Image of person on skis

Learn to snow ski or snowboard while earning college credit this January at GHC

It’s getting close to winter, and that means it’s time to hit the slopes and earn some college credit at Georgia Highlands College (GHC). For over 40 years, students at GHC have had the opportunity to complete a physical education credit, PHED 1420, while enjoying skiing or snowboarding for four days on the Appalachian Ski Mountain and one day on Sugar Mountain in Boone, North Carolina.  

This January, you can be part of the tradition – even if you haven’t yet enrolled at GHC. 

Assistant Professor of Kinesiology and Wellness Jonathan Howard will be taking on his fifth ski trip this winter, following in the footsteps of retired School of Health Sciences instructor Ken Weatherman, who began the course and taught it for nearly 40 years and now teaches part-time at the college.     

“Every year the students come and make lifelong connections with the people they meet. I feel this course is what college is truly about,” Howard said. “You will gain knowledge, learn new skills, figure out how to overcome new obstacles like stopping on skis, perseverance and you will make new friends, all while earning college credit.” 

Howard received the same professional lessons as students during his first trip to the mountain, and within five days he became much more proficient and fell in love with skiing.  

“This year’s trip is shaping up to be a great one, and if anyone tried to book the same trip on their own it would cost triple what they would pay going through GHC,” Howard said. “This course is the best way to try skiing or snowboarding if you have ever wanted to try it.” 

The course starts with two in-person class meetings on December 12 and December 19 which will cover the basics of skiing, such as safety, dress, how to ski and more. The meetings will also go over expectations for students, and it gives them a chance to meet others in the course and set up room and travel arrangements.   

Students will travel to Appalachian Ski Mountain on Monday, Jan. 1, 2024, during which they will receive a ski lesson and will ski into the night. They will continue at Ski Mountain on Tuesday and Wednesday, will head to Sugar Mountain to ski on Thursday, Jan. 4, then back to Ski Mountain for a final day of skiing on Friday, Jan. 5.  

Students will have to provide their own transportation for the trip.  

In addition, community members can take this course without being a student, get a great value and learn a lifelong activity. 

“Most people walk away from this trip with a lifelong activity they do for the rest of their lives,” Howard said. “Also, most people meet new friends and people they stay in touch with for many years in and outside of school.”   

A Zoom information session will be held November 14 at 7PM and November 15 at 12 noon for anyone who wants to learn more or ask questions. For more information, contact Assistant Professor of Kinesiology and Wellness Jonathan Howard at 

Access new adventures with Georgia Highlands College. Enroll today with no application fee during “No Fee November,” and start classes in January. Connect with an admissions counselor at, or apply now at