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Minor in Outdoor Adventure Leadership

The Outdoor Adventure Leadership minor is designed to help you acquire the knowledge, skills, and abilities to work in an adventure education field.  Using an experiential learning model, you will combine the traditional academic setting with employment as a team building facilitator and adventure trip leader. 

This collaborative minor between the Division of Student Affairs and the Department of Applied Physiology, Health, and Clinical Sciences offers a unique opportunity to work alongside professional staff as well as co-lead with your peers. 

  • Learn key skills needed for any major and career.
  • Key skills from the Competency Compass include: 
    • Critical Thinking
    • Communication
    • Teamwork
    • Leadership
    • Equity and Inclusion
  • Train and work as an Adventure Educator!
  • Pre-Requisites to Apply/ Declare: 
    • KNES 1231 - Introduction to Outdoor Adventures
    • Application and Interview
  • GPA Requirements
    • Minimum Overall - 2.0.
    • Minor Coursework - 3.0

18 total credits - can combine Venture Outdoor Leadership courses and approved electives

Required Courses

  • KNES 1231 - Introduction to Outdoor Adventures
  • KNES 3236 - Theory and Foundations of Adventure Education
  • KNES 4431 - Practicum in Outdoor Adventure Education

Additional Requirements

  • At least 1 "Intensive Experience" Course, such as
    • KNES 2230 - Wilderness Experience
    • KNES 2233 - Rock Climbing
    • KNES 2236 - Challenge Course Activities
    • KNES 2238 - Whitewater Kayaking
  • At least 1 "Leadership-Based" Course, such as: 
    • KNES 3230 - Wilderness Trip Leading
    • KNES 3235 - Challenge Course Facilitation
    • KNES 2237 - River Management
    • KNES 2239 - Rock Site Management
  • Approved Electives leading to 18 total credits (including required courses above)

Check out descriptions of all courses on the course description page. 

Check out the courses currently open for registration.

Skill Practice

A fundamental aspect of this experiential learning-based minor is putting coursework into practice.  You will practice the skills learned in class through: 

  • In-class facilitation assignments
  • Out-of-class training, program shadowing, and participation in adventure activities
  • Capstone experience: KNES 4431 - Practicum 

Employment in an adventure education field is generally needed in order to develop the skills to successfully complete the minor.  Many adventure activities combine intensive technical skills with vital risk management strategy.  To become competent and confident in these skills, you have to use them. 

Employment can be through: 

To successfully complete all 18 credits, most students need more than 3 semesters dedicated to coursework and employment in the field. 

If your goal is to complete the minor in 3 semesters or less, please contact Kristin Coffey

Applying to the minor follows the same steps as applying to work for Venture Outdoor Leadership. 

While employees do not need to minor, most minors will work for Venture to help them complete the minor requirements.

Learn more about that process on the student leader/ employment page.

Want more information? Want to schedule a meeting to discuss the minor? 


Kristin Coffey 

  • General information on applying to the minor.
  • Permission to register for KNES 1231.

David Sperry

  • General information on Course requirements, including Practicum and employment/ experience in the field.
  • General information on approved electives.