About the Outdoor Education and Leadership Program
The Outdoor Education and Leadership program leverages Westminster’s incredible access to natural spaces in the Intermountain West to provide you with unmatched opportunities for teaching and learning in outdoor and wilderness contexts, regardless of your previous outdoor experience. You will graduate from Westminster having developed a wide range of outdoor skills, greater self-awareness, and enhanced communication and decision-making skills that will prepare you to embark on a career as a reliable, resilient outdoor professional with a commitment to helping others learn and thrive in outdoor environments.
The Outdoor Education and Leadership program provides opportunities to earn academic credit for nationally and internationally-recognized outdoor credentials. Offerings have included wilderness medicine courses, Single Pitch Instructor certification, Leave No Trace Trainer, avalanche safety, and more. You can also receive funding through ASW to attend regional and national conferences, such as the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education, American Mountain Guides Association Members Meeting, Association of Experiential Education, Wilderness Risk Management Conference, and more.
The Outdoor Program provides meaningful outdoor experiences and certifications that develop leadership, self-awareness, character, stewardship, and technical skills in Westminster students, faculty, staff, alumni, and guests. Students can also become trip leaders for the Outdoor Program, to plan, prepare, and fully implement trips with guidance from professional staff.
The Organic Garden is a space for students to collectively grow, eat, and learn more about fresh and healthy food. Employees and volunteers plant and maintain the garden, and produce is available on harvest days.
The Bike Collective grew out students' desire to minimize campus traffic and reduce personal carbon emissions. The collective has a few bikes available for long-term rental and organizes various clinics, group rides, and other events throughout the year. Additionally, fix-it-kits are available to repair your bicycle, and you can get assistance from a bike tech for repairs.
The Ski and Snowboard Collective provides free services, information, and supplies to all current Westminster students to meet their ski and snowboard needs.
Westminster has several outdoor student clubs, including the Climbing Club, Ski and Snowboard Club, Trail Running Club, and Whitewater Club. Some Outdoor Education and Leadership program students also get involved with NAMI On Campus Westminster (affiliated with the National Alliance on Mental Illness) and the Students for Climate Solutions club.
The Outdoor Education and Leadership Field Semester (required for program majors) provides you the unique opportunity to gain significant professional field experience while earning your degree. On this 75-day expedition, you build upon your outdoor skills, learn invaluable lessons in working with others, apply foundational concepts, and embark on a life-changing adventure while exploring the Intermountain West and Colorado Plateau.
If you need help with research for any of your courses, Giovale Library has a research guide for the School of Education programs. There, you will find information that will assist you in finding background info, books, films, articles, and curriculum materials, as well as resources that will help you cite your sources.
Since completing the Outdoor Education and Leadership program (and multiple business courses) at Westminster, Jackson Chou ('20) has worked as a field instructor and base camp manager for Find Your Path Utah and has completed the Wilderness EMT training with the National Outdoor Leadership School.
Annie Vreeke ('17) paired a minor in outdoor education and leadership with a major in public health while at Westminster. Now, Annie is a paraprofessional with the Salt Lake City school district as a Youth in Care mentor and also works for the University of Utah as a youth coach for the First Star Academy. In the fall of 2020, Annie will be attending the University of Washington School of Public Health.
At Westminster, Arlee Riveland ('19) completed a major in international business and minors in outdoor education and leadership and Spanish. Arlee was also a student in the Honors College and completed a semester in Patagonia with the National Outdoor Leadership School.
Today, Arlee is the assistant director of Elevated Mountain Guides, a local nonprofit expanding outdoor access for underserved communities. Elevated Mountain Guides’ Project Climb program has received the Utah Children’s Outdoor Recreation and Education Grant and their Embark program was featured in an episode of Inspired by Sport on the Olympic Channel. Arlee also works as a climbing coach at Momentum Indoor Climbing.