After years of hard work and preparation, we are pleased to share that we’ve been accredited by the Association for Experiential Education (AEE) — a Boulder, Colorado-based not-for-profit organization, with roots in adventure-based education, that exists to connect the global community of outdoor educators and expand our collective capacity to enrich lives through experiential education.
According to AEE’s website, The National Center for Outdoor & Adventure Education (NCOAE) is one of only 14 wilderness-based adventure programs in the U.S. to meet the organization’s strict standards for wilderness/adventure programming, and the only such program to be accredited thus far in 2015. AEE’s Accreditation Council voted unanimously at the end of October to grant us a three-year accreditation term, adding in a letter sent to our executive director by the organization’s Director of Accreditation:
“You and your staff are to be commended for engaging in the accreditation process and committing the time and resources to operate such an outstanding program.”
Based on an AEE accreditation peer review team site visit earlier this year, which took place at NCOAE headquarters in Wilmington, N.C., as well as field observations and a deep review of our administrative and field operation documentation, the Accreditation Council found NCOAE to be in compliance with AEE Standards for the following:
- Program Governance
- Environment and Culture
- Service Projects
- Equipment, Nutrition, and Hygiene
- Venue Selection and Appropriateness
- International Considerations
- Philosophical, Therapeutic, Educational and Ethical Principles
- Program Oversight and Management of Activities
- Human Resources (Staff Selection, Hiring, Training and Supervision)
- As well as a number of human-powered outdoor recreation activities, including: Hiking, Camping, Backpacking, Climbing, Initiatives, Games, Problem Solving Exercises, Flat and White Water Canoeing, Kayaking, Rafting, Sea Kayaking, Swimming and Wading, Surfing and Unaccompanied Activities
To say we’re pleased with the news of our AEE Accreditation would be the understatement of the decade. In addition to the personal satisfaction every member of our team feels right now, we have the have confidence that our business and field operations meet or exceed industry standards. It just goes to show that if you plan your work and work your plan, anything’s possible!
If you’re interested, you can learn more about AEE’s Accreditation standards and process by visiting the AEE Standards & Accreditation website.