Desert Mountain or Canyon Expedition
Students can choose to enroll in Wilderness Orientation: a three-week backpacking expedition in the remote desert mountains and canyons of Arizona. Students develop a sense of place and make connections to the Southwest through rigorous backcountry travel, map and wilderness navigation, and by studying the natural and cultural history of their route. Students become functional and valuable members of the community through curriculum that focuses on interpersonal communication, group process, and most importantly, compassion and respect for others and themselves. Through individual research projects, a solo experience, leadership training, and service projects, students participate fully in this interdisciplinary Liberal Arts course. Additionally, Wilderness Orientation satisfies the foundational field prerequisite that students will need for field-based courses. With our history as a pioneer of outdoor orientation programming since 1968, you can rest assured that our backpacking routes are achievable and accessible, our staff of outdoor education instructors are experienced guides and adventure educators, and our extensive risk management and safety practices are well vetted.
Students can also choose to enroll in Community-Based Orientation. This Orientation course is intended to orient new students to the college’s unique educational philosophy, structure, and community in a non-wilderness or expeditionary format. Instead, through the context of, individual research projects, service learning opportunities, day hikes, field trips, and a possible solo experience, students develop a sense of place and explore the ecological, political, and cultural histories of their new home. By building connections to the Southwest, one another, and Prescott College, students strive to become functioning members of an invaluable community while learning interpersonal communication and leadership skills, and most importantly, compassion and respect for others and one's self. To help accommodate those students with physical, familial, medical, or other needs, this course is based in Prescott with frequent field trips and possible extended field-based overnights. Please note however, that this course does not satisfy the requirements for a field prerequisite required for many field courses at Prescott College. Enrollment is dependent on Orientation Director approval.
Regardless of the type of Orientation you are engaged in, successful completion of this intensive experience requires a high degree of commitment. You should plan on blocking out this time for exclusive focus on your education.