Students and professional land managers learn current best practices about the sport; planning, design, construction, and management of OHV trails and facilities.

Off-highway vehicle recreation has finally gained some legitimacy in the academic world. How is that? Well, at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia, students can graduate with a minor in OHV Recreation Management! Career employees can obtain academic credit after completing the courses and students attending other colleges and universities may have these credits transferred to their own institutions. These are specific college-level courses for the folks who will be making a career (or who may already be engaged in one) in the service of implementing and managing the hundreds of OHV public trail systems throughout the country. Previously, many land managers in those positions did not have experience with off-highway recreation and were taking on the task blindly. That scenario of course is never in the best interests of Mr. and Ms. Weekend Trail Rider, USA. That’s why the National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council (NOHVCC) became partners with Marshall University and the Nick J. Rahall, II Appalachian Transportation Institute to produce this groundbreaking curriculum.
The Park and Recreational Resources program at Marshal University offers a Bachelor of Science degree with an emphasis in parks and conservation and students can now obtain a minor in OHV Recreation Management. Previously, the faculty at Marshall worked with the creators of the Hatfield-McCoy Trail System in southern West Virginia by providing student interns and employees.
The objective is to provide both university students and professional employees of planning and land management agencies with state-of-the-art courses covering the broad aspects of off-highway vehicle recreation, planning and construction of OHV trails and facilities, and the operation and management of OHV trail systems.
“This is a great new opportunity for anyone who is considering a career in parks or recreation and who also happens to be an OHV enthusiast,” says National Off-Highway Vehicle Conservation Council Communications Director Steve Casper. “It is a dream of most of us to be able join our work and play in some capacity, and having a college degree in OHV Recreation Management can do just that. With that on a resume, you will be looked up to as an expert in that field and will likely have a better opportunity to get the position you really want. And this series of courses is not just for young students who on the verge of entering the workforce. It is also designed for folks who already have a career in the parks and recreation field but want to become top-notch experts at making effective decisions for their OHV programs.”
Students and land managers throughout the country can now take the OHV recreation management courses via the Internet. No campus visits are required to complete the distance-learning courses. Individuals may enroll in these courses for undergraduate or graduate credit. Marshall University welcomes all eligible students. Complete admission and enrollment information for online courses is available at the following web site www.marshall.edu/muonline/ohv.asp
Casper continues, “A lot of effort went into developing this curricula and NOHVCC was very involved in the process from the beginning. The NOHVCC wants to see the best, most qualified individuals in charge of OHV programs throughout the country and these courses hit the bull’s-eye when it comes to achieving that goal. I’ve seen some of the details in the course layouts and they cover just about everything you can imagine. And yes, I did notice that there were several actual riding sessions in the program!”
There are now four courses that comprise the OHV Recreation curriculum, each being 3 units. The same four that are available on campus are also available online as distance-learning courses. They are entitled “Introduction to Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation”, “Planning and Design of OHV Trail Systems”, “Construction of OHV Trail Systems”, and “Operation and Management of OHV Trail Systems”.
Named after the much-heralded early American Supreme Court Justice John Marshall, this state-supported University offers 2- and 4-year degrees along with graduate programs and has a current enrollment of around 16,000 students including 4,000 graduate and medical students. The Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools accredits Marshall University as an institution of higher learning. The University operates on a semester system that includes the Fall and Spring semesters and a variety of summer sessions.

Raymond L. Busbee, Professor Emeritus
Park and Recreation Resources,
137 Sweetwater Bluff,
Dahlonega GA 30533
Phone: (706) 216-3885
E-mail: Busbee@marshall.edu
Web: www.marshall.edu/muonline/ohv.asp

(800) 348-6487
E-mail: trailhead@nohvcc.org
Web: www.nohvcc.org