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BHSU Outdoor Education Program

Unique Interdisciplinary Program

BHSU’s Outdoor Education Program prepares students for professional careers across the broad field of outdoor education which includes adventure education, parks interpretation, and environmental education. Our students are grounded in experiential education theory and natural history knowledge. They develop their skills in outdoor pursuits, education methods, interpretive communications, and outdoor program management. They practice program delivery via our numerous partnerships with regional parks, nature centers, schools, and camps, as well as with BHSU’s Collegiate Outdoor Leadership Program.

A degree in Outdoor Education from BHSU equips students for education careers in parks, nature centers, zoos, aquaria, natural resource management agencies, eco-tourism programs, camps, wilderness programs, 4-H extension programs, field stations, non-profits, lodges, and other locations that value hard-working, knowledgeable, well-rounded educators.

In addition to our excellent, well-rounded major, our program includes several electives (free choice credits) in which students can enhance their knowledge, skills, and abilities in their specific areas of interest; many select one of BHSU’s many or minors such as American Indian studies, archives, art, athletic coaching, biology, business, criminal justice, early childhood education, earth science, entrepreneurial studies, geography, health, history, international studies, graphic design, guitar performance, historical site interpretation, journalism, management, museums, philosophy, photography, professional writing, psychology, social & cultural awareness, social resiliency, sociology, and writing.

Do you love the outdoors and working with people?

Then Outdoor Education may be the right program for you!

Composite Major in Outdoor Education

    Adventure Programming Core
  • 1 PE 100 Archery
  • 1 PE 100 Canoeing
  • 1 PE 100 Cross Country Skiing
  • 1 PE 100 Fly Fishing
  • 1 PE 100 Orienteering
  • 1 PE 100 Rock Climbing
  • 2 PE 320 Lifeguard Training AND 320L Lab
  • 2 PE 321 Water Safety Instructor
  • 3 PE 354 Prevention & Care of Athletic Injuries
  • 3 RECR 242 Outdoor Skills
  • 3 RECR 420 Community Recreation
    Outdoor Education Core
  • 3 OE 310 Outdoor Education Programs
  • 3 OE 350 Environmental Interpretation
  • 3 OE 376 Technology Integration
  • 6 OE 494 Outdoor Education Internship
    Science Core
  • 4 BIOL 151 General Biology I AND 151L Lab **
  • 4 BIOL 153 General Biology II AND 153L Lab **
  • 4 GEOL 201 Physical Geology AND 201L Lab
    3-4 Botany: Choose 1 course
  • BIOL 301 Plant Systematics AND 301L Lab
  • BIOL 461 Agrostology AND 461L Lab
    3-4 Geology: Choose 1 course
  • GEOL 203 Historical Geology AND 203L Lab
  • GEOL 310 Volcanology
  • GEOL 320 Field Methods-Environmental & Planetary Science
  • GEOL 340 Mineralogy/Petrology
  • GEOL 350 Environmental Geology
  • GEOL 370 Hydrogeology
    3-4 General Science: Choose 1
  • BIOL 311 Principles of Ecology AND 311L Lab
  • BIOL 321 Conservation of Natural Resources
  • PHYS 185 Introduction to Astronomy AND 185L Lab
  • SCI 388 Global Positioning & Geographical Information Systems
    3-4 Geology: Choose 1 course
  • GEOL 203 Historical Geology AND 203L Lab
  • GEOL 310 Volcanology
  • GEOL 320 Field Methods-Environmental & Planetary Science
  • GEOL 340 Mineralogy/Petrology
  • GEOL 350 Environmental Geology
  • GEOL 370 Hydrogeology
    3-4 Zoology: Choose 1 course
  • BIOL 302 Animal Behavior
  • BIOL 355 Mammalogy AND 355L Lab
  • BIOL 357 Invertebrate Zoology AND 357L Lab
  • BIOL 434 Herpetology & 434L Lab
    General Education Requirements
  • Gen Ed - Mathematics 3 semester hours
  • Gen Ed - Social Science 9 semester hours
  • Gen Ed - Arts & Humanities 12 semester hours
  • Gen Ed - Natural Science AND Lab satisfi ed by major
  • ENGL 101 - Composition I
  • ENGL 201 - Composition II
  • SPCM 101, OR SPCM 215, OR SPCM 222 Speech
  • WEL 100 - Wellness for Life AND WEL 100L Lab

A minor is NOT required with this major but electives are required to total 120 hours. **Completes one general education requirement.

Notes: This program guide serves as a resource for you. For offi cial program requirements, please check with the official catalog at http://catalog.bhsu.edu.

Minor in Outdoor Education

18 hours

  • 3 OE 310 Outdoor Education Programs
  • 3 OE 350 Environmental Interpretation
  • 3 OE 376 Interpretive Media
  • 3 RECR 242 Outdoor Skills
  • 3 RECR 420 Community Recreation
  • Take one of the following:
    PE 100 Activity Courses (3 Courses)
    OE 492 Topics
    THM 100 Intro to Travel & Hospitality Mgmt.

Outdoor Education Menu

Make a Difference Scholarship

Outdoor Education Majors can apply for a generous scholarship and stipend in support of a project they develop to Make a Difference in the community. See Make a Difference Initiative.

Career Opportunities

Outdoor Education majors are able to find careers in a variety of fields:

  • Interpretive park rangers in state and national parks
  • Naturalists in nature centers
  • Educators for zoos and aquaria
  • Information and education program coordinators for natural resource agencies
  • Adventure programmers with youth programs
  • Guides with wilderness programs

BHSU Outdoor Education

The BHSU Outdoor Education program prepares competent, confident, and caring outdoor leaders.

BHSU Black Hills Food Hub brings locally-grown produce to Mt. Rushmore

BHSU Communications 0 78
Visitors to Mt. Rushmore during the 4th of July weekend will have the opportunity to enjoy locally-grown food from the Black Hills thanks to a partnership between Mt. Rushmore and Black Hills State University. The Black Hills Food Hub, a program run by Black Hills State University in collaboration with Cobblestone Science, coordinates the purchase and delivery of fresh food from local farmers to cafeterias in the region. The Hub works with more than 20 farmers located throughout the...

BHSU Campus Garden to host gardening workshop series, free and open to the public

BHSU Communications 0 72
The summer gardening season is here and Black Hills State University is helping the Spearfish community get their hands dirty by offering free gardening workshops at the campus community garden located behind the Yellow Jacket Apartments on Hillsview Road. The garden workshops will run on Mondays from 5:30-6:30 pm beginning June 5 and ending July 17. The public is invited to participate in these free events which will cover a broad range of topics from building your first vegetable garden...

Green and gold surround BHSU as leaves approach peak color change

BHSU Communications 0 75
Even the leaves are showing their Yellow Jacket spirit. Dr. Tara Ramsey, Black Hills State University research associate with a Ph.D. in botany, says color change in Spearfish Canyon usually begins mid-September through the first week in October. “In the higher elevations, Quaking Aspen tends to change early and is a bright yellow. It will contrast against the coniferous trees so you’ll see beautiful BHSU colors – green and gold,” said Ramsey.