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Adventure Tourism & Outdoor Recreation

For more information, complete the Information Request form or contact us by:

Phone: 276-964-7703



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. Coursework 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 are 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.

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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

For course more information, contact Erin Smith, ATOR Program Recruiter/Developer, Davis Hall, Room 243, Phone: 276.964.7751, Email:

Adventure Tourism and Outdoor Recreation

Adventure Connect – May 29, 2023

Programmatic Highlight

Environmental Management & Recreational Ecology – Associate of Applied Science (Two year/Four-semester program)

The AAS in Environmental Management & Recreational Ecology prepares the students to work in various types of forestry, parks, recreation, trail system, and other ecology-related technical jobs. This course provides the student with the skills they need to be successful working in conservation, environmental management, trail systems, adventure camp, national, state or local parks, state forestry, division of natural resources, or other recreational and/or ecology venues. Coursework will include fundamental knowledge of fish, wildlife, ecology and forest management, forest mapping, adventure excursion planning, Leave No Trace best practices, etc. The project-based curriculum will involve extensive outings, field trips, and research projects to further prepare the student for work in one of the aforementioned career paths.

Natural Resource Destinations in Southwest Virginia

Lake Witten, located in Tazewell, Virginia

Located in Tazewell County, Lake Witten spans 52 acres. While the lake is owned and operated by Tazewell County, it was constructed by the U.S. Natural Resource Conservation Service. This is a great spot for fishing and is part of the state’s put-and-take trout stocking program.

Upcoming Activities and Events

Southwest Adventure Team (SWAT): Upcoming meeting, Tuesday, May 30th 12:00-1:00PM, Davis Hall Room 237
Archery Club: Meets every Tuesday & Thursday, 3:00-6:00PM at H&V Sporting Goods
Coding Camp: Ages 11-13; July 31-August 3, 9:00AM-4:00PM, registration is now open!

For additional information, or to sign up for any of these activities, please contact us by:
Email:     Phone: 276.964.7277

Change Your Life With Adventure

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