Written by Kristina Plumley
The alarm clock sounds and the painful realization that summer is over sets-in; back to hitting the books, pulling all nighters, dreadful professors and dark musty classrooms. On the eve of the “back to school” season many are racking their brains for excuses to minimize time spent in class and maximize time spent on the mountain.
What if you could swap class time for slope time?
Several universities around the country have created the ideal learning environment for those of us who would rather spend our days earning a degree in all things shredding related than stuck in the same boring classroom day in and day out.
Which brings us to the next step: Where will you find these spectacular institutions of higher learning?
Let’s start with Westminster College’s program “Winter in Westminster” located in Salt Lake City, Utah which touts “Yes it is the program you have always wanted, but never knew existed.” The program is described as a winter program with the perfect balance between the rigors of college and the passion for skiing and snowboarding. College students from all over the country enroll at Westminster College as full-time visiting students earning 12-16 transferable credits while riding 70+ days at seven world-class resorts located within 30 minutes of campus.
Beyond just a season pass, this program also introduces you to new winter experiences including backcountry touring, avalanche awareness certification, bobsled, not-to-be-missed winter yurt camping as well as snowmobiling. Additionally the program offers the ability to network with many outdoor industry’s leaders and entrepreneurs at the Lecture & Learn series such as US disabled Ski Team member Chris Waddell and owner of World Wide Trekking Dean Cardinale. A “Winter at Westminster” is described by students as a “surreal experience that was never thought possible”
Days filled with action sports and 70+ hours of riding a bit too much for you? How about a more refined experience in a similar field? Georgian College in Ontario, Canada offers a two year degree program in snow resort operations which focuses on industry specific courses that prepare students for an exciting career in one of the world’s largest and fastest growing hospitality, tourism and recreation fields. Additionally Georgian College has a 94% graduate placement rate with huge employment potential in various related fields, giving the student the ability to enjoy recreational paradise and get paid for it. Such related fields include: Snow and destination resorts, Sports stores, Special Event Planning, Product Suppliers, Event Management companies, Travel companies and Trade magazines, Adventure operations, Movie and Photography companies, Marketing and Guest Services, Ski patrol and Snow hosting.
While college is a great time to start planning a career, imagine if you could start earlier?
Luckily, you have stumbled upon what many high school students have already discovered regarding the “best sports high school for athletes” in the country, Windells Academy. The Windells Academy educational experience goes well beyond the classroom and the hill. Industry trips have included visits to Nike, K2, Bonfire, Atmosphere and Mervin providing students with an inside look at the action sports industry. The camp’s goal is to not only improve kids’ skills on the slopes and on the street, but also create a fun and safe place for young people to creatively express themselves through sports.
So if you find yourself losing interest in what your instructor is saying, drooling on your desk and praying for motivation just to get to class, it may be time to change your major to snow sports. Each program emphasizes engaging the student in the educational process through sport thus creating an environment of “non-traditional” learning.
Now that you know it exists, what are you waiting for? It doesn’t get any more perfect than this!