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Outdoor Interpretation and Education

Outdoor Interpretation & Education


Purpose: The Career Studies Certificate in Outdoor Interpretation and Education prepares students to organize, plan, and conduct outdoor educational activities and events. Skills are develop to protect and preserve natural resources to reduce the impact of activities, to conduct effective outdoor activities and events to provide an explanation of nature and the environment, and to minimize the impact of potential risk. This program is an add-on stackable credential that complements and builds on an individual’s previous education and work experience, enhancing their skill set

Occupational Objectives:

  • Naturalist
  • Outdoor Interpreter
  • Outdoor Education Instructor
  • Activity Coordinator

Admission Requirements: Students must meet the general admission requirements established by the College.

Program Requirements: The Outdoor Interpretation and Education program introduces education in a natural setting.  Students develop, implement, and present outdoor education related curriculum to provide understanding of the natural world around us.  The students learn to direct presentation toward a particular audience, protect and reduce environmental impact will conducting sessions, maintain the health and safety of participants, and demonstrate knowledge of natural resources, outdoor skills and recreational activities.  The students will have the opportunity to earn the Certified Interpretative Host and Certified Interpretative Guide credentials in addition to the Career Studies Certificate in Outdoor Interpretation and Education.

Program Objectives

At the conclusion of the Outdoor Interpreter program, the graduate will be able to:

  • State a philosophy of recreation, use of natural resources and impact recreation activities have on the natural resources and watershed. (RPK102, RPK125)
  • Design, implement and present interpretative programs in a variety of formats and audiences. (RPK125)
  • Protect the outdoor environment when implementing outdoor programming by following principles of Leave No Trace. (RPK102)
  • Provide leadership for tourism and recreation related projects and events. (RPK265)
  • Design and implement outdoor recreation programming for specific target audiences. (RPK102, RPK125)
  • Implement the policies and principles of risk management in relation to tourism, recreation, business and programming to keep everyone safe and having a good experience. (RPK Elective,  RPK265)
  • Demonstrate knowledge of outdoor recreational skills and activities. (RPK103, RPK Elective, RPK140, RPK141, RPK265)
Course NumberCourse TitleLecture HoursLab HoursCourse Credits
First Semester
RPK 102Outdoor Recreation in the Appalachian Ecosystem202
RPK 125Resource Interpretation & Education223
RPK 265Risk Management303
RPK 170Recreational Backpacking*041

Total Minimum Credits for the Career Studies Certificate in Outdoor Interpretation and Education ... 9

*Or Division Approval

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Business Path

Degree: Career Studies Certificate
Program Code: 221-460-15
Program Length: 1 Semester
Minimum Credits: 9
Program Degree Completion Plan

Visit the Adventure Tourism & Outdoor Recreation Website.

Program Advisor
Michael Brown
Davisl Hall Room 238