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Adventure Tourism & Outdoor Recreation

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For more information, complete the Interest Form OR contact us by: Phone: 276-964-7703,  Email:

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

For more information on activities and events, please contact us by:
phone: (276)964-7703 or email:

Southwest Virginia Community College Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society is now forming!

The Wildlife Society Banner

We are actively recruiting students to participate in the on-campus chapter of The Wildlife Society for a September 2022 start. The Wildlife Society's mission is "To inspire, empower, and enable wildlife professionals to sustain wildlife populations and habitats through science-based management and conservation." The Wildlife Society enhances our members' networking and learning opportunities, professional and career development, and provides numerous ways for them to get more involved in creating a better future for wildlife and their habitats.

Our Local Chapter Goals and Objectives:

  • Engage in wildlife conservation activities through service and research projects.
  • Build alliances with local wildlife conservation related groups, organizations and programs.
  • Expand student experiential learning opportunities through adventure-based projects and excursions.
  • Participate in the Wildlife Society Annual Conference.
  • Participate in the annual Wildlife Society Student Conclave.

Join students from approximately 147 colleges and universities chapters to learn, network, and engage in experiential learning opportunities.

The end of a successful year will be cultivated through student participation in the Annual TWS Student Conclave. "The event provides college students with valuable hands-on training in wildlife management and conservation, and networking opportunities with wildlife professionals. Some activities include field trips, workshops (i.e. telemetry, trapping, chemical immobilization, mist-netting), field competitions, local tours, game-calling competitions, quiz bowls, banquets, photography contests, and guest speakers."

If you are interested in participating or for additional information, please call (276)964-7277 or email

Information Request

Career Possibilities

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

Potential careers include:

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: