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Wilderness Leadership & Experiential Education

Reading by headlightAs a Brevard Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education (WLEE) student, you’ll experience an outdoor leadership program like no other in the nation. Our innovative educators will support, challenge, and guide you - both personally and academically - as you tackle your own adventures in one of the richest outdoor recreation environments imaginable. Here’ll you make meaningful interdisciplinary connections, explore your own interests and talents, and learn how to turn your passions into a professional career. Visit Brevard to start your WLEE adventure!

Majors, Minors, and Concentrations

Students receive a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Wilderness Leadership & Experiential Education). A Minor in Wilderness Leadership & Experiential Education is also available.

Experiential Opportunities
  • The Immersion Semester is a full semester experience in which a team of ten students study six interrelated WLEE courses under the direction of one faculty member and other outdoor professionals. Highlights of immersion include day trips, whitewater canoeing and kayaking, rock climbing, mountain biking, and nearly 35 overnights in the field, including a six-day sea kayaking expedition, three-day caving trip, and a 21-day wilderness expedition developed by students. Students actively develop leadership, teaching, and technical outdoor skills, and experience a vareity of natural environments. There are opportunities to earn certifications through a Wilderness First Responder Course and a Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics Master Educator Course.
  • Advanced Skills Courses follow the Immersion Semester to offer opportunities to further develop professional skills and earn certifications for nationally-recognized organizations. Courses include Advanced Navigation, Advanced Rock Climbing, Advanced Swiftwater Rescue, Whitewater Canoe Instructor, Kayak Instructor, and Facilitation of Group Games and Initiatives. Zip Line Canopy Tours and Challenge Courses.
  • Transylvania County is home to Pisgah National Forest, Gorges State Park, Holmes State Educational Forest, DuPont State Recreation Forest, and North America’s highest concentration of waterfalls.
  • Experience premier camping, canoeing, kayaking, rafting, fishing, hiking, mountain biking, road cycling, climbing, and zip lining. You can ride from campus and access the mountain bike trail system in Pisgah National Forest through Bracken Mountain, a city park! You can also drive ten minutes and be at the put-in of the French Broad River. 
  • Graduates secure jobs in a variety of program areas including summer camps, wilderness therapy programs, public and private colleges, outdoor professional programs, environmental, adventure, and experiential programs, outdoor recreation instruction and guiding, and government recreation programs like the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, and municipal parks and recreation commissions.
Career Tracks in Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education

A WLEE degree from Brevard can lead to outdoor and leadership careers in a variety of settings. Meet some of our alumni:

  • Owner of a local cycling shop; mountain bike racer
  • Instructor for North Carolina Outward Bound School; graduate student in Natural Resources Recreation and Tourism
  • Founder, Owner, and Director of Green River Adventures and The Gorge Zipline and Canopy Tour
  • Vice President of a premier outdoor gear company
  • Field Instructor at Second Nature Blue Ridge Wilderness Therapy Program; graduate student in Experiential Education
Highly Engaged Faculty

“In each of John Buford’s classes he presents the material to his students in an organized and concise manner. The class inspired me to view, investigate, and discover the material from varied perspectives. I worked with classmates to synthesize the material and present it in an experiential way to the entire class. I came away from his classes with a better grip on WLEE Ethics and learned to transfer that knowledge to my everyday life. ”    

- current Brevard student

 

Resources

Faculty

Associate Professor of Wilderness Leadership & Experiential Education, Coordinator of WLEE Program
Associate Professor of Wilderness Leadership & Experiential Education
Assistant Professor of Wilderness Leadership & Experiential Education
Assistant Professor of Wilderness Leadership & Experiential Education
Adjunct Instructor of Wilderness Leadership & Experiential Education