Outdoor Education and Leadership
Associate of Arts Degree
In order to develop skills in outdoor education, you'll have to fully immerse yourself in an education that takes you outdoors! You'll be hiking, biking, rafting, climbing and skiing Wyoming's expansive terrain, while developing skills you need for a career as a leader in the outdoors. This unique program will have you learning through field based excursions in the remote wilderness areas in and around the Wyoming Rockies. Wilderness expeditions and outdoor skills courses are combined with natural history and a liberal arts curriculum.
CWC’s Outdoor Education and Leadership is unique in four ways
- Our Outdoor Education Center at Sinks Canyon with student housing
- Focus on experential education and partnership with the NOLS
- Outstanding faculty
- World class location in the foothills of the Wyoming Rockies
As part of the program, you will have the option to spend up to one full semester taking wilderness-based courses with the NOLS. NOLS offers these educational expeditions at remote, pristine locations in the U.S. and abroad. To receive college college credit for NOLS courses, students must enroll concurrently in the appropriate corresponding course at CWC. For more information on NOLS offerings visit the NOLS website.
|Intro to Environmental Science||4|
|Leading Adventure Programs||3|
|Intro to outdoor Education||3|
|Outdoor Education Practicum||4|
|Wilderness First Responder OR Wilderness Emegerency Medical Technician||4|
Students must choose 4 credits from the following list of Expedition courses listed below
|Natural History of Regional Ecosystems||1-5|
|Outdoor Leadership Instructor||1-5|
|Outdoor Education & Leadership||1-5|
|Environmental Ethics & Management|
View the course catalog for a full list of electives
General Ed. Requirements
|Writing Level I||3|
|Writing Level II||3|
|American and Wyoming Government||3|
|Cultural Activites/Community Engagement||2|
|Personal Financial Planning||1|
CWC Outdoor Education enjoys a truly world class location, adjoining the nation’s first national forest. We are a 2-hour drive to Jackson Hole, Grand Teton, and Yellowstone National Parks. Just out the back door, Sinks Canyon State Park is a stunning outdoor playground which serves as a gateway to the Wind River Mountains. Sinks is home to Limestone, Sandstone, and Granite rock climbing, a cave system, mountain bike and ski trails, and some of the best fly-fishing in the country.
Sinks Canyon conveniently borders both the sub-alpine and high desert ecosystems where elk, pronghorns, cougars, and coyotes can be spotted. At CWC our students develop leadership and outdoor adventure skills with wilderness as a key part of their college experience.
Get to know your instructors!
Darran Wells grew up racing mountain-bikes with his father in Houston, TX.
Stacy Tostrup Wells has been teaching professionally in the outdoors for more than 20 years.
As an undergraduate professor, guide, program director, corporate trainer and business owner, Jake has been teaching in the outdoors for more than 20 years.
CWC Credit by Exam for NOLS Course Grads
CWC Credit By Examination Policy for NOLS Course Graduates
What is Credit By Examination?
Enrolled CWC degree-seeking students in good academic and financial standing may request
college credit by examination for courses numbered 1000-2999. Not all CWC courses have the
credit by examination option available. All examinations for NOLS courses are prepared, graded, and administered by the Associate Professor of Outdoor Education and Leadership.
How do I take the exams?
Contact your academic advisor about your wish to obtain educational credit through the
Credit By Examination process. The academic advisor for Outdoor Education and Leadership is Darran Wells (307-855-2063 or Email). For NOLS courses, Associate Professor Wells is also the CWC course faculty who will administer the exam.Complete and submit the "Credit By Examination" request form below to the appropriate academic division chair for her approval and signature. For NOLS course grads, the appropriate division chair is the Dean of Workforce and Community Education, Lynne McAuliffe (307-855-0095 or Email ).
If the request is approved, make an appointment with Associate Professor Wells to schedule a testing date, time, and location. A receipt for payment must be presented to the instructor before the test can be administered.
NOLS grads seeking CWC credit must also have the NOLS Admission Office scan and email an official copy of your NOLS course evaluations in advance to Darran Wells
When / Where can I take the exam?
Credit By Examination tests are scheduled at a mutually convenient time with the course faculty. Exams may be taken on the Main Campus in Riverton, at the Lander Center, at Sinks Canyon Center, or by skype or phone for students out of state.
How long do the exams take?
The test length, question type and time limits vary according to course and faculty. You are
encouraged to discuss this with the faculty administering the test before the actual test date. NOLS grads should expect to spend up to an hour discussing: their individual performance on their NOLS course, what they learned through the NOLS experience, strengths and weaknesses, and characteristic curricula of their course type and location. There is no written component of the exam process.
How much do the exams cost?
The fee for Credit By Examination is the per credit tuition rate without fees and must be paid at
the Business Office prior to taking the exam. NOLS grads may receive up to a full semester (12-19 credits) of credit through the credit by exam process.
How will I get my scores?
The CWC Registration Office will mail a copy of the completed Credit By Examination
request form. The grade received will be noted at the bottom of the form. Grades will be
transcripted and available through the CWC Home Page at www.cwc.edu by logging in through the MyCentral portal.
What if I do not do well on the exam?
If you do not score high enough on the examination to pass the course, you can enroll in the
course or request the Credit By Examination option again. You may seek credit by examination
for any given course only once in a twelve-month period.
What will appear on my CWC transcript?
The grade received on the examination will be listed on your transcript, added to the hours
earned (if grade is "D" or above), and computed into the cumulative grade point average. The
grade earned through Credit By Examination replaces the previously awarded grade when
Words of warning!
If the student transfers without graduating from an Associate Degree program at CWC, credits earned through Credit By Examination may not be accepted for transfer at another institution. Credits obtained through credit by exam cannot be counted toward full-time status for financial aid purposes.
If you have an interest in anthropology, environmental science, geospatial information systems technology (GIST), or outdoor education you can begin your studies and career on top of the Rocky Mountains as part of the Alpine Science Institute at Central Wyoming College.
If you like experiential learning and want to explore a science-based education in and outside of the classroom, the Alpine Science Institute is the place to start.
Upon completion of this internationally-known program, students hold accredited college degrees in diverse fields and are prepared to enter the workforce or continue on for higher academic degrees.