in Outdoor and Adventure Education
Learn to plan and lead outdoor adventures, and provide educational and interpretive programming. Share your appreciation of the outdoors while you help others develop their skills and confidence.
The Outdoor and Adventure Education diploma program blends the development of people skills with the technical skills of outdoor pursuits, a dynamic combination that allows graduates to thrive in outdoor education and recreational settings. The program utilizes an experiential learning approach to teaching, allowing students to graduate with a solid resume of outdoor field experiences, certifications as well as other important skills such as facilitation, nature interpretation and adventure-based education strategies.
Trained outdoor leaders and facilitators offer safe, fun and educational outdoor programs and activities. These unique opportunities enable individuals or groups to stretch themselves physically, emotionally and socially in a supportive atmosphere. During this program, you will:
- Improve your technical outdoor skills by participating in field courses such as, rock climbing, Nordic skiing, mountain biking, backpacking and bush craft.
- Obtain certifications such as ORCKA Flat Water Canoeing Tandem and Solo, Certified Hike Leader, Wilderness First Responder, Ice Safety and Royal Lifesaving Bronze Cross.
- Take courses covering diverse subjects including trip planning, risk management, trails design and construction, customer service and leadership.
- Improve technical skill competencies in wilderness navigation, menu planning and cooking as well as knots, weather predicting and back country camping.
- Increase your nature-based identification skills and improve your ecological and environmental awareness.
One of the unique features of this program is the extensive number of provincial, national and international certifications that you can acquire. Certification is a verification process. A certifying body sets the criteria for acceptable standards. A service provider meets and tests for those standards before granting.
Program Mission Statement
We strive to provide a focused curriculum using outdoor experiential and traditional classroom techniques founded in sustainability, civic mindedness, self-esteem and respect for individual differences. We are able to meet the diverse needs of learners who enjoy alternative forms of learning and who wish to develop their leadership skills and foster a deeper connection to nature within others and themselves.
In semester three, fall field camp will enable you to apply your trip planning and leadership skills and participate in a multi-day sea kayak course and trip. You will organize and execute a winter field camp in semester four, including two nights out cold camping in improvised shelters, as well as wildlife identification and winter tracking activities.
Work Placement/International Study Trip
In the final semester, you have the choice of either completing a two-week work placement, or an international study trip. *
The work placement option enables you to obtain program-related experience in the public or private sector, with an outdoor adventure organization located in Canada, or internationally. You will apply your knowledge while gaining new insights and broadening your understanding of opportunities within the industry. You will seek and obtain a placement of your choice, to be approved by faculty.
The international study trip is a trip to Costa Rica, a mecca of adventure and ecotourism. The trip provides the opportunity to experience an international adventure tour operator from behind-the-scenes, combining learning expedition planning with front-line guide training. You will plan and participate in white water rafting, jungle trekking, sea kayaking and mountain biking trips, while learning guiding, risk management and menu planning skills.
*Placement hours are covered by tuition. However, if you choose to do an international study trip, extra fees are the responsibility of the student. These additional fees could include flights, program delivery, immunizations, accommodations, etc.
Upon graduation, you will be able to lead, facilitate and instruct children, youth and adults in a wide variety of activities in settings such as outdoor education centres, parks, camps, heritage sites, resorts, wilderness schools and outfitters. You will assist them to develop self confidence and achieve personal and group goals, while ensuring their personal safety. Opportunities include:
- Delivering leadership, team building and environmental education programs at outdoor education centres
- Planning and leading youth camps and youth outdoor adventure learning experiences
- Planning and leading nature identification and interpretation programs
- Employment with private tour and guiding companies offering canoeing, kayaking, hiking, dogsledding and Nordic skiing trips and instruction.
Employment in the field of outdoor adventure often requires a clean criminal record.
Advanced Standing for Graduates
Graduates of the Fleming College Outdoor Adventure Skills program, and of other diploma programs at the School of Environmental and Natural Resource Sciences are eligible for advanced standing entry to third semester of the Outdoor and Adventure Education program. Graduates of other similar college or university programs may also be eligible for advanced standing.
Other Program Requirements
Prior to the start of the first semester, students must obtain Standard First Aid and CPR C certifications from one of the following four organizations:
- Saint John Ambulance
- Canadian Red Cross
- Royal Lifesaving Society
- Canadian Ski Patrol