altWhat is Accreditation?

Accreditation is designed for programs currently providing outdoor education and leadership training. The goal of accreditation is to professionalize outdoor education and leadership preparation programs by creating minimum content coverage requirements. With emphasis on six educational components, accredited institutions provide learning and leadership opportunities for students and professionals seeking outdoor educator certification. Accreditation means that an institution has developed a self-study which has been reviewed and approved by the Commission on Outdoor Education and Leadership. Approval of the self-study indicates that the organization has provided sufficient documentation to the Commission in the areas of administration, operation, instruction, curriculum design, assessment, and evaluation.

The Role and Value of Accreditation

Accreditation is based upon the belief that all professions providing services to the public have an obligation to ensure that services provided by its employees are of high professional quality. One effective way in which this obligation can be met is by establishing appropriate standards of educational quality and by identifying publicly those educational programs that meet or exceed these standards. Accreditation is intended to protect the interests of students; benefit the public; and improve the quality of teaching, learning, research, and professional practice. Through its accreditation standards, the accrediting body encourages institutional freedom, ongoing improvement of educational institutions and training programs, sound educational experimentation, and constructive innovation.

Who are Accredited Institutions?

Accredited Institutions are made up of higher education institutions in both the academic and programming settings, not for profit outdoor organizations that focus on skill and leadership development, as well as for profit organizations including adventure guiding services.

Accredited institutions:
The following programs have been accredited by the Commission on Outdoor Education and Leadership:

Organization Name Accredited Site Visit Self-Study Due
Radford University 2011  2015  12/15/2015
Coalition for Christian Outreach 2013 2017  12/15/2017
Western Illinois University 2013 2017 12/15/2017
 Rare Earth Adventures 2014  2018   12/15/2018
Baylor University application on file    
Ithaca College application on file    

1. *These programs have been accredited and are in probationary status to address curricular enhancements suggested by the Commission on Outdoor Education and Leadership or failed to meet nessesary communication deadlines.
2. Organizations highlighted in bold have submitted self-studies that are currently in the review process.


          The Commission on Outdoor Education and Leadership published
          the Accreditation Manual to guide organizations through the
          accreditation process. To learn more about the accreditation process,
          contact the WEA National Office