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Adventure Recreation Management

The WVU Tech Adventure Recreation Management program prepares students for employment (and/or graduate study) in the management of public and private enterprises that operate adventure activities like paddle sports, rock climbing, mountain biking and aerial venues. 

The degree combines technical field skills with business and management acumen - that means our graduates are equipped to take on the responsibilities of managing and operating an adventure recreation business or organization. We achieve this through four unique program features:

Foundational coursework in technical field skills. Students will take developmental courses and complete a guide or instructor certification in at least one adventure recreation field activity. This provides substantial field experience and an in-depth understanding of how these activities are best delivered. This is a general requirement for employment in the adventure recreation management field.

Theoretical Coursework in adventure recreation management. Foundational and advanced coursework in the organization, methods, legal and business practices of the professional adventure industry are covered in the core coursework of the degree. These include interactions and case studies of real-world adventure recreation operations in the region and at other well-developed adventure destinations.

Field practicum. Each student will complete a professional field experience with an adventure recreation industry business or closely related organization. It's a great way to apply what the student is learning in the classroom to the real world and it provides work experience to help build their resume.

Capstone project. In their final year of the program, students will show what they've learned in the  completion of an original senior project that ties everything together.

Program outcomes
It's about more than finding a job. We want our students to be well-rounded, competent leaders in the adventure industry. So our goal is to create graduates who can:

Demonstrate a broad-based understanding of the dynamics of the adventure recreation industry, including familiarity with a variety of program delivery models, adventure skill areas, programmatic risk management systems and fiscal operations.

Apply theoretical knowledge, personal experience and management principles to the design of an adventure program, business or product.

Apply critical thinking and higher level analytical skills to problems and issues in the management of adventure recreations activities and facilities.

Communicate effectively in oral and written form and have the specialized vocabulary utilized in the adventure recreation industry.

In the heart of adventure
WVU Tech's location in Beckley, West Virginia puts our program in a prime position to learn in the field. This region is known nationally and internationally for its world class venues and adventure tourism offerings, including the New and Gauley whitewater rivers, extensive rock climbing sites, miles of recreational trails and the 12,000-acre Boy Scouts of America high-adventure base. 

The program also leverages partnerships with private tourism businesses, land management agencies, recreational service organizations and the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in the New River Gorge and Central Appalachian Region to offer hands on learning opportunities for both technical skill development and management practice.