If your son or daughter is considering participating in a Wild Rockies Field Institute (WRFI) course, you may have some questions or concerns, particularly if he or she has never taken a field course before. You may want to know more about our academic standards, our safety record, or how our course costs compare to traditional college classes. Please browse our website and if your questions or concerns are not addressed, always feel free to contact us.
For many students, participating in an off-campus experience is the most thrilling and formative component of their college education. We recognize that college students often walk a fine line in their process of becoming fully actuated adults while still relying on their parents for support in a variety of ways. Along those lines, WRFI works closely with both students and their families to help them enroll in a WRFI course, and if accepted, plan and prepare for their experience. In an effort to encourage responsibility and self-sufficiency on the part of students, we focus our communications regarding paperwork, finances, and preparations with the students directly, with the understanding that we will likely also work with our student’s family members on some level as well.
The Wild Rockies Field Institute is an off-campus study opportunity. WRFI offers academic field-based courses through the University of Montana. Our courses take place in the “Wild Rockies” of North America and combine rigorous academic inquiry with cultural immersion and extended backcountry expeditions. Students join us from colleges and universities across North America and from a wide variety of majors; we currently offer courses in Environmental Studies, Natural Resources & Science Management, Geography, and Philosophy. WRFI’s small group size and interdisciplinary curriculum offer students an exceptional opportunity to complement their coursework on campus with experiential education in the field.
Since 1993, the University of Montana has accredited all Wild Rockies Field Institute courses. Academic credits earned through WRFI are transferable to hundreds of college and universities across the country. Students can earn credit in a variety of disciplines and will work with WRFI and their advisors and faculty to determine how credits transfer back to their home institutions. WRFI courses are academically rigorous and typically count towards upper-division course work.
We believe that experiential, field-based education is a critical component of the college experience and should be accessible to as many students as possible. Finances are often a barrier to participation in expensive off-campus programs. WRFI is committed to providing affordable courses and supporting students and their families with personalized financial counseling, scholarships, and tuition discounts. Students will find that when they calculate the total estimated cost of attendance at their home institution and compare it with what it costs to attend a WRFI cost, it is often more affordable than they imagined!
Academic credit for all Wild Rockies Field Institute courses comes from the University of Montana, recorded on an official transcript with a letter grade for each three-credit course assessed. WRFI welcomes students from schools across North America; from large universities to small private liberal arts colleges, we are happy to work with students and their academic advisors to assist with the credit transfer process. Click here to learn more about earning college credit from a WRFI course.
WRFI’s instructors balance scholastic expertise, well-developed pedagogical perspectives and a passion for teaching college students with backcountry leadership skills and experience. All WRFI instructors have advanced degrees and Wilderness First Aid certifications. Beyond those minimum requirements, they come from a wide variety of backgrounds and WRFI is honored and proud that they choose to teach and learn with WRFI students out in the field. Click here to learn more about our team.
Today, more than ever, college students have incredible options for field-based education. The benefits of experiential learning are becoming more widely recognized and sought after as a critical component of a liberal arts education. The programs available to college students these days offer a wide variety of experiences, emphases, and opportunities. WRFI is a unique program with the potential to provide a life changing experience. Click here to determine if WRFI could be a good fit for your child.
The average day-in-the-life of a WRFI student is a combination of academic work (including class time, readings, assignments, discussions, and meetings with guest speakers) and travel in either a backcountry setting from campsite to campsite or in a community to various site visits. No two days are the same on a WRFI course! Click here to learn more about a day in the life of a WRFI student.
WRFI is more than happy to help students and their families prepare for their course. We are here to provide support and guidance that sets your student up for success. Click here to learn more about planning and preparing for a WRFI course.
WRFI has a comprehensive emergency response system in place whenever our students are on a course. You can contact the organization at any time and we will help guide you through the process of reaching your student. WRFI’s instructors, staff, and Board of Directors are all trained and equipped to handle emergencies as they arise.
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