Outdoor Leadership

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The Outdoors is filled with unlimited opportunities for the person seeking adventure, challenge, and opportunities for unexpected growth. Now more than ever the Outdoors needs professionals who understand the importance of maintaining natural areas for their power to invoke adventurous, challenging, and educational opportunities. The general area of outdoor leadership includes specific careers in outdoor recreation, outdoor education, adventure education, wilderness therapy, and tourism and leisure enterprises.

At the forefront of this movement is COCC's Outdoor Leadership Program. At COCC, we provide students with options for an associate of arts degree or an associate of science degree. Depending on your long-term goals, we have an option that will work for you. 

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Vision: The COCC Outdoor Leadership program is a premiere provider of Associate's level preparation in outdoor leadership development and will be grounded in the principles of lifelong learning, environmental stewardship, personal growth and leadership. The program emphasizes experiential methodologies to combine theory and practice in a strong field-based curriculum. Students will develop current and accepted skills, understand comprehensive knowledge and standards in the professional field, while being taught by highly skilled and knowledgeable faculty who exemplify the highest level of standards, integrity and ethics. Faculty and students will be supported in their efforts to foster innovative practices in pursuit of excellence in outdoor leadership.

There are no entrance requirements for the outdoor leadership program, however, there are several pre-requisites for many of the OL courses. Please refer to the list below, which outlines the variety of courses. Students entering into the OL program are required to complete a set of first year courses before enrolling in second year courses.

The Block / Cohort

The OL program models a cohort program, whereby students complete a set of courses each term with a single peer group. It is advised that students complete as much pf their general education requirements prior to beginning their OL courses.

Students begin their OL work in the Fall, completing a set of introductory/fundamental courses. Fall is particularly special as students attend class for the entirety of the term, in an outdoor classroom, everyday of the week and complete an 8-day backcountry expedition. Once students begin in the Fall, they complete a prescribed set of courses in both the following Winter and Spring terms.

During Winter term, students work on advanced theory and application courses, gaining more extensive understanding about the practices of professional outdoor leaders. Finally, in Spring, students complete advanced skills courses, aimed at developing students' practice of professional standards within specific activities.

Outdoor Leadership Classes

The following classes serve the core of Outdoor Leadership. There are other requirements for the A.S. degree (Please consult the catalog), but these are the main classes students must complete within Outdoor leadership.
OL 111 Intro to Outdoor Leadership
OL 171 Technical Skills for Outdoor Leadership
OL 207 Seminar in Outdoor Leadership
OL 244 Psychology of Risk and Adventure
OL 263 Basic Wilderness Life Support - ( a Wilderness First Responder certification course!)
OL 255 Outdoor Living Skills
OL 271 Facilitating Group Experience
OL 273 Outdoor Recreation Leadership
OL 294AC Alpine Climbing
OL 294RC Teaching Rock Climbing
OL 294MB Mountain Bike Guiding and Trail Stewardship
OL 294WG Whitewater Raft Guiding
OL 294CA Canoe Instruction

Descriptions of each of these classes can be found in the catalog.

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The Ideal OL Year

For many students, an ideal year in Outdoor Leadership consists of focusing entirely on the core classes for the program.
It is recommended that students complete as many general education requirements for the Associates degree before committing to this full year OL schedule.

Fall Term
OL 111 Introduction to Outdoor Leadership
OL 171 Technical Skills for Outdoor Leadership
OL 255 Outdoor Living Skills
OL 263 Basic Wilderness Life Support - ( a Wilderness First Responder certification course!);
this includes HHP 212A The American Heart Association's Health Care Provider CPR

Winter
OL 207 Seminar in Outdoor Leadership
OL 271 Facilitating Group Experience
OL 273 Outdoor Recreation Leadership

Spring
OL 244 Psychology of Risk and Adventure
Choose 2 or more of the following
OL 294AC Alpine Climbing
OL 294RC Teaching Rock Climbing
OL 294MB Mountain Bike Guiding and Trail Stewardship
OL 294WG Whitewater Raft Guiding
OL 294CA Canoe Instruction

Descriptions of each of these classes can be found in the catalog.

Questions/ Inquiries
Please contact Tim Peterson
tmpeterson@cocc.edu
541-383-7421