Outdoor Recreation Leadership Minor

Program Coordinator
Jan Kiger
307 Colebank Hall

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 Fairmont State Outdoor Recreation Leadership, a Minor with Major Impactand 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 (ORL) minor prepares students for professional opportunities in the field of Outdoor Recreation, and is also designed to complement a major taken in another field.  Course work is focused on leadership training, lifelong physical activity, and experiential learning.  Students engage in classroom and field-based coursework to develop technical skills, theoretical knowledge, leadership skills, and teaching ability needed for successful practice as professionals. 

Develop Leadership Skills

Students have the opportunity to learn to organize, lead, and manage people, programs, and events in a variety of outdoor recreation settings.

Enhance Your Employability

One of the greatest advantages of the Outdoor Recreation Leadership (ORL) Minor is that it enhances employability in many fields.  Set yourself apart from the rest by demonstrating your ability to challenge yourself, problem solve, work effectively as a part of a team, critically think, and communicate.

Complement Your Major
  • The ORL minor is 20 credit hours. 
  • For example, 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 consider ORL as a way 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 addition 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.
  • Majors in a variety of other fields—from English, Business, Community Health, History, Exercise Science to Sociology, 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.
  • Finally, some students may want to participate in the Outdoor Recreation Leadership Minor simply because they have an abiding interest and love for the outdoors.  This Minor provides students with life-long skills to enjoy the outdoors safely—and the means to pass on that enjoyment to others.