by parents of prospective students “what can you do with an Adventure Education degree?” Here is a list of the top 5 job opportunities for a Bachelor of Arts degree in Adventure Education:

  1. School-based outdoor education and adventure education programs These are typically programs in independent schools. This past year one of our AE students did an internship at Timberline Academy in Durango, and then was immediately hired as a teacher at that school. Other examples of schools that hire staff to run their outdoor programs include Colorado Rocky Mountain School, Sandia Prep and Albuquerque Academy in Albuquerque, NM, Chapman School in California, a large number of prep schools in New England (i.e. Proctor Academy, Holderness School, White Mountain School, etc), Wasatch Academy in Utah currently has one of our AE majors interning there in their Outdoor Program.
  2. College recreation programs Last spring we posted a job for an Outdoor Recreation Director at Harvard University which required a B.A. in Adventure Education. Last year one of our AE graduates interned at a 2 year college in Coeur de Alene, Idaho. Another of our AE graduates did an internship with the University of Las Vegas-Nevada.
  3. Adventure Therapy or Wilderness Therapy programs such as Open Sky Wilderness based in Durango, CO. Last year our AE 450 class “Organization and Administration of Adventure Education” did an extensive accreditation review project with Open Sky. Other therapeutic programs are in almost every state.
  4. Environmental Education programs such as Keystone Environmental Center. Many states have an outdoor/environmental education center that school districts send all their 6th graders to for a week. These programs hire staff. Another of our AE graduates did an internship with Southwest Conservation Corps.
  5. Other Independent programs such as Boojum Institute in California (works with school, community and corporate groups), ropes course programs and of course seasonal work in programs such as Outward Bound and NOLS. Our Adventure Education program sent another of our AE graduates to intern with an environmental canopy tours program in North Carolina.

As you can see from the list above, there are MANY job opportunities for employment with a degree in Adventure Education. The Bureau of Labor statistics also predicts that from 2010-2024 jobs in this category are expected to grow faster than average.

5 Great things about Adventure Education at Fort Lewis College

Thursday, February 7th, 2013


Some highlights of the Adventure Education program for your consideration! Listed below are some of the reasons our students choose our outdoor education program:

  1. A 15-credit immersion semester where you take only Adventure Education courses, spending 4 to 10 days at a time backpacking and canoeing in the mountains and deserts of the Four Corners region. Courses include Wilderness Expedition (AE 201), Adventure Leadership (AE 210), Teaching Methods for Adventure Educators (AE 220), Wilderness First Responder (230), Challenge Course Fundamentals (AE 251).
  2. Experiential and project-based instruction where you learn by doing, as well as by reading and writing about what you’re doing. You produce projects and programs for real client groups, attend and present workshops at professional conferences, and have opportunities to do actual teaching.
  3. Accrue at least 60 days of leadership and instruction experience, beyond class time, typically through summer jobs you must plan for with camps and outdoor programs. This is a required prerequisite for the internship for AE majors.
  4. A three-course research requirement for AE majors, where you learn statistics, research methodology, and create and present an original piece of research to the campus community. Research skills make you more employable with programs that analyze data to describe their results.
  5. An internship with an adventure-based program lasting 7 to 15 weeks. The internship for AE majors is often a stepping stone to your first job as an adventure educator.
These are the things that make a Bachelor of Arts degree from Fort Lewis College in Adventure Education a valuable investment for life!

Telemark Skiing AE 141-Backcountry Skiing in the San Juan Mountains around Fort Lewis College

Monday, November 26th, 2012


This course, offered by the Adventure Education B.A. degree program at Fort Lewis College in Durango CO, is an introduction to telemark and backcountry skiing for the adventure educator.  It includes turning, body position, selection, use and maintenance of equipment, safety procedures, group management, and winter alpine Leave No Trace practices.  This course is restricted to Adventure Education majors and minors. 


