ERIC Number: ED465490
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Nov
The Hidden Costs of Outdoor Education/Recreation Academic Training.
Academic training programs in the field of outdoor education and recreation have increased considerably in the past few decades, but their true costs are often hidden. A survey of 15 outdoor college programs in the United States and Canada examined special fees associated with outdoor courses. The cost of necessary personal equipment and clothing was also researched by surveying 30 outdoor adventure education majors to determine the equipment needed and then pricing those items at three national outdoor equipment resale stores. Finally, the average cost of wilderness first aid certification was determined, based on 12 available certification courses. Only one institution did not charge additional fees for outdoor courses. At the other 14 colleges, additional fees ranged from $75 to $2,625, while the average additional cost per credit was $8-171. The students surveyed selected 26 equipment and garment items as "most needed" from a list of 111 items. The total cost of the 26 items was $1,795, and most were already owned by respondents. The cost of wilderness first aid certification averaged $570. These extra costs seem excessive in a field where entry-level salaries for college graduates fall below the national average. The roots of the problem lie in the field's nontraditional origins and the biased perceptions of academic departments about outdoor experiences. Solutions might involve outside funding or lobbying to expand coverage by departmental budgets; either option has ethical and programming consequences. (SV)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Proceedings of the 14th Annual International Conference on Outdoor Recreation and Education (Oxford, Ohio, November 7-12, 2000); see RC 023 583.