A Census of Outdoor Orientation Programs at Four-Year Colleges in the United States


Researchers surveyed colleges and universities in the United States to assess the number providing outdoor orientation programs (OOPs). OOPs are defined as college orientation programs that work with small groups (15 or fewer) of first-year students, use adventure experiences, and include at least one overnight in a wilderness setting. This census identified and received survey data from 164 separate OOPs, representing at least 97% of all programs. From the data, researchers ascertained common peer practices describing the current state of OOPs. Although programs differed significantly by age and by size, programs generally shared common practices. With the number of OOPs growing—an average of 10 new OOPs begin each year—the current census was designed to better understand how OOPs operate and how they may be changing.

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Journal of Experiential Education


Sage Publications

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