Outdoor Leadership

The outdoor leadership minor prepares students to lead backpacking, canoeing and sea kayaking or rock climbing outdoor trips. The outdoor leadership course series is grounded in experiential education concepts, and there is an overt emphasis on transferring leadership skills to other life situations.

Employers want to hire students that are coming out of college with excellent soft skills.  In a nationwide study done by Michigan State University soft skills were force ranked higher then discipline knowledge by employers (Comparative Analysis of Soft Skills: What is Important for New Graduates).   Soft skills are a major emphasis in the Outdoor Leadership Minor, making you a more competitive candidate for graduate school and the work force.




Course work includes an introductory, applied, seminar and independent project series focused on outdoor leadership constructs (e.g., trip planning, risk management, group dynamics); how to do and how to teach and lead select outdoor activities; and classes from other academic disciplines to develop appreciation for environmental and sustainability awareness and working with diverse populations. As students progress through the curriculum, they will be encouraged to contribute appropriate levels of assistance, planning and leadership for the Pacific Voyages and the Pacific Outback programs.

Program Highlights

  • Experiential courses in rock climbing and/or sea kayaking very early in the sequence so students can eventually teach these disciplines to novices
  • Additional course work in environmental awareness, sustainability and diverse populations prepares students for a wide range of careers
  • Development of concrete, transferable leadership skills to enhance preparation for any type of career pursuit
  • Access to the great outdoors, an inherent feature of the Pacific Northwest culture
  • More Information

    Fact Sheet

    Outdoor Leadership Course Outline (PDF)