Sustainability has been a recurring topic that comes up repeatedly when discussing the outdoor industry. Western in  the fall of 2018 launched "the country’s first-ever Outdoor Industry MBA, a two-year program that offers coursework in either product development or service, with an emphasis on sustainability." 


The Wright Collegiate Challenge is a student innovation competition designed to spark out-of-the-box ideas and entrepreneurial thinking in addressing current-day challenges with the Outdoor Recreation industry. Over the course of the 12-week challenge, student teams are paired with businesses, nonprofits, and partner organizations, including the Colorado Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, and introduced to a range of pivotal issues facing the outdoor industry.


Crested Butte News highlights the new partnership between Western, University of Colorado Boulder (CU), and  Utah State University (USU). The Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) will offer a suite of continuing education certificates that will launch throughout 2020.

The online-based and self-paced, non-credit certificates will focus on OIA’s three pillar areas of public policy, increasing outdoor participation and sustainable business innovation as well as other topics relevant to those working for or looking to work for outdoor industry businesses.

The Colorado Sun discusses the successes that came from the launch of Western's outdoor Industry MBA. When the program started low enrollment was expected, yet it was inspiring when 23 students enrolled to immerse themselves in an industry that needs fresh innovation and ideas.

The Outside Business Journal documents Western State Colorado University's introduction of the Outdoor Industry MBA recognizing students’ desire to get a degree that’s useful in the outdoor industry. 

“Western has always been a feeder school for the outdoor industry,” said Adam Howard, president and CEO of Height of Land Media, publisher of Alpinist, Backcountry and Cross Country Skier magazines. “Given its location and culture around outdoor pursuits, I can’t think of a school more poised to bring this MBA program to fruition.” 

Outdoor Industry MBA

Western's business department started their Outdoor Industry Masters in Business Administration to advance students' careers in the Outdoor Industry