Prerequisites: Adventure Education major. Students who anticipate declaring an Adventure Education minor should speak with the instructor about waiver of prerequisites.  Additional course fee: $150, paid when you registered (which covers gear maintenance and replacement, ski passes, and transportation).

Outdoors in Education-Challenge Course Fundamentals course at Fort Lewis College in Durango CO

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Challenge Course

“Many would say that a challenge course is simply an elaborate playground that affords a participant fun along with a sense of adventure.  In some ways this is true, but such a statement is much too limited in what it conveys.”

– Camille Bunting, Ph.D., Texas A&M University

(Former professor of outdoor education and prominent challenge course researcher)

For the beginning adventure education professional, Challenge Course Programming (AE 251) covers important content.  After all, challenge courses are ubiquitous in our profession, and trends suggest this will continue.  Simply put, they allow us to “bring the adventure to our backyard.”  Their popularity has resulted, in part, from their accessibility and controllability – qualities inherent to many “artificial” adventure learning environments – both of which can yield powerful learning experiences that can be facilitated to apply to home, work or school.

This course introduces the class to the operation of a variety of low and high challenge course initiatives for adventure programming in problem solving, trust, team building, self-confidence, and communication skills. Includes belay and high ropes rescue techniques.

For more information about Fort Lewis College’s Adventure Education program visit:  

Adventure Education Immersion Semester among “Wildest”

Monday, October 1st, 2012

As our outdoor education program grows, with Fort Lewis College offering a Bachelor of Arts degree in the field of Adventure Education, so does our “notoriety”.  

The former CEO of, Jim Spanfeller, has launched an outdoors/active-lifestyle publication, The Active Times, based in New York-and chose to feature our Immersion Semester as one of  “6 wildest college semesters”.   Read the article here

Fort Lewis College has offered the outdoor education-based degree for the last 5 years and has grown in enrollment an average of 30% per year since it’s inception.  Highlights that separate our program from others include an internship in the field for credit, senior research project and the immersion semester, where you take only Adventure Education courses for a full semester.

For more information on our program, visit our website at

AE321-Lead Rock Climbing Prepares Adventure Education Majors at Fort Lewis College

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

AE 321 is an advanced climbing skills course focusing on traditional lead climbing, including selection and placement of protection, route finding, lead climbing and belaying techniques, multiple pitch climbing, advanced anchor building, rescue systems, and climbing instructional strategies.


Like other AE outdoor skills courses this course is not an activity course, per se, but a professional skills course for preparing adventure educators in the field of outdoor education to work effectively in institutional settings. 

 For those without leading experience, your climbing knowledge and skills will grow dramatically. For those with leading experience, this course will introduce you to the institutional context, expand your repertoire of lead climbing skills, and begin to prepare you to work directly with the kinds of clients/students you may encounter in an adventure education program which uses lead climbing to accomplish educational goals. If you’re interested in working as a professional climbing guide or for an organization like Outward Bound or NOLS with a well-managed climbing or mountaineering program, then I suggest you eventually look into seeking certification through the American Mountain Guides Association (AMGA).  This course provides a strong foundation for moving in that direction, particularly if you’ve had limited exposure to lead climbing in institutional settings. 

 What this course is not:

  • If you have limited traditional lead climbing experience, this class will not turn you into a masterful lead climber – there’s simply not enough time for this. However, it will serve as a “spring-board” for further education and development. 
  • The focus in this course is not on making you a stronger climber, but a smarter climber. You can get strong on your own time. 




  • AE 101 (Foundations of AE) & AE 121 (Top Rope Rock Climbing).
  • At least one year of personal top-rope climbing experience. 
  • AE major or minor.



  • Proficiency in all AE 121 skills, including:
    • Being able to set up and manage a top rope rock climb using a “top” or “sling-shot” belay system.
    • All knots and basic rope work taught in AE 121.
  • You are active and healthy enough to be able to follow 5.8 and carry a 50 lb. pack uphill for 30 minutes. 

