• Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education Curriculum

  • Associate of Applied of Applied Science Degree

    Catalog 2018-2019


    The mission of the MHCC Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education (WLEE) program is to foster the education of individuals to become outdoor leaders, guides and teachers competent in providing an outdoor experience in various activities and environments.

    The WLEE program provides students with opportunities to learn technical skills in climbing, mountaineering, high-angle rescue, kayaking, rafting, and more. In addition to the technical skills, students are given opportunities to practice leadership skills, as well as the concepts and theory behind adventure education.

    The program curriculum provides opportunities for individual certifications in Leave No Trace, Swiftwater Rescue, Rock Climbing, Wilderness First Responder, Avalanche Training, Challenge Course Operations, Rafting, High Angle Rescue and Whitewater Kayaking.

    The outdoor leadership practicum component incorporates leadership development, mastery of wilderness skills and back-country expeditions under the guidance of qualified instructors.

    Specialized training and experience is an asset for any job and a necessity for many jobs in the outdoor adventure and recreation fields. Employers are consistently looking for applicants who have demonstrated critical thinking and decision making skills, leadership experience, team building and group management skills while also possessing standard industry certifications such as Leave No Trace (LNT), Challenge Course Facilitation, Swift Water Rescue and Wilderness First Responder (WFR). An increasing percentage of the arts, entertainment and recreation industry is being captured by outdoor recreation.

    Graduates of this program may find opportunities in adventure leadership programs, adventure and wilderness therapy programs, adventure travel and tourism businesses, college and university outdoor programs, commercial outdoor recreation businesses, ecotourism agencies, outdoor related publications, public and private school outdoor programs and outdoor retail operations.

    The ideal WLEE student is one who has a passion for the outdoors and aspires to be a guide or outdoor professional. Students may be recent high school graduates, returning veterans or professionals who have already attained degrees who are returning to school to follow their life-long interests.

    Program Outcomes

    At the completion of this program, students should be able to:

    • Display skills to safely, efficiently and responsibly travel in a variety of environments
    • Demonstrate professional competency in one or more outdoor skills (i.e. rock climbing, rafting, mountaineering, leadership, etc.)
    • Plan and implement high quality and safe adventurous learning experiences/trips for others in a variety of activity areas
    • Apply leadership theories/techniques in a backcountry setting

    Admission Requirements

    The Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education program is an open-entry program that starts in the fall term only. Prospective students are admitted on a space available basis after academic criteria has been met.

    Students must have a current record on file and meet the minimum prerequisite level in reading, writing and mathematics. Prerequisites can be satisfied by placement into RD115, WR115 and MTH060 on the MHCC College Placement Test (CPT) or by completion of RD090, WR090 and MTH020 (or equivalent transfer courses demonstrated through official transcripts on file at MHCC).

    Visit College Placement Test or call 503-491-7678 for information about taking the CPT.

    Enrollment: Students can register on a first come, first served basis for fall term in late April when the open registration period begins. Wait lists will be established as the program courses fill to capacity.

    Requirements for Continuing into Winter term

    Students must have the consent of their faculty program adviser and meet the academic requirements of their fall program classes to continue into the second term of the Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education courses. Students will be provided with clear performance expectations when classes start in September.
    It is recommended that students begin this program during the fall term; however, students may be allowed to take some courses out of sequence with instructor approval.

    The WLEE program is an avalanche course provider for the American Institute for Avalanche Research and Education (AIARE) and partner of Leave No Trace (LNT). In addition, we offer courses through Rescue 3 International, American Canoe Association (ACA), Association of Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) and Wilderness Medicine Training Center (WMTC).

    The MHCC WLEE program is a permittee of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Mt. Hood National Forest, Bureau of Land Management, Oregon State Parks and Forest and Washington State Parks.

