Overview of the Current Landscape of Outdoor Programs in Higher Education

Authors

  • Jeff Turner Georgia College and State University
  • Jeremy Jostad Eastern Washington University
  • Brent J. Bell University of New Hampshire
  • Kellie Gerbers Westminster College
  • Will Hobbs Brevard College
  • Elizabeth Andre Northland College
  • K.C. Collins Brevard College

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18666/JOREL-2022-11595

Keywords:

academic programs, higher education, census

Abstract

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.

Author Biography

Jeff Turner, Georgia College and State University

Associate Professor, Outdoor Education
School of Health and Human Performance

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Published

2022-10-21

Issue

Section

Coalition for Education in the Outdoors Special Issue 2022