Ontario College Diploma 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.
This two-year program starts with the same course content as the Outdoor Adventure Skills certificate program, adding a second year of courses that connect outdoor skills, the environment and education. In this diploma program, you will acquire additional certifications, facilitation skills, nature interpretation and adventure-based education strategies and techniques.
Trained outdoor leaders and facilitators offer safe and fun outdoor programs and activities that allow for skill development, while teaching an appreciation for the outdoors. These unique opportunities enable individuals or groups to stretch themselves physically, emotionally and socially in a supportive atmosphere. During this program, you will:
- Continue the outdoor skills training you were introduced to in year one; but, add further training opportunities in rock climbing, multi-day backpacking, edible wilds, snowshoeing, wilderness/primitive skills and Nordic skiing
- Obtain more certifications, such as Sea Kayaking Level 1, Wilderness Advanced First Aid, Moving Water Level 1 (canoe)
- Take courses in facilitation skills and team building, essential communication skills, and customer service
- Gain increased proficiency in the use of maps, compass, GPS and backcountry cooking.
- 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.
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:
- 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.
Minimum Admission Requirements
- OSSD with the majority of credits at the Workplace (E) level, including English
When (C) is the minimum course level for admission, (U) and (U/C) level courses are also accepted.
If you are 19 years of age or older before classes start, and you do not possess an OSSD, you can write the Canadian Adult Achievement Test to assess your eligibility for admission.
Prior to the start of first semester, students must obtain Standard First Aid and CPR level C certificates from one of these organizations:
- Lifesaving Society
- St. John's Ambulance
- Canadian Red Cross
- Canadian Ski Patrol
A Current Criminal Records Check (vulnerable sector included) is required before you can participate in one of the field experiences in semester two. This criminal record check is arranged by the organization providing the field experience, at no cost to the student. Please contact the coordinator if you have concerns about the criminal records check.
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.
You may be able to use credits obtained at Fleming College to continue your postsecondary education in pursuit of a degree. The articulation and credit transfer agreements with our partner institutions are summarized below.
Thompson Rivers University
- Minimum 2.5 cumulative GPA
- 60 out of a 120 credit degree;
Visit articulation agreement for details