Rocky Mountain Classrooms

College of the Rockies

When your campuses are located in the stunning BC Rocky Mountains, you take every opportunity to make your surroundings your classroom. At least you do if you’re College of the Rockies.

The Mountain Adventure Skills Training (MAST) program, located at the College’s Fernie, BC campus, takes advantage of the region’s stunning mountains, lakes, rivers and lifestyle.  In just nine months, MAST students have the opportunity to learn valuable skills, push their boundaries and form lasting relationships.

Courses in this program include Hiking, Rock Climbing, Mountaineering, Whitewater Raft Guide training and, as you’d expect in a town once voted as one of the World’s Best 25 Best Ski Towns by National Geographic, there are Backcountry Ski Touring and Ski or Snowboard Instructor courses as well.  What you won’t find a lot of is time spent in the classroom. Sixty percent of the learning is done outdoors – where it is most relevant.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking the MAST program is just fun and adventure (though there is plenty of that!). Students also complete six relevant academic courses, including Adventure Entrepreneurship and Risk Management, which provide the knowledge that is sought by employers. The fourteen skills and certification courses included in the program ensure that graduates have the skills they need to be prepared for their dream job.

In addition to great adventures, knowledge and skills, many find the program a life-changing experience. As one recent graduate indicated “MAST exceeded my expectations. I learned valuable skills and I believe I grew into a better person. MAST helped me discover my passion and my life path.”

Three-hundred kilometres northwest of Fernie, is the town of Golden, BC, home to the College’s Golden campus. Located in the Rocky Mountain Trench and home to the Kicking Horse River – one of the best rafting and white water kayaking rivers in BC, this location provides the perfect backdrop for the Adventure Tourism Business Operations (ATBO) program.  Golden is surrounded by six national parks as well as a world-class ski resort – Kicking Horse Mountain resort – providing ample opportunity to partake in outdoor adventure.

With both certificate and diploma options available, the ATBO program provides a balanced blend of academic and field skills courses – helping to prepare students to own their own businesses or continue on to further education while still incorporating plenty of outdoor pursuits.

Responding to an industry need for a professional approach to adventure tourism operations, the ATBO program mixes courses such as Small Business Management and Cross-Cultural Tourism with training in bushcraft, back country ski touring, white water rafting and more.  The diploma program transfers into a variety of other BC bachelor degree programs – including the College’s own Bachelor of Business Administration in Sustainable Business Practices.

ATBO program alum Greg Snell put his education to use as the lucky winner of the Best Job in the World – Wildlife Caretaker position awarded by Tourism Australia in 2013. After concluding his role in Australia, Greg has gone on to start his own online travel documentary program called Travel Global Think Local.

College of the Rockies’ brand promise includes the phrase Rocky Mountain Inspired. With the stunning geographical location of the College’s campuses and these unique programs, how could students and staff be anything but?