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Outdoor Recreation

Outdoor Recreation Career Studies Certificate

  • Time to Complete: 1 year (full-time/2 semesters)
  • Minimum Credits: 29
  • Degree Type: Career Studies Certificate (CSC)
  • Distance Learning Option: No
  • Eligible for Financial Aid: Yes
  • Program Code221-460-35
  • Outdoor Recreation Advising Sheet (pdf)
  • Employment: 2016 Median Pay and Growth Information  (OOH)

The career studies certificate in outdoor recreation includes courses in:

Customer Service, Wilderness First Aid, Mountain Biking, Kayaking, Orienteering, among others.

Completion of the outdoor recreation certificate will prepare you for work as a(n)

  • Recreation Coordinator
  • Facilities Coordinator
  • Outdoor Recreation Planner
  • Guest Relations
  • Events Coordinator
  • Camp Counselor
  • Path/Trail Technician
  • Park Maintenance Worker
  • Maintenance Crew Leader
  • Education Specialist/Interpreter

For more information about the Outdoor Recreation CSC, contact:
Michael Brown at michael.brown@sw.edu. 276.964.7703, Davis Hall DA-240


Length: One-year Program - Two semesters 

Purpose: 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. This curriculum provides an add-on credential for those interested into getting into the outdoor recreation or parks andrecreation industries.

Occupational Objectives:

  • Recreation Coordinator
  • Facilities Coordinator
  • Outdoor Recreation Planner
  • Guest Relations
  • Events Coordinator
  • Camp Counselor
  • Path/Trail Technician
  • Park Maintenance Worker
  • Maintenance Crew Leader
  • Education Specialist/Interpreter

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

Program Requirements: The outdoor recreation program is designed to provide students with an introduction to the outdoor recreation industry. Additional courses will focus on the outdoor recreation topic of interest to the students. The elective courses will be selected from the approved list and an approved course plan is suggested before the student enrolls in the courses. The elective courses may focus on the student's area of interest including parks and recreation, adventure tourism, and trail maintenance and design.

The curriculum will be taught in a contextualized and experiential learning format. To foster a green initiative, the curriculum will be developed around the use of a tablet, digital texts, pdfs, online videos, an online course management system and other cutting-edge instructional technology.

Course Number Course Title Lecture Hours Lab Hours Course Credits
First Semester
RPK 100 Intro to Recreation, Parks & Leisure Studies 3 0 3
RPK 103 Preparation for Wilderness Adventure 0 2 1
RPK 141 Leadership & Supervision 2 2 3
RPK 140 Land Use Ethics 1 0 1
RPK 160 Wilderness First Aid 2 2 2
RPK 131 Kayaking* 0 2 1
RPK 150 Mountain Biking* 0 2 1
RPK 135 Program Planning 3 2 3
TOTAL 11 12 15
Second Semester
RPK 102 Outdoor Recreation in the Appalachian Ecosystem 2 0 2
MKT 170 Customer Service 2 0 2
RPK 265 Risk Management 3 0 3
RPK 190 OR RPK 198 Internship OR Capstone Course 0 4 2
RPK 125 Resource Interpretation & Education 2 2 3
RPK 170 Recreational Backpacking* 0 4 1
RPK 151 Orienteering 0 2 1
TOTAL 9 12 14

Total Minimum Credits for the Career Studies Certificate in Outdoor Recreation  29

*Or Division Approval

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