Wilderness Education Association certification and safety, ecological impact, and curriculum standardization of graduates

TR Number
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Virginia Tech

Graduates of the Wilderness Education Association (W.E.A.) were surveyed by mail to investigate the effects of their certification on safety, ecological impact, and curriculum standardization of their subsequent leadership activities. Self-reports showed a slight, but not statistically significant, decrease in the number of post- W.E.A. course evacuations and rescues. Graduates reported a moderate W.E.A. influence on their accident records, and knowledge of W.E.A. standard safety practices was low. W.E.A.'s reported influence on the ecological impact of current outdoor leadership activities was stronger than its influence on safety, but graduates revealed only a moderate level of knowledge about ethical use practices. Graduates reported implementing a mean of 4.54 out of 16 W.E.A. curriculum areas into current programs. Thirty-three and one-half percent of the graduates reported not implementing any curriculum areas into current programs. W.E.A. graduates indicated that the course had the greatest influence on the implementation of their outdoor education curriculum areas which had previously not been highly standardized. Implications for certification of outdoor leaders are discussed.