Outcomes, August Wilderness | Earlham College Skip to Content


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The value of August Wilderness goes well beyond the initial experience. In post-participation surveys, students report establishing early (and lasting) friendships, increased self-confidence, comfort with faculty and academic expectations, and a sense of readiness for the challenges and opportunities of college.

  • Lasting Friendships
    Imagine beginning college with a wide variety of already established friendships and acquaintances. From the relationships you make with your incoming peer group, to mentor roles with your student leaders, to faculty connections, August Wilderness students begin school with an exceptional support group and network of relationships that make the transition to college easier and more successful.

  • Increased Self-Confidence
    One of the most frequently cited outcomes of the program, students on August Wilderness are introduced to one of our key principles, "the Adventuresome Spirit" where we learn a tolerance for adversity and ambiguity and a willingness to view obstacles as challenges to be overcome.  This perspective on challenge can change students' perspective of themselves as well.  Students often leave Wilderness feeling empowered, with an expanded comfort zone and sense of competence.  

  • Relationships with Faculty
    Faculty members at Earlham frequently remark that August Wilderness students stand out in their classes for being more confident in class, more comfortable speaking up during discussions, and more willing to build relationships with both classmates and teaching faculty. Because students spend a lot of time with faculty members on trail, learning and living alongside them for several weeks, faculty are seen as resources and mentors — something we value at Earlham yet not often the norm at many other colleges and universities. Learning to take advantage of this direct access is a big part of the transition to the Earlham community.

  • Readiness for College
    Without question, August Wilderness prepares students ready for Earlham. In addition to the outcomes above, students also receive 3 semester hours of college credit for the program (CIL 110). Academic coursework consists of readings, field lectures and talks, group discussions, and individual journal assignments. Content covered includes natural and cultural history, environmental ethics, and leadership skills such as group process, judgment and decision-making.
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