With a minor in Outdoor Education & Leadership, students will develop effective leadership, communication, management, self-awareness, and technical outdoor skills. They will identify and critically examine contemporary professional issues in outdoor education, leadership, recreation and environmental studies in both a classroom and field setting. Students will gain an understanding of the historical, philosophical, and theoretical foundations of outdoor recreation, education, and leadership. The interdisciplinary nature of the OE&L Minor allows students to choose which emphasis they would like to pursue. While the core curriculum is consistent for every student, there is freedom within the elective choices to individualize the program based on interest. Students can select courses in Management, Environmental Studies, Education, Philosophy, Political Science, Public Health, Anthropology, and Human Performance & Wellness.
Students in the OE&L Minor often become trip leaders for the Westminster Outdoor Program and have an impressive Outdoor Leadership Portfolio (which they create as a part of their coursework) consisting of leadership experience, personal experience, and professional training. Because experiences outside of Westminster such as National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) courses, certifications with the American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA), or courses transferred from other institutions can be extremely valuable, those may also be considered as a part of the minor. Students are also encouraged and assisted in seeking out internships and employment that will support their work in the minor such as marketing internships with ski resorts, trip leading positions with local summer camps, and guiding opportunities.
Students pursuing the minor will:
- Be prepared to pursue graduate studies or careers in related fields such as Outdoor or Adventure Education, Guiding, Experiential Education, Environmental Education or Outdoor Program Administration
- Demonstrate competence in outdoor skills such as: backpacking, camping, rock climbing, skiing & snowboarding (including backcountry), and paddling, and have the opportunity to acquire certifications in one or more of these areas
- Understand the history, theory, philosophy and foundations of outdoor education
- Demonstrate leadership skills such communication, risk management, and decision-making
- Utilize research in the field to become educated in current trends & issues and guide their own aspirations within the field