THE OUTDOOR PROGRAM With Acadia National Park in COA’s backyard, students have easy access to countless outdoor activities. It’s easy to explore the Park and coastline of the island on one’s own or join in weekly outings organized by fellow students. New students are introduced to Maine’s numerous wilderness adventure opportunities through the Outdoor Orientation Program (OOPs). Returning students lead the six day trips; participants choose from kayaking, canoeing, hiking, cycling, climbing, sailing, and scuba diving trips. Students may then make shorter expeditions (ranging from an afternoon of climbing to a long weekend of winter camping) through the Outdoor Program. Students are encouraged to arrive at COA with a sense of adventure. Fellow students and staff will insure that the trips are safe and fun — and that instructions are offered to those new to an activity. For those who want to head off at a moment’s notice, COA’s recreational equipment is accessible to all college community members for free. This includes a fleet of ocean kayaks and lake canoes. Students may borrow camping and paddling gear for short periods of time. Some classes, such as Human Ecology of Wilderness and Marine Mammals Biology, also incorporate trips that place students in whitewater canoes or the school’s research vessel, the 46' Osprey. A sailing class is available each fall and aspiring scuba divers are invited to take an annual course offered through the local ymca.
LIFE ON MOUNT DESERT ISLAND The local Bar Harbor atmosphere is shaped by the four seasons: in summer downtown booms with tourists and in winter things quiet down. During the spring and fall, students can enjoy the local sights and services without the crowds. Many local businesses such as bookstores, natural food stores, secondhand shops, and outdoor gear suppliers stay open throughout the winter to serve the year-round community. One movie house (that serves pizza and has couches in lieu of the usual theatre seating), a yoga studio, stores with dvd rentals, restaurants galore, bike shops, and a public library will likely be stops at some point during a student's years at COA. Every student gets a free membership at the local ymca, which provides access to volleyball, basketball, swimming, a well-equipped weight room, indoor soccer, and fitness classes. Returning students may also choose to live off campus. Bar Harbor’s popularity as a summer tourist destination means that there is a great deal of affordable housing available to rent during the school year. Living off campus strengthens the connection between COA students and the island community.
This is the College of the Atlantic Guidebook prospectus for 2014