Faculty-led Programs

Many academic programs at Lees-McRae incorporate a travel opportunity into the program curriculum. This is a valuable, once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunity for all involved!


Led by Program Coordinator Katie Wall, Outdoor Recreation Management students travel to the Bahamas to refine their ocean technical skills. Students fly into Nassau where they provision a catamaran for a few days working on sailing certifications. As the group explores the islands of the Bahamas, they paddleboard, kayak, scuba dive, and snorkel in the open ocean. Students also connect with officials at The Island School on Eleuthera to learn about local flora and fauna, network, and participate in coral conservation research. 

Outdoor Retailer

Outdoor Recreation Management students accompany Program Coordinator Katie Wall to the Outdoor Retailer Snow Show. The groups starts the trip at Outdoor Retailer—typically held in Denver, Colorado or Salt Lake City, Utah—where they explore the top outdoor recreation brands and connect with industry professionals. After the show, the group tours several ski resorts to learn about resort operations and other outdoor recreation companies in the area. Past groups have visited the National Ski Patrol, the National Ability Center, and the the Doppelmayr ski lift factory.

New Zealand

Wildlife biology students accompany May Wildlife Rehabilitation Center director Nina Fischesser on an expedition to New Zealand, a country well-known for its biodiversity and conversation efforts. Traveling to both the North and South Islands, the group visits centers for wildlife rehab and explores the many natural wonders of New Zealand. Additionally, participants have the chance to become familiar with the indigenous Maori culture. Taking place during winter break, this program lasts approximately four weeks. 

Read more about this trip

Western National Parks

Led by Program Coordinator Katie Wall, students start at the Grand Canyon and tour National Parks throughout the American West. The group goes through all of the parks in Utah—Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Canyonlands, and Arches—before heading up to the Tetons and Yellowstone. Along the way, students ride horses, hike, rock climb, canyoneer, kayak, and more to develop their place-based outdoor recreation skills. 


Together with Pam Vesely, students in elementary education visit schools to conduct assessments and research and help plan activities and programs for local children.