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Outdoor Recreation

Associate of Science

This program offers the student outdoor recreation skill development with a business/ entrepreneurial perspective of the outdoor recreation service industry. It includes learning, training, and assessment of leadership and program management skills for parks, recreation, and tourism.

The student has the option to spend up to one full semester taking wilderness-based courses with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). NOLS offers these educational expeditions at remote, pristine locations in the US and abroad. To receive college credit for NOLS courses, the student must enroll concurrently in the appropriate corresponding course at CWC. For example, a CWC student taking a NOLS semester course should be enrolled in G&R 2050, G&R 2031, and EDUC 2050. For more information on NOLS offerings visit or call NOLS admissions at 1-800-710-6657.

Majors can also choose to live at CWC's Alpine Science Institute near Sinks Canyon State Park in Lander. In the foothills of the Wind River Mountains, student cabins offer opportunities for reflective solitude and easy access to: trout streams, world class rock climbing areas, and a variety of hike and mountain bike trails.

The Outdoor Recreation program is especially appropriate for the student wishing to start their own outdoor-related business, build careers in parks, recreation and tourism or complete the Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) Degree in Organizational Management and Leadership: Outdoor Program Leadership Option. A student pursuing the BAS should notify their academic advisor and also take Public Speaking (COMM 2010) during their first 4 semesters.

PMBI in black with a black circle that says Professional Mountain Bike Instructor Ass. Blue background inside the circle

Course Number Course Credits
BIOL 1080Intro to Environmental Science4
HLED 2010Wilderness First Responder4
HLED 2015Wilderness EMT9
MATH 1000Problem Solving3
MATH 1400College Algebra4
OEAC Choose 3 credits of OEAC from Electives below 
ORTM 1000Foundations of Recreation and Tourism3
ORTM 2410Outdoor Leadership3
PSYC 1000General Psychology4
STAT 2000Statistics and the World3
Students must choose seventeen (17) credits from the following list of approved electives:
Course Number Course Credits
ANTH 1100Introduction to Biological Anthropology3
ASTR 1050Survey of Astronomy4
EDFD 2450Human Life Span Development3
EDUC 2045Outdoor Leadership Instructor1-5
EDUC 2050Outdoor Education & Leadership1-5
ENR 1005Trailbuilding I1-3
ENR 2005Trailbuilding 24
ENR 2150NAI Certified Interpretive Guide3
ENR 2425Mountain Environments4
G&R 2032Winter Expedition:1-5
G&R 2033Rock Climbing:1-5
G&R 2034Water Expedition:1-5
G&R 2035River Rescue Certification1
G&R 2050Environmental Ethics & Management:1-5
GEOG 1010Intro to Physical Geography4
GIST 2110Techniques in Cartography4
GIST 2135Applied GPS for GIS3
GIST 2310Intro to Geographic Information Systems4
HLED 2015Wilderness EMT9
NAIS 1350American Indians in Contemporary Society3
OEAC 1258Skiing and Snowboarding1
OEAC 1259Cross Country Skiing1
OEAC 1287Outdoor Rock Climbing1
OEAC 1288Mountain Biking1
OEAC 1297Whitewater Rafting and Rescue1
OEAC 1380Outdoor Multisport1-3
OEAC 1387Indoor Rock Climbing1
OEAC 1400Avalanche Level 11
OEAC 2020Mountaineering:1-5
OEAC 2025Wilderness Navigation1
OEAC 2030Wilderness Backpacking:1-5
OEAC 2031Combined Expeditions:1-5
OEAC 2058Backcountry Skiing and Snowboarding1
OEAC 2088Alpine Climbing and Rescue1
OEAC 2400Avalanche Level 22
ORTM 1100Bicycle Mechanic3
ORTM 2100Mountain Bike Skills Instructor 12
PEAC 2018Water Safety1
Writing Level I (WR1) 3 credits
Writing Level II (WR2) 3 credits
American & Wyoming Government (POLS 1000) 3 credits
Student must complete six (6) credits of General Education courses distributed over two (2) different general education areas, ARTS/HUM/SOC. (SOC is in the program) 3 credits
SOC (in program)
LSCI (in program)
MATH (in program)
ORAL 3 credits
UNST 1 credits

Total Credit Hours: 60

Get to know your instructors

Professor of Outdoor Education and Leadership

Darran Wells is passionate about all kinds of outdoor activities – hiking, climbing, caving, and skiing, but mountain biking is a sport he dedicates most of his free time to.

Adjunct Professor of Outdoor Education and Leadership

Stacy Tostrup Wells has been teaching professionally in the outdoors for more than 20 years.

Adjunct Professor of Outdoor Education and Leadership

As an undergraduate professor, guide, program director, corporate trainer and business owner, Jake has been teaching in the outdoors for more than 20 years.

Let the adventure begin

If you have an interest in anthropology, environmental sciencegeospatial information systems technology (GIST), or outdoor education you can begin your studies and career on top of the Rocky Mountains as part of the Alpine Science Institute at Central Wyoming College.  

Student on glacier


Outdoor Program Leadership

Take the next step in your outdoor leadership journey. This 8-semester program offers students an administrative perspective of the outdoor recreation service industry that includes learning, training, and assessment of leadership and program management skills. The program is especially appropriate for students wishing to: start their own outdoor-related small business, manage an outdoor recreation or education program, or build a career in leadership of parks, recreation, tourism, or natural resource management.