    First Quarter (Fall)
    Course Number
    Course Title
    GEOG105 Introduction to Physical Geography 3
    HPE285OL Wilderness Survival 3
    WL120 Introduction to Navigation 1
    WL130 Backpacking and Camp Management 3
    WL150 Foundations of Experiential Education and Leadership 3
    WR121 English Composition 4
    Second Quarter (Winter)
    Course Number
    Course Title
    MTH065 Beginning Algebra II or higher1, 2 4
    PE185WBT Winter Backcountry Travel 1
    WL186 Leave No Trace Trainer Certification 2
    WL289 Wilderness First Responder 4
    Related electives3 3
    Third Quarter (Spring)
    Course Number
    Course Title
    ENG250 Introduction to Mythology3 4
    HPE295 Health and Fitness for Life 3
    COMM111 Fundamentals of Public Speaking 4
    WR122 English Composition: Critical Thinking 4
    Related electives4 3
    Fourth Quarter (Summer)
    Course Number
    Course Title
    PE280 Cooperative Education Internship – Physical Education5 2
    WL271 Expedition Field Experience: Backpacking6 or
    WL272 Expedition Field Experience: Rock Climbing6 or
    WL273 Expedition Field Experience: Whitewater Rafting6 or
    WL274 Expedition Field Experience: Mountaineering6 (select 2 courses)
    Fifth Quarter (Fall)
    Course Number
    Course Title
    INTL101 Introduction to International Studies 4
    PSY201 General Psychology8 4
    WL110 Introduction to Challenge Course Facilitation 2
    Related electives4 3
    Sixth Quarter (Winter)
    Course Number
    Course Title
    G202 Principles of Physical Geology10 3
    GEOG106 Introduction to World Regional Geography 9 3
    HPE270 Introduction to Sport Psychology 3
    SOC213 Race Relations in the United States11 3
    Related electives4 2
    Seventh Quarter (Spring)
    Course Number
    Course Title
    BI101 General Biology I: Introduction to Cellular Biology or
    BI102 General Biology II: Introduction to Molecular biology and Genetics or
    BI103 General Biology III: Introduction to Ecology and Evolution (except BI103E)
    PS217 Introduction to Public Land Management: The Politics of Recreation 3
    Related electives4 5
    Total Credits 95

    Related Electives
    BA150 Developing a Small Business 3 Su, F, W, Sp
    EMTX12 Emergency Medical Technician 12 (varied)
    F111 Introduction to Natural Resources 3 (F)
    F141 Tree and Shrub Identification 3 (F)
    FT235 Outdoor Recreation 3 Sp
    HT107 Introduction to Leisure and Recreation Management 3 W
    HT108 Introduction to the Hospitality and Tourism Industry 4 F
    HT207 Managing and Programming of Recreation and Sport Facilities 3 SP
    HT245 EcoTourism and Adventure Travel 3 Sp
    ORLX30 Climbing Wall Instructor 1 Sp
    ORLX31 Whitewater Rafting Instructor 2 Sp
    ORLX32 Rock Climbing Instructor 1 Su 2017
    PE185GC Introduction to Indoor Rock Climbing 1 F, W, Sp
    PE185KY Introduction to Whitewater Kayaking 1 Su, F, Sp
    PE185KYI Intermediate White Water Kayaking 1 Sp
    PE185OJ Introduction to Mountaineering 1 Sp
    PE185OT Snowboard and Ski: Backcountry Safety Skills 1 W
    PE185RK Beginning Rock Climbing 1 Su,F,Sp
    PE185RS Rock Climbing Rescue 1 W
    PE185RKI Intermediate Rock Climbing 1 F,Sp
    PE185RT Rafting 1 Sp
    PE185RTI Intermediate Rafting 1 Sp
    PE185SB Beginning Snowboarding and Skiing 1 W
    PE185WTA Introduction to Water Sports 1 W
    WL100 Wilderness Orientation 2 F
    WL145 Avalanche Training: Level I 1 W
    WL178 Technical Rope Rescue – High Angle 2 Sp
    WL182 Swift Water Rescue 1 Sp
    WL245 Avalanche Training: Level II 2 W
    WL250 Teaching Adventure Pursuit 1 (SU, F, W, Sp)
    WL271 Expedition Field Experience: Backpacking6 2 (Su, Odd years)
    WL272 Expedition Field Experience: Rock Climbing6 2 (Su, Odd years)
    WL273 Expedition Field Experience: Whitewater Rafting6 2 (Su, Odd years)
    WL274 Expedition Field Experience: Mountaineering6 2 (Su, Odd years)
    WL295 Advanced Challenge Course Facilitation 2 W

    1 Students intending to transfer to OSU should take MTH105.
    2 A College Placement Test (CPT) score does not fulfill this requirement. Students must successfully complete the required mathematics course (or higher.)
    3 Student may substitute with either ART204, 205, 206, 211, ENG104, 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 201, 202, 204, 205, 222, 250, 253, 254, 274, FA257, 258, 264, 268, MUS105, 261, 262, 263, TA106, 107.
    4 See related elective list, be sure to check term offered. Related electives should be selected to prepare for Expedition electives.
    5Students must complete two credits of PE280. This may be completed as one–two credits in any quarter(s) that meets the student's needs.
    6Students must complete at least two expedition courses. Most expedition courses will be offered summer term. Students should plan for expedition course prerequisite(s) by selecting related electives appropriate to the expedition courses of their interest.
    7Students may substitute with either GEOG106, 214; HST110, 111, 112, 270; R210.
    8 Students may substitute with either ANTH103; EC201, 202; HST101, 102, 103; PS200, 201, 204 205, 225; PSY202, 231; SOC204, 205, 206.
    9 Students may substitute with either GEOG107; HST111, 112; PHL202.
    10 Students may substitute with either CH104, 105, 106, 112, 221, 222, 223; G201, 203; GS104, 105, 106; PH201, 202, 203, 211, 212, 213.
    11Students may substitute with either HST201, 202, 203.