Accreditation is for WEA programs that provide both outdoor education and leadership training with a goal to ensure the skill and professionalism of trained outdoor educators. Accreditation provides a minimum number of content requirements, with the main focus around WEA’s six educational components. Accredited institutions provide educational opportunities for students and professionals seeking outdoor education certifications.

Accredited Institutions have self-study curriculum have been established and approved by the Commission on Outdoor Education and Leadership. The program has provided sufficient documentation to the Commission in administration, operation, instruction, curriculum design, assessment, and evaluation.


Accreditation for outdoor educators is based on the belief that WEA trained professionals are delivering the highest quality of services, guidance, and education in the outdoor industry. Students and instructors benefit from accreditation of curriculum through the quality of teaching, research, and professionalism. WEA accredited programs encourage institutional freedom, improvement of education and training, educational analysis and innovation.


Accredited Institutions include academies for higher education, not-for-profit organizations, as well as profit organizations.

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

Radford University 2011    
Coalition for Christian Outreach 2013    
Western Illinois University 2013    
Ithaca College  2018    
Baylor University Application on file    


*Organizations highlighted in bold have submitted self-studies that are currently in the review process.

 An Accreditation Manual is available by the Commission on Outdoor Education and Leadership. To learn more, contact the Wilderness Education Association National Office.