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Adventure Tourism & Outdoor Recreation

Why Choose ATOR at SWCC?

Do you want to explore your passion for the outdoors, gain leadership experience, and learn in a hands on, experiential environment? Join the Adventure Tourism & Outdoor Recreation program at Southwest Virginia Community College to gain the outdoor skills and nationally recognized credentials to land your dream job in the tourism & outdoor recreation industry.

What will I study?

The Adventure Tourism and Outdoor Recreation curriculum prepares students to be entrepreneurs in the tourism, parks, and recreation industries, and the program is designed to prepare students to work in or operate a small business in the tourism industry. Course work will include small business management, accounting, payroll, marketing, communications, technology, and outdoor recreation courses related to their discipline of interest.  The difference from other small businesses and entrepreneurs from this type of entrepreneur is the focus on outdoor recreation activities which could range from bed and breakfasts to an outfitter providing guided hiking, biking, kayaking or climbing trips.

This curriculum provides an entry-level credential for those interested in working in an outdoor recreation, parks/recreation, adventure tourism, or trail related job. Outdoor recreation activities are available in most areas, and visiting state and national parks is popular regardless of the state of the economy. State, national and other park services employ many employees in various types and classifications of jobs. At the heart of outdoor recreation activities, an integrated trail system and waterway infrastructure is necessary for adventure tourism and outdoor recreation activities such as hiking, biking, kayaking, canoeing, and ATV riding.  The adventure tourism and outdoor recreation curriculum embraces the relationship between entrepreneurship, tourism, hospitality, parks, and outdoor recreation.  Add additional skills with stackable credentials or preparation to transfer to continue your education.

Upcoming Activities and Events

Guide Essentials: Begins August 23, 2017


Student Spotlight: Josh Matney

Josh Matney Flyfishing

Joshua Matney recently graduated from Southwest Virginia Community College (SWCC) with an Associate of Arts & Science (AA&S) in Business Administration with a specialization in Outdoor Leadership.  He plans to continue his education with a Bachelor’s Degree in Outdoor Recreation & Leadership at Radford University beginning in the fall. Josh graduated from Grundy High School in 2013 and began taking classes at SWCC due to the close proximity to his home. Unsure of the path he wished to pursue, Josh explored his options with classes in administration of justice as well as courses in general studies. He chose to follow his love of the outdoors at SWCC upon learning of the program offerings of Adventure Tourism & Outdoor Recreation (ATOR)

Click here to read more about Josh Matney as well as view previous Student Spotlights.

Career Possibilities

There are a variety of career opportunities in this field – the only limits are your own!

Potential careers include:

  • Outfitter
  • Park Ranger
  • Wildlife Officer
  • Camp Director
  • Environmental Interpreter
  • Park Manager

Get Started! Apply Now

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For more information, Please contact us by:

Phone: 276-964-7277
Email: ator@sw.edu

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