Adventure Education in one of America’s Best River Towns

Thursday, September 6th, 2012


 Having your college located in a town like Durango that has 4 rivers flowing in a 20 mile radius is awesome.  Having  a college located in Durango that offers a degree in Adventure Education and uses those rivers to teach is priceless!

Read the article here Durango Is Best.

Fort Lewis College is doing just that-offering up an outdoor education degree program in Adventure Education.  For more information about Fort Lewis College in Durango Colorado click here  and for more information about the Bachelor of Arts degree in Adventure Education click here

Adventure Education Immersion Semester Highlights

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

One of the unique program offerings that the Bachelor of Arts degree has is the “Immersion” semester.

This is a 15-credit immersion semester where you take only Adventure Education courses, spending 4 to 10 days at a time backpacking and canoeing in the mountains and deserts of the Four Corners region. Courses include Wilderness Expedition (AE 201), Adventure Leadership (AE 210), Teaching Methods for Adventure Educators (AE 220), Wilderness First Responder (230), Challenge Course Fundamentals (AE 251). Students participate in outdoor education, learning by doing what they will be teaching others.

Check out our Facebook Group page “Adventure Education at Fort Lewis College” for more photos of these expeditions, as well as other AE courses, or learn more about this Bachelor of Arts degree program at

Conference brings adventure education professionals to Fort Lewis College campus

Tuesday, March 13th, 2012

Lee Frazer, assistant professor in FLC's Adventure Education major, instructs students.

Lee Frazer, assistant professor in FLC’s Adventure Education major, instructs students.

There’s no better setting for outdoor education enthusiasts to gather than on a campus surrounded by inspiring mountain vistas.

That’s what the members of the Association for Experiential Education will get when the 2012 Rocky Mountain Region AEE conference convenes on the Fort Lewis College campus Friday, March 23, through Sunday, March 25. The AEE’s Rocky Mountain Region includes Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, and Sonora and Sinaloa, Mexico.

And for students in the Fort Lewis College Adventure Education program, it’s an opportunity to meet and work with professionals and practitioners in the field, as well as other students, professors, and educators.

“This is a a chance for students to get immersed in the professional scene of adventure education, because there will be people here from all over the region,” says Adventure Education Director and Professor Bob Stremba. “And it’s also a chance for adventure education students to present a workshop in front those people. They’ll get great experience and feedback.”

In the Fort Lewis College Adventure Education program, students learn how to lead, teach, and facilitate in a variety of settings that use outdoor and adventure environments, focusing on human-powered outdoor pursuits, including backpacking, ropes-challenge courses, rock climbing, mountaineering, and river running.

Thanks to FLC’s location between the southern Rocky Mountains and the desert Southwest, the program’s students are in the field about 40 percent of the time, some even spending seven-week blocks that include 21 days in the mountains, rivers and canyons of Colorado and Utah, learning about wilderness expedition planning, adventure leadership, and methods of teaching adventure education.

The AEE conference will feature speakers, student research presentations and poster sessions, and the announcing of annual awards for Experiential Leader, Organizational Member, and Rising Star of the Year awards. There will also be dozens of workshops, including telemark ski instructing, swiftwater rescue, and adaptive winter sports guiding.

Adventure Education at Fort Lewis College shares video of Immersion Semester trip

Monday, February 27th, 2012


One of the great things about the B.A. degree in Adventure Education from Fort Lewis College is the Immersion Semester-where you take only Adventure Education courses, spending 4-10 days at a time backpacking and canoeing in the mountains and deserts of the Four Corners region.  This video was shot by one of our students on the 10-day course which went to Utah.

This Immersion Semester gives you 15 credits towards your degree and also includes a Wilderness First Responder class where you will receive your certification, and an option of taking either a “special topics” course (Fall 2012 will be a canyoneering course) or a Challenge Course Programming class.  What a great way to get your B.A. in Adventure Education-experiential learning in what we consider an unparallelled location that offers a variety of experiences, all close by!