Program FAQ

Here are some answers to the questions we’re asked over and over about our Outdoor Education program. If you need more information, please get in touch.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is Outdoor Education? 

Outdoor Education is a distinctive approach to learning that utilizes direct experiences, observation, and problem-solving skills in order to move past mere recreation to a truly educational experience. It is founded in the practice of Experiential Education, and combines Adventure Education and Environmental Education. Adventure Education uses adventure activities to assist participants in better understanding their relationships with other people and themselves. Environmental Education is the study of how individuals and other organisms relate with the natural environment. These two disciplines combine in Outdoor Education to present a unique program of study that will provide participants with a better understanding of their relationships with other individuals and the natural world.

How does the Outdoor Education program implement in-class study and field experiences? 

Montreat’s Outdoor Education program is a balance of in-class study and direct field experience, which promotes intellectual growth, and understanding of the skills and knowledge necessary to enter a variety of related fields of practice. Through discussion-oriented classes and experience in the field, students are able to design, implement, and administer Outdoor Education programs that are safe, challenging, and enjoyable. Our goal is to produce professional outdoor educators who have the knowledge and skills to make useful contributions to the field.

What unique field study opportunities are available through Montreat College?

Rooted in the belief that one of the best ways to study the environment is to be out in it, the Outdoor Education program provides many opportunities to study natural areas intensively by actually going to those areas for extended periods. These field-immersion courses are offered regularly:

  • Discovery: 21-day Outward Bound-type wilderness expedition
  • Wilderness Journey Practicum: wilderness expeditions in various locations including Bolivia and Wisconsin
  • Wilderness Journey for First-Year Students: 12-14 -day wilderness course prior to first year
  • Immersion Semester: 15-18 credits integrated in a semester program
  • The Natural History of Mt. Mitchell and the Black Mountains
  • The Natural History of the Great Smokey Mountains National Park
  • The Natural History of Grandfather Mountain
  • Coastal Ecosystems
  • Wetlands Ecology
  • The Environmental Perspectives and Cultural History of the Cherokees
  • American Ecosystems

What kind of opportunities does an Outdoor Education degree hold in the career world? 

Graduates in Outdoor Education from Montreat College go on to a variety of careers, including public and private outdoor/adventure/ environmental education programs; resident and travel camps; mission organizations; national and state parks; church-related youth organizations; expedition programs such as the National Outdoor Leadership School, Wilderness Education Association, and Outward Bound; environmental organizations; nature centers; outdoor science programs; and environmental interpretation centers. Many graduates report that whatever they decide to do, the leadership, interpersonal skills, and discipleship experiences they were involved in through the OE program help them in all aspects of their lives. Students also pursue graduate studies in a variety of areas, including environmental education, forestry, parks and recreation administration, ecotourism, experiential education and a variety of other disciplines.

Is it possible to double major in Environmental Studies and Outdoor Education?

Yes, this one of our more popular double majors. Environmental Studies and Outdoor Education are both field-oriented programs. In addition, they require many of the same courses, which makes it relatively easy to double major. Majoring in both provides a strong science background combined with knowledge of leadership, group dynamics, and outdoor skills, thereby making the graduate better prepared and more marketable. The double major can be completed within four years.

Check out our Environmental Studies program »

What certifications would I have the opportunity to earn through the OE program?

  • Wilderness First Responder and CPR
  • Wilderness Steward through the Wilderness Education Association
  • Outdoor Leadership through the Wilderness Education Association
  • Swift Water Rescue through the American Canoe Association
  • Flatwater and Moving Water Canoeing through the American Canoe Association
  • North Carolina Environmental Education Certification through the State of NC

Will the OE department help me find an internship?

Yes, faculty will assist you in finding an internship that will compliment your concentration; however, it is the student’s responsibility to arrange final internship placement. Teaching Outdoor Education at Montreat College is an active profession. As a student, you learn new skills, do field work, and discover your gifts and talents. You can expect your Outdoor Education professors to be beside you, guiding you and challenging you to reach your full potential inside the classroom and out.

Will I be able to get into graduate school if I graduate from a small college like Montreat College?

Yes! Montreat College graduates are admitted regularly into graduate schools across the country. Our graduates have had no difficulty being admitted to a wide variety of graduate and professional schools in such fields as environmental education, experiential education, recreation and leisure, adventure-based counseling, forestry, parks and recreation administration, education, and other related disciplines. The faculty works closely with the students through small classes and individualized instruction, and students have many opportunities to distinguish themselves through internships, teaching opportunities, and projects – all of which assist them in distinguishing themselves to potential graduate schools.

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Will the college assist me with my career?

The college provides the office of career development for career counseling and career-related skill development. These services include assisting with choosing a major, selecting a graduate school, preparing a resume, and organizing a job search.

Explore our Office of Work and Vocation »

Can I afford to go to Montreat College?

Montreat College seeks to ensure that the opportunity for Christian higher education be given to all who desire it. By keeping expenses at a minimum and by offering a substantial and comprehensive financial aid program, Montreat provides an educational opportunity for many students who otherwise might not be financially able to attend college. No qualified student should hesitate to apply because of lack of financial resources.

Learn more about financial aid »

How long will it take to earn my degree?

The Outdoor Education degree is designed so that you can complete the requirements within four years of study. Montreat College also supports numerous programs by which students may accelerate their academic careers, have a wider range of course choices, and reduce the overall length of time spent in completing degree requirements.

What is the Outdoor Education Immersion Semester / Certificate in Wilderness Leadership program?

The purpose of the Outdoor Education (OE) Immersion Semester and Certificate in Wilderness Leadership is to offer OE courses together in a semester format that will allow students the opportunity to spend time away from the Montreat College campus, live in an intentional community, and focus on developing as Christian leaders. The program is open to current Montreat College students who meet the prerequisite requirements and to others interested in attending the College for the semester certificate program only. Courses may include Leadership and Group Dynamics, Field Natural History, Expedition Management, Outdoor Programming, and Leadership in Whitewater Canoeing, Kayaking or Rock Climbing,Winter Outdoor Education and Practicum. Students may receive certifications from the American Canoe Association, Wilderness Education Association, and Wilderness First Responder. Students are required to pay regular tuition and room and board fees plus a special course fee. This program is designed for Sophomore through Senior students during the spring semester.



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