BECKLEY, W.Va. — As WVU Tech prepares for the first spring commencement on their new Beckley campus in May, they announce a new degree program.

Recognizing the driving economic force outdoor adventure tourism is in southern West Virginia, the school is launching a four-year degree program in adventure recreation management. Beginning this August, the program will teach the management and administration of outdoor recreation venues and businesses.

WVU Tech Adventures Director Dr. Steve Storck developed the program. He said southern West Virginia’s economic climate is a perfect match for the new program.

“The diversity and caliber of businesses, facilities and natural areas are incomparable to similar programs in other parts of the country. This is a great training ground for skill development and numerous outfitters, the New River National Park and the Summit offer practical learning labs for development of guiding and program management skills.”

Students who complete training and certification as guides and instructors within the program will be able to take part in hands-on experiences working in the industry. Areas include paddle sports, rock climbing, mountain biking and challenge courses.

Director of University Relations Jen Wood Cunningham told MetroNews affiliate WJLS the degree is more comprehensive than some may think.

“Lots of opportunities that I think sometimes people might look at that and think ‘oh well that’s just fun and games’, but it really is the skills management and the risk management that goes into running an adventure recreation related business or organization.”

Graduates of the program will be able to obtain jobs as challenge course managers, adventure programmers, outdoor retail store managers, ski school directors and rafting river managers among others. Applications are now being accepted on the WVU Tech admissions website.

‘It’s just a really great way for students to get tapped into options for their future whether it be their area of interest or a prospective employment opportunity,” added Cunningham.

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