The field of ROE is dedicated to creating opportunities for people to live healthy, engaged, and happy lives. The ROE program at Western Colorado University is a professional preparation program for individuals seeking a career in recreation, outdoor leadership, or outdoor environmental education. This entails providing opportunities and requisite support for students to cultivate knowledge and develop practical skills in the following areas: leadership and facilitation, pedagogy, written and oral communication, environmental stewardship, philosophy and ethics, critical and creative thinking, program planning and execution, problem solving and resourcefulness, serving different populations, and the ability to manage risk. High value is placed on experiential education, as well as field-based learning through participation in backcountry inter-semester expeditions (generally in January, May, August, and spring break). Excellence in professional preparation is achieved through an interdisciplinary approach, including public and private partnerships, close proximity to recreation facilities and access to extensive public lands.
In addition to the traditional competencies expected of all liberal arts students, those majoring in ROE learn how the overall quality of life can be enhanced by the integration of appropriate leisure and educational activities. Students who graduate from the program gain confidence and leadership skills that can be applied in a variety of professional fields. Examples of options include employment with outdoor and environmental education centers, specialty outdoor training schools, municipal parks and recreation departments, social services, land management agencies, recreation and student services in higher education, and commercial guiding operations. Many students pursue graduate degrees, after garnering industry experience, allowing for more professional opportunities.
To participate in and graduate from the program, students must maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher for all courses required of the ROE major. Students whose GPA drops below a 2.5 must repeat the applicable course(s) to raise the major GPA prior to taking additional ROE courses, or obtain permission from the instructor and Program Coordinator to repeat the course(s) while pursuing further coursework.
- Environmental Management Emphasis (with a 3+2 Master in Environmental Management)
- Recreation and Outdoor Education Comprehensive Major: Outdoor Environmental Education Emphasis
- Recreation and Outdoor Education Comprehensive Major: Outdoor Leadership Emphasis
- Recreation and Outdoor Education Comprehensive Major: Recreation Emphasis
- Recreation and Outdoor Education Minor
Capstone Course Requirement
The following courses in the Recreation and Outdoor Education Major fulfill the capstone course requirements: ROE 499 Internship in Recreation and Outdoor Education.
Recreation and Outdoor Education Courses
An introduction to the history, philosophy, founders, and principles of recreation and outdoor education, the agencies providing programs, and an investigation of professional employment opportunities in recreation.
An exploration of the theory and practice of outdoor education, with emphases on group dynamics, risk management, leadership, Leave No Trace, technical skills, and teaching, which are applied in a backcountry setting. This backcountry block course is offered outside the confines of the regular semester, so check dates before registering. Students who drop the course within two weeks of the start date will not have their course fees refunded. Prerequisite: Instructor permission.
A study of the principles, philosophies, and practices of interpretation, as well as active approaches to describing, relating, displaying, and revealing resources to a variety of audiences, primarily through observation and involvement in a variety of interpretation programs. Prerequisites: BIOL 130, BIOL 150, BIOL 151 or GEOL 101.
A survey of environmental education examples from land management agencies, nature centers, and educational organizations. Students are guided to create their own curriculum employing environmental content. Field trips required.
Course participants gain insight into alternative programming for special populations. Students explore case studies, specialized equipment, and profiles of special populations. Guest speakers and site visits will help students understand the intricacies of alternative programming and requisite career qualifications. Field trips required.
A study of recreation and outdoor education leadership, including leading activities, managerial leadership, and the art of facilitation. Emphasis is placed upon appropriate theories and techniques for varying populations.
Skill development in areas such as leadership, facilitation, rescue techniques, white water rafting, stand-up paddle boarding, and kayaking, as well as a focus on environmental education. This backcountry block course is offered in summer only, so check dates before registering. Students who drop the course within two weeks of the start date will not have their course fees refunded. Prerequisites: ROE 189; ROE 283; and instructor permission.
