Outdoor Education begins in the classroom and continues beyond the doors by utilizing the campus gardens, environmental learning areas, and surrounding community for faculty assigned service learning or research projects.
The Special Academics Department Outdoor Education program offers faculty members the opportunity to assign research projects or service-learning experience that directly correlates to classroom instruction. The intention is to encourage the application of academic learning to practical real-world situations by students in the campus outdoor learning areas, gardens, or campus and surrounding community.
Hands-on projects are considered to have high value impact, deepen student understanding of the curriculum, give students the opportunity to engage with content experts, scientists, researchers, community members, and to strengthen the connection between academics and the surrounding community. High levels of student engagement also increase the completion of degrees.
Whom does it serve?
This is a multidisciplinary program; there are resources available for all faculty to engage students in “hands-on projects. Faculty and student support if they want to submit results to national and international conferences in sustainability.
- Application of academic concepts leading to deeper understanding of both curriculum and the process
- Development of critical thinking skills
- Problems highlighted; Solutions proposed
- List of Students' opportunities within the outdoor program activities.
- Supervised, faculty assigned service learning in the campus gardens, content expert instruction in areas that reinforce curriculum, Participation in Citizen Science research projects, Project WILD activities, Texas AgriLife agents, and Master Gardners, Solar experiments with guidance from the North Texas Renewable
- Energy Group among others including the Trinity River Coalition and Water Is Alive
- opportunity to engage and publish research if accepted by national and international conferences in sustainability
- Increased enrollment
- Student engagement
- Faculty access to resource bank of project ideas, scientists, researchers