Program Spotlight

Outdoor Education
Combine your thirst for adventure with a career
Outdoor Education
    If you love the outdoors and are seeking a career, or just the skills to live comfortably in the wilderness, Central Wyoming College and the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) offer these unique programs, which include the wilderness-based courses offered through NOLS combined with a rigorous academic curriculum offered through CWC.

 Getting Started

Outdoor Education and Leadership Degree
    The Outdoor Education and Leadership degree program is provided through a partnership with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). This unique program combines extended wilderness expeditions offered through NOLS with a general studies curriculum offered through CWC. The wilderness expeditions are designed to develop environmental awareness and outdoor living and travel skills.
    Students taking a NOLS semester course for CWC credit must concurrently enroll in the following courses: G&R 2050, BIOL 2045, and EDUC 2050. For semesters that include a wilderness first responder component, students should also enroll in HLED 2010. The NOLS semester courses run 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for 64-94 days in these locations: Alaska, Arizona, Australia, Chile, India, the Yukon, New Zealand, Idaho, Mexico, Washington and Wyoming. Consult the NOLS website or catalog for specific dates, locations and formats. Students using federal financial aid can use no more than 16 credits of NOLS or WMI courses toward graduation.

    All wilderness courses require students to have the physical ability to carry a 65 pound backpack and hike 70-100 miles in rugged wilderness terrain. Regardless of the location or activity, four recurring themes are stressed: safety and judgment; leadership; outdoor skills; and environmental ethics.
    The Outdoor Education and Leadership program is especially appropriate for students seeking careers in outdoor education, adventure education, or environmental education.

Environmental Science and Leadership
    Wilderness expeditions are designed to teach environmental studies and conservation practices. The CWC science courses form the basis of a sound two-year program in natural science.
    The core of this program is a combination of courses taught through NOLS. Students choosing to take a NOLS semester course for CWC credit must concurrently enroll in the following courses: G&R 2050, BIOL 2045, and EDUC 2015. Semesters with a Wilderness First Responder component also include HLED 2010. As an alternative to the NOLS semester course, students may enroll in any of the courses listed in the current CWC catalog as "Program Electives." However, no more than 16 credits of NOLS courses may be used toward graduation with this degree
    All wilderness courses require students to have the physical ability to carry a 65 pound backpack and hike 70-100 miles in rugged wilderness terrain. Regardless of the location or activity, four recurring themes are stressed: safety and judgment; leadership; outdoor skills; and environmental ethics
    The Environmental Science and Leadership program is excellent preparation for leadership careers in natural resources and environmental science.
    
    Consult the NOLS website or catalog for specific dates, locations, and formats of outdoor leadership courses, or directly contact the National Outdoor Leadership School at 1-800-710-NOLS. For detailed course descriptions on specific courses and seasons go to www.nols.edu. Courses offered through NOLS do not necessarily follow CWC semester schedules. To enroll in a NOLS course with CWC credit, a student must apply to both NOLS and CWC. CWC admissions application may be completed online on the CWC website: www.cwc.edu.  Contact admissions@nols.edu for availability and application forms for NOLS courses.

Wilderness Medicine Institute Wilderness First Responder Program
    This comprehensive 80-hour program of classroom education, practical skills, scenarios and mock rescues prepares the student to test for certification as an Wilderness First Responder. This program is designed to provide outdoor leaders, instructors, guides, rangers and wilderness and foreign travelers with the knowledge needed to deal with emergencies in remote settings. The curriculum covers standards of care for urban and remote situations. Special topics include but are not limited to: CPR considerations (when not to start and when to stop), wilderness wound and burn management, managing spinal injuries and head trauma, athletic injuries, realigning fractures and dislocations, improvised splinting techniques, patient monitoring and long-term management problems, up-to-date information on all environmental emergencies, and common simple medical problems. Emphasis is placed on prevention and decision-making. Certifications upon successful completion include: Wilderness Medicine Institute (WMI) Wilderness First Responder and Adult and Child CPR. All levels of prior training are welcome. Prerequisite: Acceptance by WMI of NOLS.

Outdoor Leadership skills transfer to success in academic, social, and professional endeavors.

What students may experience:
•    Independent student group expeditions
•    Team building
•    Leadership skills development
•    Route-finding and navigation
•    Rations planning and cooking in the back-country
•    Equipment care and selection
•    Wilderness injury prevention and treatment
•    Understanding state and federal land management agencies
•    Wilderness ethics and practices
•    Emergency procedures and search and rescue techniques
•    Field-based natural history
•    Human history


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