The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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A few classes better than yours

Are you tired of taking classes in the same building on subjects you’ve been learning about since grade school?

If you feel you’re in need of a change, then try some courses that take you beyond the traditional classroom and into the wilderness.

CSUN’s Department of Recreation and Tourism Management offers a curriculum with more adventurous options.

The department offers degrees in Recreation Management and Therapy Management for careers in travel and tourism, event planning and outdoor and community recreation. Even if a degree in Recreation and Tourism Management isn’t for you, the department offers educational and fun courses including 151, 265, and 267. There are no prerequisites required to register for these courses and students can take them as electives.’ ‘

With open-air classes such as backpacking, survival, rock climbing and mountaineering, and aquatic classes that include backpacking, survival, sailing, water skiing and wakeboarding, students gain their learning experience out in the field.

Rather than being restricted to a classroom in front of a projection screen these programs provide students with first hand experience.

Backpacking, for instance, emphasizes the proper use of outdoor equipment and safety procedures while in a natural environment.

Students learn navigation techniques and are instructed on how to live off the land in the survival course. They gain understanding and knowledge on the skills necessary to survive out in the wilderness during a variety of physical conditions.

As for the aquatic course on skiing and wakeboarding, it is designed to help students develop proficiency in the water. The course on sailing aims at teaching students the skills essential in handling a boat, and also introduces them to competitive sailing and ocean cruising. Both courses train students on the proper safety procedures and regulations involved with each activity.

Not only do these classes take students away from the classroom but they don’t have to venture very far either. Water classes take place at Castaic Lake where CSUN has its own Aquatic Center in the Castaic Lake Recreation Area. Founded in 1976, the Aquatic Center is one of the largest boating education centers in the nation. The center serves over 10,000 individuals annually, roughly about one-quarter being CSUN students.

Dr. Craig Finney, professor and chair of the Department of Recreation and Tourism Management, believes these courses provide students with a chance to gain team- building skills and experience group bonding that does not regularly occur on large commuter campuses such as CSUN.

These skills can also be applied to their daily lives, allowing individuals to feel more comfortable and less-alienated from one another, an experience Finney describes as a ‘spiritual awakening.’

‘All of us need to reconnect with a natural environment. The human race is headed toward the destruction of the natural environment due to lack of understanding and application. These courses help reintroduce the value of natural resources that we have globally,’ said Finney.

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