The recreation management industry is expanding and expected to grow faster than average over the next eight years. At Appalachian State University, you’ll prepare for careers in recreation management in one of the United States’ most beautiful places for year-round recreation.
In the Recreation Management (BS) - Outdoor Experiential Education degree, students are trained on the foundational theories and philosophies of experiential education; learn and practice teaching basic leadership, wilderness, adventure, and safety skills; understand and develop a sound trip plan and risk management plans; understand individual and group dynamics as it relates to leadership; understand and practice sound problem-solving, decision-making, and judgment skills; and understand and practice a variety of leadership, teaching and facilitation skills.
The program also allows students to obtain a number of certifications through a selection of skills classes. Certifications can include:
- Wilderness First Responder
- Wilderness First Aid Instructor
- Leave No Trace Trainer
- Swiftwater Rescue
Employment: Students have careers as camp directors, outdoor leaders and managers for organizations such as Outward Bound, university outdoor programs, and in student development. They also work in the wilderness therapy field, or in national and state parks as environmental educators and interpretive rangers.
Former students have found internships and employment at Alaska Mountain Guides, Outward Bound, SUWS Wilderness Treatment Program, Sky Valley Zip Tours, Brooklyn Parks and Recreation, Allen Marine Tours, U.S. National Whitewater Center and other locations.
Graduate School: Students may pursue graduate school in Recreation, Leisure Studies, Student Development, Psychology and Business, or obtain advanced certification in skills related to their field from organizations such as American Mountain Guides Association, American Canoe Association or others.
The Recreation Management (BS) has 53-54 hours of major courses, plus a required concentration. Core courses for the Outdoor Experiential Education concentration include:
- Principles of Outdoor Experiential Education
- Outdoor Experiential Education Laboratory
- Outdoor Leadership
- Environmental Ed. Skills
- Plus more
A minor is required.
Engagement Outside the Classroom
The Recreation Management Association (RMA) - a club providing extra recreational, social, and professional development opportunities to supplement Appalachian’s Recreation Management (RM) program. Membership is open to all Recreation Management majors/minors as well other interested students.
Appalachian is committed to introducing students to different cultures and teaching them how to live and interact in a global society.
There are no admission requirements beyond admission to Appalachian State University.
- Appalachian’s location in Boone provides a scenic, small town backdrop with year-round recreation opportunities, including climbing, skiing, snowboarding, hiking, white water boating, fishing and camping.
- The region includes some of the best outdoor and adventure recreation opportunities, such as Mount Mitchell (the highest peak east of the Rockies), the Blue Ridge Parkway, the New River (part of the Wild & Scenic Rivers System and an American Heritage River), Grandfather Mountain, several N.C. state parks, four ski resorts, the Pisgah National Forest, and numerous recreation oriented resorts and private developments.
- The Department of Recreation Management and Physical Education emphasizes a combination of classroom and hands-on experience with one-on-one advising.
- An internship is required. Host sites have included:resorts, camps, outdoor education centers, adventure programs, therapeutic wilderness programs, parks and recreation departments, state parks, national parks, YMCAs, theme parks, outfitter/guide services, convention and visitors bureaus, professional sports teams and military bases.
Number of Students
270+ in the Recreation Management program
Method of Delivery
On campus only
- Camp director
- Outdoor Leader
- Outdoor Program
- Recreation therapy
- Recreation and parks
- Student Development
Melissa S. Weddell, PhD, MBA