Posts Tagged ‘Fort Lewis College’

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!

Adventure Education Upper Level Course AE450-Organization and Administration

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

Every year this  class has a different hands-on project, which helps give a student practical experience while still in school.  This year Fort Lewis College’s Adventure Education 450 class will execute a grass roots production of the annual regional Association for Experiential Education’s conference, to be held in Keystone, CO in March of 2013. 


AE 450 primarily consists of three major professional projects to integrate the above topics. The first two involve you in front of a public audience of professionals, with real consequences for good or bad work. The third involves a real accident that resulted in fatalities.

Organization and Administration of Adventure Education is a common capstone senior-level course offered at colleges and universities around the country offering comprehensive adventure education undergraduate degree programs. AE 450 can be your professional opportunity enhancer. The material in this course will help you go beyond your first, entry-level job in adventure education. This course prepares you for that second or third job, where you will be expected to assume critical responsibilities that affect a program’s future and client safety. The assumption is that at some point in your career your job will expand to include developing or managing some part of an adventure education program. However, many students actually find that they use what they learn in this course before they even graduate, during their internship, because many internships will involve you in a project that includes some program or staff development opportunities. A previous O & A student summed up his course experience this way:

In the beginning I didn’t know exactly what I was going to learn in Organization and Administration. I figured I might learn how to run a camp or organization of some sort, but I had no idea I would be learning so much of what really goes into the administrative positions. I feel we went above and beyond our intake of this material considering the time we had together … Whether I end up guiding or creating new programs, everything that I learned will provide more knowledge and experience in the roles of my decision making.

Our goal for your Bachelor of Arts degree in Adventure Education is to give you the best preparation for your Outdoor Leadership career!  Check out more information about Fort Lewis College and the Adventure Education program on Facebook or the Adventure Ed website.

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).

WFR for Your Outdoor Education-Get Your Certification Through Adventure Education at Fort Lewis College

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012


What kind of a course lets you play with great green globs of greasy grimy piggy guts?!  Wilderness First Responder, of course!  But seriously, this course provides the knowledge needed to handle medical emergencies requiring extended care in remote settings. Emphasis is on prevention, decision-making, and treatment. National certification requires this course to meet for approximately 80 hours. Students who successfully complete the course and pass the WFR exam receive a Wilderness First Responder certificate good for three years.


Course Learning Objectives:

  1. Develop a general understanding of human anatomy and physiology that will facilitate a more thorough understanding of medical pathophysiology.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of common trauma, environmental, and medical related problems that are encountered in wilderness expedition settings.
  3. Demonstrate the ability to perform accurate wilderness medicine related patient assessments and provide appropriate treatment.
  4. Demonstrate the ability to perform essential wilderness medicine rescue skills related to the curriculum (basic life support, extremity splinting, wound cleaning, spine exam, dislocation reduction, spine management, epinephrine injection, and litter and improvised carries)
  5. Develop an understanding of wilderness CPR/AED treatments and demonstrate effective CPR and AED skills.

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:  

Course AE 101-“Foundations of Adventure Education” Introduces the Meaning of Outdoor Education

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

The primary purpose of this course, is for you to explore the match between you and adventure education. You will have opportunities to determine how you wish to be involved in the profession of using outdoor education, by discovering professional career paths—those that generally require a college degree—in schools, outdoor and environmental education programs, therapeutic adventure programs, and more.



Think of Foundations of Adventure Education as your 15-week adventure expedition. Adventures involve risk, expanding one’s comfort zone, and embracing the unknown. Successful expedition teams work together to accomplish common goals, with everyone giving 110%. Here in this course, the risks usually won’t be physical ones, but you may encounter potential academic risks. Just like in the wilderness, these risks are best managed when everyone is prepared and committed to learning, which promotes a community of trust and mutual support. Although broad topic areas and much of the reading material that takes us toward our goals is determined, you will be involved in some of the decisions along the path.

If this sounds like a course you would like to take as part of your degree path for Adventure Education, learn more at:  Fort Lewis College/Adventure Ed  or see what our current students, alumni and faculty are talking about in the world of Adventure Education on our Facebook Group page

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