A Career Outside

Wilderness Leadership & Experiential Education

Brevard College’s Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education (WLEE) program is one of the nation’s premier outdoor leadership programs.

The outdoor industry represents a $877 billion in annual revenues and over 1.6 million jobs, according to a report from the Outdoor Industry Association.

The WLEE program at Brevard prepares you to enter this incredible job market. Our innovative and intensive experiential curriculum develops ethical leaders and skilled educators capable of managing a variety of outdoor experiences for a wide range of participants.

Related Programs

  • Experiential Education

  • Leadership Theory & Practice

  • Environmental Studies

  • Ecology

  • Business and Organizational Leadership

What you’ll experience in the WLEE program

  • Brevard's faculty: With over 3,500 days of field experience and more than 100 years of collective outdoor experience, our faculty are certified leadership, educational, and technical skills experts in the outdoor industry.

    • American Canoe Association:

      • Swiftwater instructors

      • Coastal Kayak instructors

      • Whitewater Canoe Instructor-trainers

      • Whitewater Kayak instructor-trainers

    • Professional Mountain Bike Instructors

    • Wilderness Education Association Certified Outdoor Educators and Leaders

    • North Carolina Certified Environmental Educators

    • American Mountain Guide Association Single Pitch Instructors

    • Leave No Trace Master Educators or Trainers

    • President and Board of Directors, Wilderness Education Association

    • Past Board Members, Association of Outdoor Recreation & Education, American Canoe Association’s Safety, Education, & Instruction Committee.

    • Managing Editor, Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership

  • Our faculty teach the skills classes and lead the field experiences; we don’t hire outside companies to lead our students.

  • The WLEE program is an Organizational Member of the Association for Experiential Education, and the Wilderness Education Association, the oldest outdoor leadership credentialing agency in the United States. We earned the AEE Program of the Year Award in 2016.

  • Our resources - The newly renovated WLEE Barn houses our classrooms, student gathering area, and faculty offices. Our dedicated space nearby contains our huge gear and equipment inventory (canoes, kayaks, wetsuits, mountain bikes, climbing gear, expedition equipment, helmets, tents, and more). And our proximity to Pisgah National Forest, Dupont State Forest, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is unparalleled.

  • Proven success - The 24 years of alumni are scattered across the country fully engaged in providing high-quality outdoor experiences. Take a look at Green River Adventures, the Gorge ZipLine, Black Mountain Expeditions, Pura Vida Adventures, PEAK Adventure at Heathwood Hall, the U.S. Whitewater Center, Snake River Canoe and Kayak School, Patagonia, The Hub, Trails Carolina, Brevard Rock Gym, all managed or owned by WLEE graduates.


Wilderness Leadership and Experiential Education graduates become...

  • Business Owners (see videos below!)
  • Camp Directors
  • Program Managers in State or Municipal Parks
  • Professional Guides and Environmental Educators
  • Outward Bound Instructors
  • Wilderness Therapy Program Field Instructors
  • Public or Private School Teachers
  • Higher Education Administrators
  • Government Officials in the U.S Forest Service or National Park Service
  • Successful in any job requiring Leadership, Teamwork, and Critical Thinking

WLEE Alumni Features

WLEE Alumni Videos

Majors, Minors, and Concentrations:

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Wilderness Leadership & Experiential Education (WLEE).  Minor in Wilderness Leadership & Experiential Education or Experiential Education


Billion Dollar Outdoor Industry


Acres of forest near campus

21 Day

Wilderness Expedition & Immersion Semester