About The Outdoor Pursuits Program

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History of the Outdoor Pursuits Program


Read about the history of the OPP since its inception in 1979 - history of the OPP


I understand the University of Oregon has two outdoor programs. What are the main differences between the Outdoor Pursuits Program and the Outdoor Program?


The Outdoor Pursuits Program offers a comprehensive selection of courses for academic credit, and is a component of the Department of Physical Education and Recreation. Our program is largely funded by the activity fees levied for our courses. While our courses are open to everyone (including community members), priority is given to U of O students enrolling either for credit or non-credit.


The Outdoor Program serves mainly as a resource for the University community. It's funded by incidental fees, and is located in the Erb Memorial Union. Combined, these two programs provide unparalleled opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts.


What's included in the cost of a course?

the activity fee covers the cost of instruction, the use of some equipment, and transportation to and from most of the field outings. Tuition is not covered in the activity fee.


How do I enroll for a course?

Mission of the Outdoor Pursuits Program


The Outdoor Pursuits Program (originally titled Adventure Pursuits Program) was started in 1979 by Jim Blanchard with the intent of developing an academically-focused outdoor activities program.

Since its inception the mission of the OPP has been to provide a comprehensive array of safe, high quality, academically-based outdoor activity courses that are challenging, fun and environmentally responsible.  It is the intent of the OPP to deliver experiences that:

• Expose as many students as possible to the realm of outdoor pursuits activities.

• Are educational, personally meaningful, enjoyable, and develop interests and skills of lifelong value.

• Develop the knowledge and skills necessary to plan, organize and implement outdoor adventures beyond the umbrella of the OPP.

• Promote safety and emphasize the importance of understanding personal strengths and limitations.

• Embrace the best practices of leave no trace ethics and environmental stewardship.

• Develop the leadership potential of students by providing state-of-the-art instruction in outdoor leadership skills and practices.

• Shield the Department, Division and the University from legal liability.

Students use Duckweb to enroll during their priority registration time.  If the course is full, keep checking Duckweb, or check in with the course instructor.  Someone may have dropped the course. If you haven't been able to enroll prior to the start of the course you are STRONGLY advised to attend the first class session. Since first day attendance is required in all of our courses, absentees are dropped from the instructor's roster and replaced with qualified students in attendance.

Please note the following:

•     We HOLD FIRM to the prerequisites required to participate in our courses. Please read the online notes, comments and information about a course BEFORE registering in it.

Can a course be taken non-credit?  Are courses open to community members?

Non-credit enrollment is available to students, faculty, staff and community members. UO tuition is not assessed and non-credit courses do not appear on student transcripts. Non-credit students may register at the Student Recreation Center when the window for non-credit enrollment opens. Students may pay the activity fee by cash, check, or be billed. The fee waiver for senior citizen auditors does not apply to PE & REC courses.


Can I waive the PEO 285 Wilderness Survival prerequisite?  I have a fair amount of experience.

Wilderness Survival is our gateway course, and cannot be waived. The information covered in this course is critical to outdoor safety and environmental awareness, and we want to make sure that everyone has a solid comprehension of all the course topics before participating in our backcountry outings. There's no guarantee that students who have completed similar courses receive all of the information covered in this course. For safety and liability reasons, it's imperative that everyone participating in a backcountry outing take Wilderness Survival.

Outdoor Leadership Training Program

The Outdoor Pursuits Leadership Training Program is designed to provide training and experience in safe and responsible leadership of outdoor pursuits activities. The Program includes skills courses in a variety of outdoor activities, professional development courses in environmental education, adventure education, outdoor leadership, and field leadership experiences. The Program consists of a minimum of 25 credits, of which a minimum of 23 are upper division.


PLEASE NOTE:

Since we are not affiliated with an academic department, we cannot offer a degree, major, or even a minor in outdoor pursuits leadership.

•     We also HOLD FIRM to the first day attendance requirement. If you miss, or are sigificantly late for the first class session for any reason, you must drop the course. Odds are, someone has claimed your space.

Outdoor Leadership Training Program

The Outdoor Pursuits Leadership Training Program is designed to provide training and experience in safe and responsible leadership of outdoor pursuits activities. The Program includes skills courses in a variety of outdoor activities, professional development courses in environmental education, adventure education, outdoor leadership, and field leadership experiences. The Program consists of a minimum of 25 credits, of which a minimum of 23 are upper division.


PLEASE NOTE: Since we are not affiliated with an academic department, we cannot offer a degree, major, or even a minor in outdoor pursuits leadership. In essence, we are a stand-alone program that is largely supported by the activity fees we charge. We have no admission requirements per se. By and large, our participants are students who have been admitted to the university (and are working towards their degrees) in other departments.


The amount of time that it takes to complete the requirements of the leadership training program depends upon the experience level of the participant. Please note that the requirements cannot be met in one academic year. We encourage participants to blend in a mixture of skills courses and practicum opportunities over at least two academic years. Full time students working towards completion of their undergraduate degree take at least two years to meet the requirements.

Upon completion of the leadership training program, students receive an in-house certificate of completion and the training and experience required to be considered for employment with institutions like Outward Bound and NOLS.


Can I transfer credits from other Programs or Universities in order to meet the requirements of the Leadership Training Program?

No, since we are not affiliated with an academic department and do not offer a major or minor, we cannot accept credits earned at other institutions of learning. Participants with exceptional skills and/or recent experience in equivalent courses may negotiate with the Program Director for partial or complete waiver of up to four credit hours of skills course requirements.  No other exceptions are allowed since the skills courses provide exposure to current teaching methods and to a variety of teaching styles.

For information about the requirements and structure of the Outdoor Pursuits Leadership Training Program requirements and structure, visit the Outdoor Leadership Training page.


Where can I get information about the OPP's term-by-term course offererings?

Go to our Courses page for a list of term course offerings.  Check the online schedule of classes to access specific information aobut times and dates that courses are offered.

In essence, we are a stand-alone program that is largely supported by the activity fees we charge. We have no admission requirements per se. By and large, our participants are students who have been admitted to the university (and are working towards their degrees) in other departments.