NMU program featured in Outside Magazine

Outdoor Recreation Leadership and Management the focus

Northern Michigan University is among 18 higher education institutions in the U.S. featured in an Outside Magazine article about schools that can help people break into the outdoor industry. Shown are students involved in a trail-building activity. (Photo courtesy of NMU)

MARQUETTE — Northern Michigan University was among 18 higher education institutions nationwide featured in an Outside Magazine article titled “These Schools Can Help You Break into the Outdoor Industry.”

The story addressed a growing number of U.S. colleges offering programs for future adventure-industry workers in response to the booming outdoor recreation industry, NMU said in a news release. It references NMU’s Outdoor Recreation Leadership and Management Program.

“If you’re interested in working in public land management — whether at the municipal, state, or federal level — the Outdoor Recreation Leadership and Management Program at Northern Michigan University in Marquette is worth a look,” stated the magazine description. “The baccalaureate degree program teaches students professional skills in a variety of outdoor-recreation specialties. The program also makes sure students meet the entry-level requirements of the National Recreation and Park Association.”

Liz Wuorinen, director of NMU’s School of Health and Human Performance, said in a news release, “I am hopeful that this recognition by Outside Magazine will lead to potential students looking at NMU for this degree program. Our outstanding faculty, and the varied learning opportunities that our students have, are producing some top-notch professionals and future professionals in the realm of outdoor recreation.”

The Outdoor Recreation Leadership and Management program is designed to provide an effective academic foundation that meets professional standards in leisure studies and outdoor recreation. It helps students develop outdoor technical skills, leadership competencies, teaching skills in outdoor settings, an understanding and promotion of a leisure-valued lifestyle, and advocacy for outdoor recreation opportunities, NMU said. This is accomplished through field experiences and interdisciplinary learning.

NMU also began offering a new master’s degree program in Administration of Outdoor Recreation and Nature-Based Tourism this fall. It is delivered largely online through NMU’s Global Campus, with two in-person summer seminar courses.

The program is designed for individuals currently working in the parks and recreation fields who wish to advance to administrative positions, as well as prospective students interested in entering these occupations.

“The outdoor recreation industry is one of the largest aspects of the U.S. economy,” said Professor and Program Director Scott Jordan in a previous news release. “The AORNBT degree has been designed to produce fantastic leaders in this field.”

Prospective students in the following fields could use this degree to advance in their careers: National Park Service; National Forest Service; federal, state or community recreation and land management agencies; nonprofit organizations; and private sector outdoor recreation and tourism managers.

“Outdoor recreation and nature-based tourism are among the fastest growing and most popular ways of spending leisure time, and the demand for qualified professionals to administer relevant programs and facilities is growing proportionately,” Assistant Professor Ryan Hines said in a news release.

Required courses address the history and philosophy of leisure; sustainability, current issues and legal and ethical aspects of outdoor recreation; and management and administration. There are also electives and research components, in addition to the summer seminar.

Professor Jacquie Medina noted that the program “not only offers administrative and leadership preparation for career advancement but also a foundation for pursuing doctoral studies.”

Examples of occupations for which people have completed similar degrees include federal land management agencies, community parks and recreation, the guiding service industry and community planners for areas wishing to develop a tourism economy or the knowledge to sustainably manage an outdoor recreation economy.


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