Skill development in areas such as leadership, teaching, traveling in avalanche terrain, backcountry skiing, and winter camping. This backcountry block course is offered outside the confines of the regular semester, so check dates before registering. Students who drop the course within two weeks of the start date will not have their course fees refunded. Prerequisites: ROE 189; ROE 283; and instructor permission.
Skill development in areas such as leadership, teaching, rock climbing, mountain biking, and backpacking. This backcountry block course is offered outside the confines of the regular semester, so check dates before registering. Students who drop the course within two weeks of the start date will not have their course fees refunded. Prerequisites: ROE 189; ROE 283; and instructor permission.
A survey of recreation and sport marketing topics: buyer behavior, segmentation, positioning, demand analysis, information and research, pricing, promotion, channels, 'product' policies, destinations, sponsorship, endorsement, merchandising, and fundraising. Prerequisites: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of C- and completion of at least 30 credits; or instructor permission.
An investigation of sustainability and the interconnectedness of environment, economics, and society. Students are provided opportunities to examine their thoughts and behaviors as they pertain to sustainability. The course examines theoretical and practical examples of sustainable businesses, communities, and other systems. Teaching, applied projects, field trips, and/or participation in conferences may be required. Prerequisites: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of C- and completion of at least 30 credits; or instructor permission.
An analysis of the types of commercial and private enterprises, along with the qualities of the entrepreneur specific to recreation businesses. The student is also exposed to smallbusiness management practices as they relate to commercial recreation. Case study analysis and field investigation methods are emphasized to provide the student the opportunity to learn through active participation. Prerequisites: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of C- and completion of at least 30 credits; or instructor permission.
An introduction to the historical, theoretical, and pedagogical foundations of experiential education. Teaching opportunities in the classroom and/or in the outdoors allow students to hone facilitation styles and effectiveness. Course topics include the experiential learning cycle, reflective learning, feedback, edgework, communication techniques, and multiple intelligences. Prerequisites: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of C- and completion of at least 30 credits; or instructor permission.
Equips students with a variety of program-planning methodologies and skills. Emphasis is placed on the planning, organization, implementation, and evaluation of recreation programs. Theories are applied in an experiential setting. Prerequisites: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of C- and completion of at least 30 credits; or instructor permission.
An investigation of human development theories enabling students to better understand their own motives in outdoor pursuits and allow them to more effectively program for, manage, and support a variety of client needs. Prerequisite: ROE 182; ROE 189; ROE 283; and one of the following: ROE 293, ROE 295, or ROE 296; and senior standing; or instructor permission.
A study of management, clientele considerations, facilities, outdoor area planning,and operation. Also addressed are personnel, finance, architectural and environmental barriers, plus equipment as related to recreation areas and facilities. Field visits required. Prerequisites: ENG 102 with a minimum grade of C- and completion of at least 30 credits; or instructor permission.
A focus on the implementation of recreation and outdoor education programs, including planning, management and leadership, administrative duties, risk management, and specialized populations. Practical projects are employed as a means to provide students authentic experience in the field. Field trip(s) may be required. Prerequisites: senior standing or instructor permission.
An exploration of recreation philosophy from Plato to Petzoldt and its implications toprofessionals in the field. Designed to prepare ROE majors for the ethical challenges and time use dilemmas of the 21st century. Prerequisites: senior standing; corequisite: ROE 491.
A small group of graduating seniors pursue a practical project necessitating professional levels of problem solving, research, written and oral prowess, critical thinking, and familiarity with core curriculum. Final projects are of high quality, so they can be used by professionals and decision-makers in the field. Prerequisites: senior standing. Corequisite 490.
A course open to qualified upper-division students who have specialized interests in a particular area of advanced study in recreation. Prerequisite: instructor permission.
Provides students the opportunity to pursue research in the field of recreation.
Provides students with directed field experiences in teaching, coaching, and laboratory settings. Guidelines for the field experiences are provided and agreed upon prior to registering for the course. Graded Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory only. Prerequisite: instructor permission.
A course providing full-time concentration on a specific practical experience at anapproved agency. It allows for comprehensive involvement in an agency program withfaculty and on-site supervision. Prerequisites: senior standing and instructor permission.