Resources for PRM Students

Handbooks and Manuals

 Useful  Organizations

Landmark LearningClass Circle At Landmark

Landmark Learning is a leading resource in education and training for the outdoor community, advancing national standards through a network of professional educators, researchers and certification specialists. Landmark Learning is the first school of it's kind in the United States to become nationally accredited and recognized by the United States Department of Education as a school of higher education. Landmark's wilderness campus sits approximately four miles from Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC. Serving over 2400 students each year in the United States and abroad, Landmark Learning faculty are seasoned outdoor professionals and educators that focus on student outcomes. Western Carolina University and Landmark Learning are in partnership to provide college credit for select coursework. Please visit Landmark Learning online, the WCU-Landmark Learning course credit chart and talk to your academic advisor to further understand how Landmark Learning can be part of your education at WCU.

Wilderness Education Association (WEA). Currently we offer wilderness expedition courses each May or Summer session which qualify students to receive the WEA’s Outdoor Leader Certificate. The focus of the expedition course includes leadership, judgment and decision making within the context of a small group experience. Courses may include backpacking, mountaineering, rock climbing or canoeing. The PRM program regularly rotates course locations and modes of travel to offer a variety of training experiences for students. Completing an expedition is highly recommended – either with the PRM program, another WEA accredited institution, the National Outdoor Leadership School or Outward Bound.

 Kirk Workman and Kim Miller

Kirk Workman, ski instructor (L)
and Kim Miller, PRM student
at Cataloochee Ski Resort

The National Ski Patrol (NSP)

The PRM Program also is accredited through the National Ski Patrol. Completing the NSP’s Outdoor Emergency Care Certificate through PRM 356 will qualify you to train with the Ski Patrol at Cataloochee or Sapphire Valley Ski Resorts. This qualification also is regarded as being the equivalent of a Wilderness First Responder (WFR), the First Aid qualification currently regarded as the standard in the outdoor profession for outdoor leaders. The certification can be maintained by attending the annual updates provided by the National Ski Patrol throughout the country. Courses also are offered in professional rescuer CPR each year for students wishing to become involved with the ski patrol.

North Carolina Recreation & Park Association (NCRPA) (
NCRPA is a nonprofit education and advocacy organization, dedicated to the advancement of the park, recreation and leisure profession in the state of North Carolina.  PRM majors are eligible for a student membership, which provides access to workshops, seminars, conferences, publications, networking and a job listing service.Will Butler in GSMNP

National Recreation & Parks Association (NRPA) (
The NRPA is the leading advocacy organization dedicated to the advancement of public parks and recreation opportunities.  PRM majors are eligible for a student membership.  The NRPA organizes conferences and workshops each year where students can learn about the latest developments in the recreation field and network with industry professionals.

Resort & Commercial Recreation Association (RCRA) (
The RCRA is an international non-profit organization, which is made up of professionals, educators, and students in resort and commercial related industries.  PRM majors may become student members of the organization and attend their annual conferences and workshops.  The organization also provides a job search service.

Outward Bound (, National Outdoor Leadership School ( and the International Wilderness Leadership School (
Students interested in careers as outdoor leaders are strongly encouraged to participate in an expedition style course offered by one of these organizations.

Professional Ski Instructors of American (PSIA) and the American Association of Snowboard Instructors (AASI)  (
Students who are interested in working within the snowsport industry as instructors are encouraged to become certified through PSIA/AASI.  Internship and job opportunities are available at our local area, Cataloochee Ski Area in Maggie Valley, NC.

American CCullowhee Canoe Slalomanoe Association (ACA) (
The ACA provides instructor certification for canoeing, kayaking, rafting, adaptive paddling, stand up paddling and safety and rescue.  WCU’s close proximity to a variety of summer camps and whitewater rafting outfitters, provides many opportunities for internships and job opportunities for those students interested in working in the paddling industry.


Study Abroad

You may be able to study abroad for around the same cost as studying at Western. We have a special agreement with the Galway Mayo Institute of Technology in Ireland and have had international exchanges for a few years now. Studying in Ireland would require a year commitment and is best done early. Study abroad is a great experience! Ask for further details.

 PRM Club

The PRM Club is part of SGA at WCU and receives funding to help with club expenses. Being a member of the club enables you to get to know other PRM students who, besides helping you to make friends on campus, broaden your network of professional contacts for when you have graduated. 
Read more about the PRM Club


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