Immersion Semester Program
The Immersion Semester Program is an intensive semester-long study away program for outdoor leadership and skill development. The ISP employs adventure pursuits (i.e., backpacking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting) to engage topics ranging from wilderness philosophy to wilderness ethics, wilderness leadership to risk management, and wilderness medicine to wilderness literacy.
The ISP is open to all majors and minors featuring six courses (described below) and experiential learning opportunities emphasizing leadership, judgment, decision-making, and communication. The ISP is NOT guide training or high-risk adventure for the sake of high-risk adventure. The skills gained on the ISP are intended to prepare future professional outdoor leaders AND to be easily transferrable for application to an industry of choice. The vision of the OAL ISP is to develop effective outdoor leaders, educators, and compassionate citizens.
Students register for 15-18 credits in the following courses:
RLS 21800 Wilderness First Responder - Improvised resources, varying environmental conditions and extended-care used as the framework for learning to respond to medical emergencies in remote wilderness settings. Examines necessary tools to make critical medical and evacuation decisions.
RLS 22000 The Wilderness Experience - Exploration of the complexity of a wilderness experience. Focus on wilderness values and the relationship humanity has with shaping the natural environment as well as the effects wilderness has on human relationships.
RLS 22300 Wilderness Literacy - Survey of works in a variety of mediums that focuses on the theme of wilderness as a metaphor. Examination of the important ideas, people, cultures, and deep intellectual history of the wilderness movement.
RLS 35400 Organization and Supervision of Outdoor Pursuits - Application of principles and practices in planning, implementing, leading, supervising, and evaluating outdoor trips and programs. Study of outdoor program supervision using a variety of organizational models. Students design field-based experiences.
RLS 37000 Recreational Land Use Ethics - Examination of the people and social forces that have influenced land-use related to designated wilderness. Focus on philosophical and historical basis for wilderness management. Emphasizes development and promotion of a personal recreational land use ethic.
RLS 42100 Wilderness Expedition Leadership - Integrates human understanding, outdoor techniques, and teaching ability in expedition leadership. Emphasis on sound judgment and decision making with groups in wilderness settings.
The OAL ISP is only open to majors and minors. Spots for minors are limited. Priority is given to majors as it is a requirement for graduation. Both majors and minors need to complete the OAL ISP application and forms.