Research

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Impact of a Wilderness Orientation Program
Impact of a Wilderness Orientation Program
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Eric Frauman and Diane Waryold

Wilderness based outdoor orientation programs have been offered at colleges and universities to incoming freshmen since the 1930s. Although these programs appear to impact students in a positive way (e.g. self-efficacy), little research has documented whether these programs facilitate change on college student perceptions of life effectiveness. This exploratory study examined a 4-day wilderness based program at a university in the southeastern United States. Three groups of students were studied over the course of a semester using the Life Effectiveness Questionnaire (LEQ) (Neill, Marsh & Richards, 2003). When compared to a control group, the two groups of students who participated in the wilderness oriented program had higher scores on six of the eight LEQ dimensions (e.g. time management, emotional control) and overall total than students who did not participate at both the beginning and end of their first semester of college. Conclusions and implications for practice are made to promote proactive planning measures for improving outdoor orientation programs

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First  Ascent Wilderness Orientation Program

Diane M. Waryold and J. Joy James

Wilderness orientation programs, as a special type of orientation, have become commonplace at many colleges and universities The First Ascent (FA) program is an example of one such program and is a small piece of a comprehensive rst-year experience offered at Appalachian State University (ASU). This program evaluation is intended to uncover the meaning of First Ascent through the students voice. Specically, this qualitative study used naturally occurring data as an unobtrusive measure to gather feedback from participants over the eight-year period in which First Ascent has been in existence. Analysis of the data revealed that students spoke of the interpersonal and intrapersonal aspects of the experience as well as the importance of the natural world.