One couldn’t ask for a better setting for adventure and exploration in the great outdoors. At Garrett College, located in Maryland’s western-most county, our mountains, forests, lakes and whitewater rivers become more than just attractions, they become classrooms. In the heart of a four-season scenic resort area, surrounded by many natural regional venues including Maryland’s premier ski area, Wisp; its largest freshwater lake, Deep Creek Lake; tens of thousands of acres of state and national forestlands, and seven renowned whitewater rivers offering over 20 different segments with rapids ranging from beginner Class I to expert Class V, Garrett College provides the perfect opportunity to excel in the adventure and outdoor recreation industry. With an enrollment of around 850 students, Garrett College recently took second place in the ‘Best Adventure College’ competition hosted by Blue Ridge Outdoors and is just minutes from Adventure Sports Center International, the world’s only mountaintop, manmade, whitewater course and home of the upcoming 2014 ICF Canoe Slalom World Championships in September.


Garrett College’s signature Adventure Sports program has earned a national and international reputation, allowing students to practice their passion while fueling the workforce for the growing adventure recreation industry. Field-skill activities include mountain biking, whitewater paddling, fair/cold weather back country living skills, rock/ice climbing, ropes/challenge course facilitation, alpine ski/snowboard, Nordic/Telemark skiing, land-rock-water based rescue, and wilderness emergency medical care. Program highlights include leadership development, program planning, risk management, and decision-making. Through the lens of outdoor education and recreation, students learn about health and fitness as well as economic development and environmental awareness. Tracks in business and retail management, competitive athletics and coaching, therapeutic recreation, multi-media and videography, and environmental education are available. For those with a competitive spirit and drive, joining the Adventure Sports Competition Team is an option.


In May of 1992, Garrett College’s Adventure Sports Institute developed the first degree program of its kind in the nation; it currently offers a two-year Associate in Applied Science degree and a one-year Certificate in Adventure Sports Management. Nationally recognized certifications that can be obtained include those from the American Canoe Association (ACA), the American Mountain Guide Association (AMGA), Professional Climbing Instructors’ Association (PCIA), Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA), National Association for Search and Rescue (NASAR), Leave-No-Trace (LNT) and Rescue 3 International. The Adventure Sports Institute develops leaders and professionals who have a strong sense of environmental stewardship and community service.
For many of our students, education does not stop at the associate degree level. Students are well prepared for transfer to four-year institutions and many take advantage of opportunities to further their education. Graduates are also well equipped as leaders who may wish to begin their career in the adventure and outdoor recreation industry. With an average field class student-to-teacher ratio of 4:1, as a student at Garrett College, one can experience a lively, diverse, intellectual, and extracurricular life – built around adventure in an amazing outdoor playground! More information can be found at and