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Outdoor Education

Get an inside look at CWC's Outdoor Education program

Outdoor Education and Leadership

Associate of Arts Degree

Develop skills in outdoor education and be completely immersed in the wilderness with this program. Hike, bike, raft, climb and ski in Wyoming's expansive terrain and develop skills for a career as a leader in the outdoors. Take advantage of CWC's world class location that adjoins the nation's first national forest and be only a two-hour drive from Jackson Hole, Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park. Learn through field-based expeditions in the remote wilderness area in and around the Wyoming Rockies.

CWC’s Outdoor Education and Leadership is unique in four ways

  • Outdoor Education Center at Sinks Canyon with student housing
  • Focus on experiential education and partnership with the NOLS
  • Outstanding faculty
  • World-class location in the foothills of the Wyoming Rockies at the Alpine Science Institute.

As part of the program, there is an 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 credit for NOLS courses, enroll concurrently in the appropriate corresponding course at CWC. For more information on NOLS offerings visit the NOLS website. 

Discover Alpine Science Institute Housing

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Course Number Course

Credits

BIOL 1080 Intro to Environmental Science

4 credits

EDUC 1050 Leading Adventure Programs

3 credits

EDUC 1055 Introduction to Outdoor Education

3 credits

EDUC 2470 Outdoor Education Practicum

4 credits

ORTM 1000 Foundations of Recreation & Tourism

3 credits

HLED 2010 OR 
HLED 2015
Wilderness First Responder OR Wilderness EMT

4-9 credits

 

Students must choose 4 credits from the following list of Expedition courses listed below

Course Numbers Course

Credits

EDUC 2015 Outdoor Educator:

1 - 5 credits

EDUC 2045 Outdoor Leadership Instructor

1 - 5 credits

EDUC 2050 Outdoor Education & Leadership

1 - 5 credits

G&R 2020 Mountaineering:

1 - 5 credits

G&R 2030 Wilderness Backpacking:

1 - 5 credits

G&R 2031 Combined Expeditions:

1 - 5 credits

G&R 2032 Winter Expedition:

1 - 5 credits

G&R 2033 Rock Climbing:

1 - 5 credits

G&R 2034 Water Expedition:

1 - 5 credits

G&R 2050 Environmental Ethics & Management:

1 - 5 credits


Students must choose 3 PEAC course from the following list of approved courses

Course Number Course

Credits

PEAC 1258 Skiing & Snowboarding

1 credit

PEAC 1259 Cross Country Skiing

1 credit

PEAC 1287 Introduction to Outdoor Rock Climbing

1 credit

PEAC 1297 Whitewater Rafting/Rescue

1 credit

PEAC 1380 Outdoor Multi-Sport

1 - 3 credits

PEAC 1387 Indoor Rock Climbing

1 credit

PEAC 1540 Mountain Biking

1 credit

PEAC 1600 Ice Climbing

1 credit

PEAC 2018 Water Safety/Lifeguard Training

1 credit

PEAC 2025 Wilderness Navigation

1 credit

PEAC 2058 Backcountry Skiing & Snowboarding

1 credit

PEAC 2088 Alpine Climbing and Rescue

1 credit

 

Students must choose seven (7) additional credits from the PEAC courses above or from the following list of approved courses:

Course Number Course

Credits

AIST 1005 Intercultural Communication

3 credits

AIST 1350 American Indians in Contemporary Society

3 credits

AIST 2000 Indians of the Wind River

3 credits

AIST 2290 History of U.S. Indians

3 credits

ANTH 1300 Intro to Archaeology

3 credits

ANTH 2022 Petroglyphs & Primitive Art

3 credits

ART 2145 Digital Photography I

3 credits

ASTR 1050 Survey of Astronomy

4 credits

ASTR 1070 The Earth: Its Physical Environment

4 credits

ATSC 2000 Introduction to Meteorology

4 credits

ATSC 2110 Introduction to Climatology

4 credits

BIOL 1010 General Biology I

4 credits

BIOL 1020 Life Science

4 credits

BIOL 2002 Global Ecology

3 credits

COMM 1005 Intercultural Communication

3 credits

COMM 2130 Human Relations

3 credits

COMM 4050 Communication and Conflict

3 credits

CNSL 1310 Personal Growth Group

1 credit

CNSL 2300 Counseling for Helping Professional

3 credits

CNSL 2310 Introduction to Group Counseling

3 credits

CNSL 2320 Addictions Assessment

3 credits

CNSL 2330 Counseling Diverse Populations

3 credits

CNSL 2340 Theories of Counseling

3 credits

EDFD 2020 Foundations of Education

3 credits

EDFD 2450 Human Life Span Development

3 credits

EDUC 2015 Outdoor Educator:

1 - 5 credits

EDUC 2045 Outdoor Leadership Instructor

1 - 5 credits

EDUC 2050 Outdoor Education & Leadership

1 - 5 credits

ENR 2425 Mountain Environments

4 credits

G&R 1090 Avalanche Lvl 1:Dsn Mkng Avlnch Terrain

1 credit

G&R 2020 Mountaineering:

1 - 5 credits

G&R 2030 Wilderness Backpacking:

1 - 5 credits

G&R 2031 Combined Expeditions:

1 - 5 credits

G&R 2032 Winter Expedition:

1 - 5 credits

G&R 2033 Rock Climbing:

1 - 5 credits

G&R 2034 Water Expedition:

1 - 5 credits

G&R 2035 River Rescue Certification

1 credit

G&R 2050 Environmental Ethics & Management:

1 - 5 credits

G&R 2090 Avalanche Lvl 2:Anlz Snwpk & Aval Haz.

