For those interested in a career as an outdoor experiential educator, The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education wants to help you get onboard that particular ship.
But as the late comedian Jonathan Winters suggested when he famously quipped “If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it,” that vessel isn’t necessarily going to snuggle up to the dock and pick you up. It’s up to you to do the basic footwork — or perhaps backstroke is a better analogy — in order to achieve your career objectives.
Many people ask us if a formal education is necessary for a career in outdoor and adventure education and we answer that question by posing another: Does a piece of paper make for a master educator? Then we answer our own question by saying, “It depends.”
In the end, it’s you who must decide what role you want to play in the outdoor industry. If your objective is to spend a few years going “wild” as a fledgling field instructor, then just head out and apply for a job. Or let’s say you want to become a leader in a specific area of the outdoor experiential education field. In this case, gobble up some on-the-job experience and a fistful of certificates and get to work.
However, if what you seek is a career as a lifelong experiential educator — with a comfortable salary and maybe some good health insurance — some formal education might be required. The secret is to find ways to get a good education without being (more…)
The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE) has forged an academic relationship with the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) that will see UNCW students earning up to six academic credits for participating in and completing educationally-focused backcountry expeditions thousands of miles from campus and lasting up to a month.
Beginning next spring, UNCW students can study in magnificent outdoor classroom settings that include Chile, Patagonia or Alaska. As a result of this accord between the university and our North Carolina-based outdoor adventure organization, these adventure courses are now counted among the approved academic activities for the university’s Department of Environmental Sciences (EVS) students.
The trio of field courses — timed to coincide with scheduled breaks during the University’s 2018/19 academic year — provide UNCW students with some serious hands-on outdoor activities and lessons that are pretty much guaranteed to (more…)