If you are passionate about the natural world and teaching, this is your opportunity to study outdoor environmental education in a place of unparalleled natural beauty—the Gunnison Valley. With a strong foundation in environmental education, you’ll be prepared for a variety of fulfilling careers across all sectors.
Combine your passion for the outdoors and education in the heart of the Rocky Mountains.
The Outdoor Environmental Education emphasis at Western Colorado University combines experiential, field-based courses with natural and environmental science courses that use the Gunnison Valley as a vast learning laboratory. Whether you stay local or travel abroad, by immersing yourself in the outdoors and seeing firsthand the environmental issues and challenges of today, you’ll be prepared to become the experiential educators of tomorrow. Before graduation, you’ll be required to earn your Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification, ensuring you have industry-standard skills to become professional guides, trip leaders and outdoor educators.
A vast learning laboratory
The Outdoor Environmental Education emphasis combines experiential, field-based courses with natural and environmental science courses that use the Gunnison Valley as a vast learning laboratory.
At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.
|BIOL 130||Environmental Biology (GT-SC2)||3||View|
|BIOL 135||Environmental Biology Laboratory (GT-SC1)||1||View|
|BIOL 151||Diversity and Patterns of Life (with laboratory)||4||View|
|ENVS 100||Introduction to Environment and Sustainability (GT-SS2)||3||View|
|ENVS 200||Writing the Environment||3||View|
|ENVS 360||Global Environmental Policy||3||View|
|GEOL 101||Physical Geology (GT-SC2)||3||View|
|GEOL 105||Physical Geology Laboratory (GT-SC1)||1||View|
|ROE 230||Interpretation of Natural and Cultural History||3||View|
|ROE 235||Foundations of Teaching Environmental Education||3||View|
|ROE 293||Outdoor Pursuits Education- Water Based (with laboratory)||1-20||View|
|ROE 295||Outdoor Pursuits Education- Snow Based (with laboratory)||1-20||View|
|ROE 296||Outdoor Pursuits Education- Land Based (with laboratory)||1-20||View|
|ROE 364||Entrepreneurship and Commercial Recreation||3||View|
|ROE 391||Experiential Education Theory and Pedagogy||3||View|
|ROE 466||Facilities and Administration||3||View|
|SCI 110||Habitable Planet (with laboratory)||4||View|
Career preparation starts your first year at Western and is the primary focus of every degree.
Visit Career Services in Library 120 or online to discover your interests, define your goals, and land the career of your dreams.
The data below is automatically collected by Burning Glass Technologies, a firm that sources job market data and provides analytics. The statistics illustrate general trends in U.S. careers, but do not precisely represent every job and salary.
Alumni Association Future Alumni ScholarshipThe Alumni Association Scholarship is a one-time scholarship of $1,000 and is applicable for the student’s junior or senior year at Western. Any child or grandchild of an alumni is eligible to receive the Future Alumni Scholarship.
- This is a one-time non-renewable scholarship of $1,000.
- Only one Future Alumni Scholarship will be awarded per academic year.
- GPA must be 3.2 or above (college).
Alumni Legacy Scholarship
The Alumni Legacy Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western (incoming freshman or new transfer students are eligible).
Do you have a son or daughter looking at college? Have they considered attending Western? As an alumni, your son, daughter and/or grandchildren are eligible for certain benefits distributed through this scholarship, as follows:
- This is a one-time scholarship of $1,000.
- Nominee must be an incoming freshman or new transfer.
- The cost of orientation is reduced by half (a $45 value).
- The admission application fee is waived (a $30 value).
- GPA must be 2.0 or above (high school or college of transfer).
The applicant must fill out the application form found here (click). Application forms are accepted year-round. If the applicant meets the GPA guidelines, the scholarship will be awarded.
Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship
The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.
Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).
- Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
- The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
- The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.
The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
The Western Presidential Honors Scholarships, established by the Jack and Marilyn MacAllister Foundation shall be an elite class of scholarships awarded to Western's highest achieving and most deserving students, celebrating the ideals of academic excellence and service to the campus and community. Recipients of the Scholarships will be members of the Western Colorado University Honors Program.
There are eight Presidential Honors Scholarships of $2500 each. Each year two new Presidential Honors Scholarships will be awarded to two incoming freshmen.
Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.
For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.
Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student's GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.
For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.
Make your education a life changing experience.
A college education is so much more than just taking classes. Expand your community and network, while gaining hands-on experience in your field.
- Advanced Leadership Expedition: Students expand their global perspectives and hone their leadership skills by traveling to developing nations.
- Certifications: Students are required to obtain 100 hours of professional certifications in addition to their Wilderness First Responder certification.
- Field Courses: Four courses feature multiple days and nights spent in the backcountry.
- Internships: Students often land full-time professional positions in the agencies they intern with for their capstone experience.
- Teaching: Many students apply to work as TAs after their freshman year.
Educators of tomorrow
By immersing in the outdoors and seeing firsthand the environmental issues and challenges of today, students prepare to be experiential educators of tomorrow.