Wilderness based outdoor orientation programs have been offered at colleges and universities to incoming freshmen since the 1930’s. 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). As compared to the control group, the two groups of students who participated in the wilderness oriented program had greater 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.
& Waryold, D.
An Exploratory Study of the Impact of a Wilderness Orientation Program on College Student’s Life Effectiveness.
Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership, 1(2).