The Outdoor Recreation Program is one aspect of the college that is being changed through Vision 2010 in order to improve the student experience at Colorado Northwestern. Vision 2010 is a revisioning of different aspects of CNCC, from programs to technology.
A big aspect of all of Vision 2010 is incorporating more of the environment into the student experience, and Vision organizers hope that ORP trips will help make that happen.
“Students might come here for the outdoor opportunities the college has; they need to have the best educational experience we can provide,” CNCC Vice President of Instruction David Smith stated.
As a result, the ORP committee for Vision 2010 is trying to bring more students into the ORP programs.
”The focus will be on making outdoor recreation equipment and programming more accessible to all CNCC students,” Director of Counseling and Career Planning and ORP Committee chairman Jim DeLung said. “For the students who are interested in pursuing a certain activity (for example, skydiving) there will be activities designed to help them grow as a group.” The groups are interconnected with the idea of learning communities being worked on by other faculty and staff members. (For more on learning communities, see Part 3 of this series at http://www.cncc.edu/spartantimes/?p=889#more-889)
Activities will bring students together, just as teambuilding events have this year for student athletes.
“One thing that . . . seems to be very successful is having our athletic teams go on ORP trips together,” DeLung said. “Some student athletes have been hesitant about rafting, or going on horseback trail rides, but then after they go on the trip, most of them are asking when they can do it again.”
Some of these teambuilding experiences have already occurred this year, such as the women’s volleyball team going spelunking.
“We know we want students to participate in at least some of the ORP events (not everyone has to go ice climbing or sky diving),” Smith said. “We know we want the experiences to be both educational and enjoyable and to help develop leadership skills; we have an idea that we are looking at communities of 10-20 students.”
The ORP committee is trying to use this academic year to establish what does and doesn’t work, says DeLung.
“In general, we want to have more activities available to a wider range of students, with many of the activities not only being fun, but being learning experiences for students,” Smith said.
The committee still has a lot of work to do.
“I want us to figure out where we need to improve for the next academic year,” DeLung said. He has not been able to do as much with the committee this fall because of his teaching load, but the committee has been analyzing costs for various activities.
It is hoped that “we will be….utilizing our resources as efficiently as possible,” said DeLung.
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