Date of Award

2019

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Department

Environmental Program

First Advisor

Jessica Strolin

Second Advisor

Simon Jorgenson

Third Advisor

Zachary Ispa-Landa

Keywords

University of Vermont, outdoor education, impact, place-based education, wilderness education, experiential education

Abstract

Outdoor education takes many forms such as wilderness education, adventure-based outdoor education, experiential education, and place-based education. These experiences can last several days, several weeks, several months, and sometimes more than a year. Outdoor education is implemented at many age groups from kindergarten through college level (Deringer & Wiggins, 2018; Djonko-Moore et al., 2018; Quibell, 2017; Taff et al., 2016; Uhls et al., 2014). Studies researching the impacts of outdoor education on students, show that the impact is positive and helps to improve self-confidence, relationships, problem-solving skills, moral development, and connection to nature (Collins et al., 2016; Cooley et al., 2016; Lowenstein & Smith, 2017; Roberts, 2018; Tan & Atencio, 2016). This research thesis will aim to understand the impact that outdoor education has had on the decisions that college students at the University of Vermont have made, are making, and will make in the future. The questionnaire that will be used to gather information will attempt to understand the relationship between the type of outdoor education, the duration of the experience, and the decisions, such as jobs, major, and favorite activities, that students make. In the future, this research could be used to show the effect that outdoor education has had on students and how it differs depending on how long the experience or which type of experience the student had.

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