Given West Virginia’s unique geographic and cultural identity as the only state completely within the Appalachian region, our lifestyles, economic opportunity, education, and recreation are intimately linked with the outdoors. At Fairmont State University we offer many programs and opportunities for students to develop personal identity and an appreciation for West Virginia.

  • Outdoor Recreation Leadership minor: The ORL program at Fairmont State University meets an important, strategic need to offer outdoor recreation leadership opportunities focused on leadership training and lifelong physical activity. Experiential education is a critical part of the ORL curriculum which focuses on useable knowledge and real life experiences.


  • Wilderness Explorer Freshman Seminar: WEFS offers incoming freshman support and guidance through the combination of a weeklong outdoor adventure experience and a traditional freshman seminar. This program provides upper classmen hands on leadership training where they are mentored and guided to develop skills and understanding of group dynamics.


  • Community Service learning: Every semester ORL students participate in City and State Park restoration projects including: garbage clean up, nature-trail development, and improving access and recreation opportunities. When available, grant money is used to fund service learning projects and community development.


  • National Park Expeditions: Educational trips are offered to provide students affordable access and experience to a variety of National Parks. Trip goals focus on learning about different ecologies, history, and personal development of recreation skills, and leadership. NP Expeditions include: Backcountry Grand Canyon, Utah’s Grand Circle, Yellowstone/Grand Tetons, and the South West Tour.


  • Outdoor Adventure ClubOutdoor Adventure Club: The ORL program works closely with the OAC on campus. This collaboration provides an outlet for students to continue to experience outdoor recreation in a safe and organized manner. The OAC provides students with leadership opportunities, networking, skill development, and community service opportunities that help improve and increase recreation access in West Virginia.