2 credits

GEOG 1100 Introduction to Geographic Info Systems

4 credits

GEOL 1070 The Earth: Its Physical Environment

4 credits

GEOL 1100 Physical Geology

4 credits

GEOL 1200 Historical Geology

4 credits

GEOL 1470 Environmental Geology

4 credits

HIST 1270 Indians of the Wind River

3 credits

HLED 2015 Wilderness EMT

9 credits

PSYC 1250 Human Potential Seminar

1 credit

PSYC 2210 Drugs and Behavior

3 credits

ZOO 1200 Human Biology

3 credits

ZOO 2015 Human Anatomy

4 credits

 

CourseCredits
Writing Level I 3
Writing Level II 3
American and Wyoming Government 3
Arts 3
Humanities 3
Mathematics 3
Oral Communications 3
Social Sciences 3
University Studies 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Credit Hours: 60

More Information

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.

  • Jen Adams sits in a canoe on a lake

    Alumni Testimonial

    So many of the basics that we learned in class have helped me as a trip leader and continue to help me now as I'm managing trip leaders in the field. I think specifically what helped me the most was being able to learn the theory and then put it into practice.”

    Jen Adams: Wilderness Trips Coordinator - Chewonki Foundation

  • Will Polanksy is an outdoor ed alum. He is holding a fish he caught in a lake

    Alumni Testimonial

    The biggest thing that I took away from Darran's classes was that leadership is something that has to be crafted and then nurtured. Like anything else in life, if you don't stay consistent using your skills your perceived ability to use that skill may become diminished. I've tried to consistently use the leadership skills that were crafted at CWC and can proudly say that I still use them today. ”

    Will Polansky: Paramedic/Firefighter


Certificates

Learn practical skills so you can be ready to handle medical emergencies in the wilderness. 

This comprehensive program of classroom education, practical skills, scenarios and full-scale mock rescues prepares the student to test for certification as an EMT and a Wilderness EMT. This program fulfills all DOT requirements for certification as a basic EMT. Successful completion of both courses and both written and practical examinations will certify the student as a National Registry of EMT’s Basic EMT and Wilderness EMT. Prerequisite: Acceptance by Wilderness Medicine Institute (WMI) of NOLS.

CourseCredits
Wilderness First Responder 4
Wilderness EMT 9
Total 13

This program is designed to provide outdoor leaders, instructors, guides, environment, health & safety professionals, rangers and wilderness and foreign travelers with the knowledge needed to deal with emergencies in remote settings. The curriculum covers standards of care for urban situations with additional protocols for remote situations. Special topics include but are not limited to: CPR considerations (when not to start and when to stop), wilderness wound and burn management, clearing patients of spine and head trauma, athletic injuries, realigning fractures and dislocations, improvised splinting techniques, patient monitoring and long-term management problems, up-to-date information on all environmental emergencies, common simple medical problems, plus advice on drug therapies. Emphasis is placed on prevention and decision-making. Certifications upon successful completion include Wilderness Medicine Institute (WMI) Wilderness First Responder and the American Heart Association’s CPR. All levels of prior training are welcome. Prerequisite: Acceptance by WMI of NOLS.

CourseCredits
Wilderness First Responder 4
Total  4

BACHELOR OF APPLIED SCIENCE DEGREE

Outdoor Program Leadership

Take the next step in your outdoor leadership journey. This 8-semester program offers students an administrative perspective of the outdoor recreation service industry that includes learning, training, and assessment of leadership and program management skills. The program is especially appropriate for students wishing to: start their own outdoor-related small business, manage an outdoor recreation or education program, or build a career in leadership of parks, recreation, tourism, or natural resource management.

Get to know your instructors!

Darran Wells

Professor of Outdoor Education and Leadership

Darran Wells is passionate about all kinds of outdoor activities - hiking, climbing, caving, and skiing, but mountain biking is a sport he dedicates most of his free time to.

Stacy Wells

Adjunct Professor of Outdoor Education and Leadership

Stacy Tostrup Wells has been teaching professionally in the outdoors for more than 20 years.

Jacob Urban

Adjunct Professor of Outdoor Education and Leadership

As an undergraduate professor, guide, program director, corporate trainer and business owner, Jake has been teaching in the outdoors for more than 20 years.