Adventure Education

On-Campus Undergraduate Programs


"Graduates from this career-focused competency are entrepreneurs, educators, facilitators, and those working within the healing arts."

At Prescott College, Adventure Education is defined as an experiential process that takes place in challenging outdoor settings where the primary purpose is to build and strengthen inter- and intra-personal relationships, personal health, leadership skills, and environmental understandings.  The field of adventure education holds tremendous promise for contributing to our society and environment in healthy and significant ways.  The possibilities for social and environmental change are as numerous and as varied as the number of students pursuing an Adventure Education degree.

The Adventure Education Program provides students with opportunities to develop character, leadership abilities, practical and technical experience, theoretical grounding, health and fitness, and sensitivity to the environment.  Adventure educators must be liberal artists, having explored broad perspectives that complement and ground their specialized study.  Students are offered the ideal balance of structure and freedom in designing their degrees.  The structure and requirements are core elements of the field and help to ensure a well-rounded and interdisciplinary approach to studies.  Within the specified requirements students can influence their paths by choosing courses that match their heart's desires for learning.

Graduation with a competence or breadth in Adventure Education is based on a collection of appropriate course work, demonstration of a balance of theoretical understanding, and practical and diverse experience and exposure.  Students in the Adventure Education Program demonstrate their developing professional level competence by completing 70 or more leadership days as instructors for New Student Orientation and as Teaching Assistants in the curriculum.  Additionally, students develop and demonstrate competence through documented external program experiences in related work in summer jobs, internships, and their Senior Projects.

Faculty and advisors are committed to helping students acquire outdoor skills and knowledge as educators at  standard of competence that will enable them to become leaders in the field.  Graduates have played important roles in developing adventure education programs across the nation.


The program graduates students with competences in:

  • Adventure Education
  • Adventure-Based Environmental Education
  • Outdoor Experiential Education
  • Outdoor Program Administration
  • Wilderness Leadership

Student-Directed Competence Examples

Adventure Based Tourism

This competence combines the study of natural sciences, outdoor program skills, and education needed to create an ethical outdoor experience for tourists.  Students in this competence have the opportunity to gain a broad view of biology, geology, ecology, and related disciplines, as well as proficiency in teaching and facilitating outdoor experiences and natural sciences to a broad population.

Expedition Leadership

Students develop the skills necessary to guide/teach outdoor activities in a commercial and institutional setting, and to conduct adventure activities in a safe and enriching manner.  Students develop a strong set of technical skills along with a broad understanding of environmental and cultural issues in  order to minimize impact on physical, biological, and cultural resources.

Experiential Adventure Education

Students in this competence work to develop leadership abilities, practical experience, technical expertise, theoretical grounding, and sensitivity to the environment.  They actively engage in teaching diverse student populations in outdoor environments and learn group process facilitation, curriculum design, teaching methods, and personal growth techniques.  They also become proficient in adventure-based activities such as expeditionary planning and risk management.


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