About Outdoor Leadership

Outdoor LeadershipAre you a lifelong learner? Is environmental stewardship a passion of yours? Do you want to develop personal growth and leadership in others? Do you seek out challenges, adventure and opportunities for growth? Do you love the outdoors? Then combine all of these attributes to obtain a degree in Outdoor Leadership.

The two-year degree program is designed with a unique focus on the foundation, philosophy, concepts and theory behind the sought-after skill of leadership. You’ll also put those theories into practice in a strong field-based curriculum.

"We offer both the theory of leadership as well as the technical resources, which we are lucky enough to have in our backyard." - Jessica Russell, Outdoor Leadership faculty member

Students begin the program in the fall term with classes taken in sequence. It is recommended to take general education courses before taking these intense core Outdoor Leadership courses. Talk with our dedicated and caring advisors for more information.

This is one of only two Outdoor Leadership programs in the community college system in Oregon.

Degree Options

Associate of Science Degree (AS) in Outdoor Leadership provides students with education and practical skills needed to transfer to OSU-Cascades for a Bachelor of Science in Tourism and Outdoor Leadership. Note: most COCC graduates continue on to a four-year university such as OSU-Cascades to advance their career opportunities.

Classes May Include

In addition to general education requirements, you may be taking such courses as: outdoor living skills, wilderness advanced first aid, psychology of risk and adventure, facilitating group experiences, resource interpretation, interpersonal communication and outdoor recreation leadership.

Students are able to take advantage of co-op work experience by working with local outfitters at the end of their second year. Collaborations include Deschutes National Forest, Bend Park and Recreation District, Sun Country Tours, Smith Rock State Park and Oregon Adaptive Sports.

Potential Careers

COCC’s Outdoor Leadership program prepares you for a career in outdoor education, adventure education, wilderness therapy, and tourism and leisure enterprises. Other career opportunities include recreation programmer, natural resources manager, community recreation/recreational sports director, rafting/mountaineering guide, travel and tour director, resort manager and camp director.