The Outdoor Studies Department offers the following degree programs:
Outdoor Studies, B.A., or minor
Optional concentrations offered in:
Outdoor Education, Wilderness Therapy,
Commercial Recreation/Tourism, or Land Management
Outdoor Studies (0S) prepares students for careers in outdoor recreation and education through expedition and classroom learning. Students may choose to pursue a concentration in outdoor education, wilderness therapy, commercial recreation/tourism, or land management. Our goal is to graduate students who are prepared to serve an increasingly diverse outdoor constituency.
Alaska Pacific University’s (APU) block and session is an ideal structure for active learning. The four week blocks allow students to explore remote wild places with seasoned outdoor instructors that model industry standards in an expedition setting. It is our expectation that OS students will apply those guidelines in all their backcountry pursuits. During the session students have the opportunity to experience a variety challenging academic classes.
A outdoor studies student is expected to meet the following competencies:
- Design, implement, and evaluate indoor and outdoor recreational programs (RP)
- Demonstrate the art of expedition leadership and related outdoor skills (EL)
- Understand the significance of public lands to a culturally diverse outdoor community (PL)
- Interpret natural history for educational curricula, and (EC)
- Articulate ethical principles and standards relevant to outdoor recreation professionals.(EP)
Block courses require that students pay lab fees to help offset the costs associated with the higher instructor student ratios necessary for safe wilderness travel. Alaska Pacific University has arranged an articulation agreement with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) for applicable course work. APU courses use public lands including the Chugach National Forest and Alaska State Parks.
Professional Expectations for Students
The Outdoor Studies faculty encourage students to fully develop their knowledge and skills in outdoor leadership by capitalizing on the social and natural opportunities unique to APU and Alaska.
Students are expected to:
- Practice what they have learned in class on their own time.
- Follow appropriate professional standards and behaviors.
- Use a conservative approach in their adventure pursuits.
- Take small, incremental steps to improve their skills.
- Know their own strengths and weaknesses, and recognize the strengths and weaknesses of other group members.
- Communicate with group members to achieve common understandings.
- Be in appropriate physical condition for activities they are engaged in.
- Understand and accept the risks of each activity.