Outdoor Recreation Leadership Minor

Mission: The mission of the Fairmont State Outdoor Recreation Leadership Minor is to prepare reflective and responsive facilitator/educator's who possess the knowledge, skills, and dispositions to help all participants learn and develop. Our program strives to provide quality learning, facilitation, and teaching opportunities through classroom, outdoor and experiential settings and activities. Our programs allow students to develop leadership skills, strong interpersonal connections, an adventurous spirit, and a sense of place within Fairmont State University and the state of West Virginia. Intrinsic to this, we support the mission of Fairmont State University and the department of Health and Human Performance through our commitment to health and wellness, personal growth, social responsibility, active citizenship, and lifelong learning.


The Outdoor Recreation Leadership minor prepares students for professional opportunities in the field of outdoor recreation, and is designed to complement a major taken in another field. Course work is focused on leadership training and lifelong physical activity through experiential learning. Students engage in a combination of classroom and field-based coursework to develop technical skills, theoretical knowledge, leadership and teaching ability needed for successful practice as professionals. Students have the opportunity to learn to organize, lead, and manage people, programs and events in a variety of outdoor recreation settings.

Who is the Minor For?

One of the great values of the Outdoor Recreation Leadership (ORL) Minor is that it enhances employability in other fields. Here are a few examples of students who might be interested in the minor:

  • Majors in Biology will find the ORL Minor particularly helpful since it provides them with practical experience and skills useful in outdoor field work.
  • Since outdoor education is gaining a broader acceptance in public schools, Majors in Physical Education may want to enroll to broaden their employment opportunities. Other Teaching Majors who are planning to incorporate outdoor activities and outdoor field trips into their classroom activities will find the ORL Minor a natural and practical additional to their existing course of study
  • Psychology Majors who want to merge therapeutic applications with outdoor activity—such as outdoor team building or youth-at-risk wilderness programs—will find the skills and knowledge gained in the ORL Minor advantageous for such work.
  • Majors in a variety of other fields—from English to Business, Health Sciences, Exercise Science to Engineering, and so on—may want to enroll in the ORL Minor courses to prepare themselves for work with community service and volunteer programs such as Boy and Girl Scouts, 4-H programs, church groups, ski patrol, and county search and rescue organizations.
  • And, finally, some students may want to take the Outdoor Recreation Leadership Minor because they simply have an abiding interest and love for the outdoors. The Minor provides them with life-long skills to enjoy the outdoors safely—and the means to pass on that enjoyment to others.