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Outdoor Leadership Program

Higher Education for Adventure Guides and Instructors

Course sequence

OLP provides students with the skills and knowledge needed to successfully lead entry-level adventure programs and services. You will learn by doing: our activities are primarily field-oriented with hands-on training. Unlike typical college programs, OLP students have adventure-specific class from 9am – 4:00pm, Monday thru Friday. Additionally, there are several scheduled multi-day trips and courses throughout the year that may include a few weekends. Our students don’t spend much time in our indoor classroom as they are engaged in an intensive immersion experience. They train extensively in the field and work with real groups of clients from local agencies and schools within a month of beginning the program, and then throughout the year. All OLP students take required core classes during the fall semester. Students are required to take four advanced core classes in the spring, and then must choose at least two of the remainder of classes from the optional specialty and instructor courses offered in this semester.

Please see our online catalog for a complete program description and for detailed course descriptions.

Fall semester sequence of courses:

  • Introduction to Outdoor Adventure Skills I
  • Group Management for Outdoor Leaders I
  • Adventure Program Planning & Field Work I
  • Wilderness Emergency Preparedness
  • Natural History for Outdoor Leaders
  • Backcountry Travel Instructor
  • Individual Project in Outdoor Leadership I

Spring semester sequence of courses:

  • Outdoor Adventure Skills II
  • Group Management for Outdoor Leaders II
  • Fieldwork Experience in Outdoor Leadership II
  • Individual Project in Outdoor Leadership II

Additional electives:

  • Rock Climbing Instructor
  • Paddling Instructor (Canoe and/or Kayak)
  • Nordic Skiing Instructor
  • Challenge Course Programming Instructor

Optional experiences:

  • Avalanche Safety
  • Introduction to Mountaineering
  • Indoor Climbing Wall Instructor
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