Both the 2-year associate degree in Adventure Education (ADE) and the 1-year certificate in Outdoor Leadership (OLP) accept applications year-round. Students not majoring in ADE or OLP who meet essential eligibility requirements can enroll in adventure education classes by registering online with our office of Workforce Development & Community Education.

How to apply? Complete an online application for admission to GCC and indicate which program you intend to enroll in.

We seek people who are highly motivated and will be committed to an intense learning experience. We look for people who love the outdoors, have a sincere desire to teach and lead other people in outdoor activities, have a commitment to environmental education, want to learn a variety of technical skills on land and water, embrace diversity and have a genuine interest in building their human relations skills, show a high degree of motivation for lifelong learning, have a clarity of direction, and express a willingness to work cooperatively to achieve personal goals.

This is box title
There is no “typical” adventure education student! Characteristics of well-qualified applicants include a passion for learning, a commitment to excellence and hard work, and a sense of fun and adventure.

Previous outdoor experience is not required. In fact, all of our courses start at the beginner level and then build on students’ unique skills. Our curriculum’s flexible design allows instructors to work with you at your skill level, and help you gain the highest certifications possible relative to your experience and competence in the field. We strive to build a diverse community of women and men. Since the program’s inception in 1980, students have ranged from 18 to 60 years, and have varied greatly in their life, educational and employment backgrounds. They have included first-time college students and people with master’s degrees; they have graduated from high school with GEDs, been home schooled and want a non-traditional college experience; they have had spouses and children, represented various sexual orientations, religious affiliations, cultural and ethnic groups, and have managed a range of differences that have most often proven to be their greatest strengths. Students with learning differences find that our style of “classroom” suits their way of learning. Some seek the satisfaction of working with beginners, while others have later received international recognition for their outstanding achievements in sports like canoeing and kayaking, and mountaineering. People with business experience have used our programs as a means to change careers and start their own outdoor company. Some take a sabbatical from an existing job and seek to incorporate the adventure skills they learned when they return to a school or social service position. Each year approximately half of the students use federal financial aid programs to help finance their participation.


Accepted students who have not taken and passed a college English course must pass an English proficiency test before beginning classes. Completion is not required before applying to the program.