Western Carolina University’s accredited graduate program in Experiential and Outdoor Education (EOE) prepares students to integrate theory into practice by designing impactful learning experiences for diverse populations in national and state parks, environmental education centers, wilderness therapy programs and other experiential and outdoor education programs. The two-year, hybrid (face-to-face and online) program utilizes a cohort model and is designed for non-formal educators.
The EOE master’s degree is an interdisciplinary, residential hybrid (face-to-face and online) program that utilizes classroom, field-based and online learning opportunities to prepare non-formal educators for service in a variety of educational contexts. Students in the EOE program will: (a) develop a theoretical and philosophical foundation for experiential and outdoor education, (b) understand research methods as they apply to experiential and outdoor education scholarship, and (c) design learning experiences for diverse populations that integrate theory into practice.
The EOE program is centered on a social justice approach by helping students to examine power structures resulting in social injustices and to adopt an advocacy role in working with marginalized and underserved populations. EOE students are engaged in face-to-face coursework during a five-day intensive and weekend sessions during year 1 and elective courses in year two while also engaging in online learning.
Graduates of the EOE program are better equipped to contribute in their current educational setting or make a career shift into any of the numerous growing fields using the outdoors as a context for teaching and learning.