Outdoor Leadership

  • Overview
  • Stackables
  • Employment
Provides students with the skills and knowledge needed to lead entry-level or above adventure programs and services. Students learn by doing: activities are primarily field-oriented, with hands-on training. The certificate prepares you to design and deliver experiences in five areas: backcountry travel, rock climbing, paddling sports, Nordic skiing, and challenge course work. Certification competencies comply with adventure industry nationally recognized standards. OLP is accredited by the Association for Experiential Education.
The Outdoor Leadership Program has a special admissions process; you must apply to the OLP program in addition to first completing an application for general admission to GCC. For complete requirements, including essential physical eligibility, please see the OLP website.
  • Curriculum documents

    To plan certificate completion, see the course descriptions in the academic catalog which specify the planned semester(s) in which required classes are to be scheduled.

  • This program is intended for completion in two semesters of full-time study over one year. For required course sequencing please contact the program coordinator.

    Course descriptions are available in the academic catalog. Find courses

Student learning outcomes

Students completing a course of study in this program will be able to:

What’s next

Students are prepared to work in outdoor centers and organizations, paddling schools, outdoor schools such as NOLS and Outward Bound, human services organizations, educational institutions that utilize adventure, and a diverse variety of recreational programs and businesses. Students may transfer OLP credits to other multi-year degree programs in Adventure Education or Outdoor Education. Students with previous career skills may combine those with current technical training towards entrepreneurial ventures, counseling, or other specialized fields. Students may also choose to continue studies in outdoor education, adventure recreation, natural or social sciences, and a myriad of related fields.

The Outdoor Leadership program is a certificate that “stacks” into a GCC degree program. Depending on course selection, once you earn this certificate you’re already halfway to earning one of the following degrees:

These certificates are a great way to gain a valuable credential and increase your earning power and career potential, all while building a solid foundation for seamless transfer into one of our associate degree programs. Work closely with your advisor to make sure you choose the right classes to put you on track for an associate degree!

Learn more about our stackable degrees and certificates »

Gainful employment disclosure

The US Department of Education requires colleges and universities to disclose certain information for any financial aid eligible program that “prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.” At GCC this includes our career-ready certificate programs. This information includes program costs; occupations that the program prepares students to enter; on time completion rate; and for programs with a minimum number of graduates in the most recent academic year: the number of students who completed the program, the number of students who complete the program on time, and the median federal and private loan debt incurred by graduates.

View gainful employment data for the Outdoor Leadership program