Recreation & Outdoor Education

Bachelor of Arts

Outdoor educators have the power to make a difference in the environment, the lives of at-risk youth and anyone who finds solace in the wilderness. At Western Colorado University, world-class adventures in the Rocky Mountains will challenge and train you to become a seasoned outdoor leader.

Program Overview

Take your education beyond the classroom—to the rivers, canyons and peaks of the Rocky Mountains.

Recreation & Outdoor Education (ROE) is about creating opportunities for people to live healthy, engaged and happy lives. In the program, you’ll acquire the managerial, technical, interpersonal and leadership skills, required of a successful professional in the billion-dollar outdoor industry. Located in the magnificent Gunnison Valley, Western’s ROE program combines a tightknit classroom environment with world-class field experiences for students to turn their passion for the outdoors into rewarding careers with organizations like Outward Bound, National Outdoor Leadership School and the National Park Service.

Extraordinary adventure

Located in the magnificent Gunnison Valley, Western’s ROE program combines a tightknit classroom environment with world-class field experiences for students to turn their passion for the outdoors into rewarding careers.

Courses

Code Title Credits Description
ROE 182 Introduction to Recreation and Outdoor Education 3 View
ROE 189 Principles of Outdoor Education 1-20 View
ROE 240 Alternative Programming 3 View
ROE 283 Leadership and Facilitation 1-20 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 333 Recreation and Sport Marketing 3 View
ROE 351 Inquiry into Sustainability 3 View
ROE 364 Entrepreneurship and Commercial Recreation 3 View
ROE 398 Program Planning (with laboratory) 3 View
ROE 454 Human Development and Counseling for Outdoor Educators 3 View
ROE 466 Facilities and Administration 3 View
ROE 468 Leadership and Administration 3 View
ROE 490 Recreation Philosophy and Ethics 3 View
ROE 499 Internship in Recreation and Outdoor Education 3-9 View

Careers

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.

Scholarships

Eligibility

  • ROE majors who show diversity and outstanding achievement

There are four Eastman Awards available:

1.) New Student Award
Open to both new freshmen and new transfer students. Students must have a 3.0 cumulative grade point average and freshmen must also have a 21 ACT or 990 SAT. Students must also show a documented commitment to recreation as their major field of study at Western. Must show outstanding achievement in at least three of the following five areas:
  • Special Recreational Talents
  • Unique Recreational Endeavors
  • Obstacles Overcome
  • Community Service
  • Leadership
2.) Achievement Award
Available to junior and senior ROE majors with a minimum GPA of 3.0. Students must act as an outstanding role model in and out of the classroom and uphold the values of the recreation and leisure profession. Must show outstanding achievement in at least three of the following five areas:
  • Special Recreational Talents
  • Unique Recreational Endeavors
  • Obstacles Overcome
  • Community Service
  • Leadership
3.) Service to Humanity Award
Available to junior and senior ROE majors. Must provide documentation of their outstanding service project(s).
4.) Eastman Academic Award
Available to junior and senior ROE majors with a minimum GPA of 3.6 in the ROE program. Students must act as an outstanding academic role model.

Description

This scholarship is provided by Don Eastman, they are intended to recognize and encourage ROE majors who show diversity and outstanding achievement in the recreation field. Amount depends on fund availability. Selected by: ROE Faculty.

Application:

Contact the RESS Department for application and deadline information. 970.943.2010 | Wright Gym 209

The Ernest Degutis Scholarship

This scholarship is available to Exercise & Sport Science (ESS) majors with demonstrated excellence in academics and outstanding achievement in personal fields.
Eligibility Criteria:
  • ESS Major
  • Junior or senior class standing
  • 3.0 Minimum GPA
  • Demonstrated excellence in academics
  • Show outstanding achievement in four of the following:
    • Special talents
    • Leadership
    • Obstacles overcome
    • Community service
    • Unique endeavors
Application Procedures:
  • A written letter of application - please include local address
  • Unofficial transcript (may use DegreeWorks)
  • Two letters of recommendation from Western faculty or staff
    • Letters must NOT be from ESS department members
    • At least one letter must be from a faculty member
  • Essay addressing at least four of the five areas listed above

The Ernest Degutis Scholarship is Provided by:

Ernest Degutis Amount depends on fund availability.

Scholarship Recipients Selected by:

Western Recreation, Exercise & Sport Science (RESS) Faculty. Completed applications must be turned in to Terri in the RESS Department office in Wright Gym no later than the second Friday of April for the upcoming academic calendar year.

Eligibility

  • Exercise & Sport Science and Recreation & Outdoor Education majors
  • Full-time at Western

Description

This scholarship is provided by Alumni Donations. The Student Professional Development Fund is to support professional activities such as professional certification exams, conference attendance, research, or other professional preparation activities.

Approximately $400 awarded every semester.

Selected by: Western RESS faculty committee

Application:

Contact the RESS Department for application and deadline information.

970.943.2010 | Wright Gym 209

Learn more about Western's Exercise & Sport Science Program.

Learn more about Western's Recreation & Outdoor Education Program.

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 Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant. For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.

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.

News & Research

online courses

Western Colorado University moves summer courses online

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Colorado Outdoor Recreation Office Leader Luis Benitez Headed to VF Corp

Colorado Outdoor Recreation Office Leader Luis Benitez Headed to VF Corp

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Get Involved

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.

Developing leadership skills

Recreation and Outdoor Education students learn the technical, interpersonal and leadership skills—as well as managerial know-how—required of a successful professional in the billion-dollar outdoor industry.

Additional Resources

Field Courses

Teaching Outside Part of the philosophy of Western’s Recreation & Outdoor Education department is for students to learn by doing. Because of this, we feel it is invaluable for students to …

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Concurrent Enrollment Schools

Credit for Outdoor Schools Western Offers Academic Credit for Field Courses Taken Through Many Outdoor Schools Including: National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS)  Outward Bound (OB) International …

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Jobs Clearinghouse

Jobs Clearinghouse

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Internship Information

ROE Internship Information ROE Internship Paperwork To apply for an internship with the ROE department, read ROE internship application, fill out the internship form and work with your advisor prior …

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Future Careers

Future Career Options for ROE Majors So, What’s Next? A question sometimes asked by students and parents is, “What career options are available for Recreation & Outdoor Education …

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Department Chairperson

Lance Dalleck, Ph.D.

Professor of Exercise & Sport Science

Administrative Assistant

Terri Stinson

Administrative Assistant

Contact Information

970.943.7129

970.943.7125

Campus Location

Western Colorado University
Paul Wright Gym 209
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231