Overview of the Current Landscape of Outdoor Programs in Higher Education
Keywords:academic programs, higher education, census
Recent recognition of the growth and significance outdoor recreation industry indicates a need for outdoor-focused academic programs in higher education, yet broader trends affecting higher education may especially impact these programs. Our census methodology identified 128 undergraduate outdoor academic programs; more than previously identified in the literature. The most common higher education institutions to have an outdoor academic program are public, doctoral granting, and located in cities and in the southeast. However, those most likely to have an outdoor academic program are public and doctoral-granting, but are located in rural areas and the Rocky Mountain region. This research provides the foundation for future work which seeks to better understand the unique characteristics of these programs as well as to identify trends in program introduction and elimination.
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