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Minor in Outdoor Adventure Leadership

The minor in the Department of Kinesiology's Outdoor Adventure Leadership (KOAL) in partnership with Venture Outdoor Leadership is designed to allow students to acquire the knowledge, skills, and abilities to work (and recreate) in a variety of adventure activities while fulfilling the requirements for one of the approved degree programs at the University. The courses that satisfy the minor are primarily housed within the Kinesiology Department in the College of Health and Human Services and represent different aspects of the outdoor adventure field.

Most students need more than 3 semesters to complete the Outdoor Adventure Leadership minor. If your goal is to complete the minor in 3 semesters or less, please contact Kristin Coffey, Assistant Director of Adventure Leadership by at

GPA Requirements

  • Students matriculated at UNC Charlotte and planning to declare Outdoor Adventure Leadership as their minor must have an overall GPA of at least 2.0.
  • Students must attain an overall GPA of 3.0 in all coursework within the minor.


The minor in Kinesiology’s Outdoor Adventure Leadership (KOAL) consists of a minimum of 18 semester hours of approved coursework, including:

  • KNES 1231  Introduction to Outdoor Adventure (2 credits)
  • KNES 3236 – Theory and Foundations of Adventure Education (3 credits)
  • KNES 4431 – Practicum in Outdoor Adventure Leadership (2-4 credits)
  • An “Intensive Experience” class (chose at least one from 3 options)
    • KNES 2230 – Wilderness Experience (2 credits, Fall)
    • KNES 2233 – Rock Climbing  (2 credits, Fall/Spring)
    • KNES 2236 – Challenge Course Activities (2 credits, Spring)
    • KNES 2238 – Whitewater Kayaking (2 credits, Every 3 semesters)
  • An “Outdoor Leadership-based” class (chose at least one from 2 options)
    • KNES 3230 – Wilderness Trip Leading (3 credits, Spring, possibly Summer)
    • KNES 3235 – Challenge Course Facilitation  (3 credits, Spring/Fall)
    • KNES 2237 – River Management (2 credits, Spring of Odd Years)
    • KNES 2239 – Rock Site Management (2 credits, Fall of Odd Years)
  • Approved Electives (minimum of 4-5 credits)

Final Practicum

KNES 4431, your final practicum course, will involve playing an active leadership role either with Venture or another (approved) outdoor program. A journal and regular check-in with the course instructor will be included in this capstone experience.  

Options could include:

  • Planning and leading a wilderness trip for Venture Outdoor Leadership
  • Leading groups at the Challenge Courses
  • Serving as a teaching assistant for one of the KOAL courses
  • Working at another local program (e.g., the US National Whitewater Center) delivering adventure programming
  • Summer work in the adventure field


The minor requires a minimum of 4-6 credits of electives. 

Any of the above classes not already taken to fulfill a requirement may be counted as electives. (For example, a student may take KNES 3230 and KNES 3235. One of these classes would fulfill the "Outdoor Leadership" requirement; the other would count towards the 5 elective credits. The same goes for KNES 2230, KNES 2233, and KNES 2236.)

Additional approved electives include:

  • KNES 2237 – Raft Guiding (2 credits, Spring)
  • KNES 2238 – Whitewater Kayaking (2 credits, Fall, every two years)
  • KNES 2239 – Rock Climbing Management (2 credits, Spring, every two years)
  • KNES 2218 & 2219 – Scuba diving (3 credits)
  • KNES 2220 – Advanced Scuba (1 credit)
  • KNES 2290 – Emergency Medical Response (3 credits)
  • BIOL 3144 – Ecology (3 credits) [note: this course has prerequisites]
  • BIOL 3229 – Field Botany (3 credits) [note: this course has prerequisites]
  • COMM 2105 – Small Group Experience (3 credits) [note: this class is currently restricted to certain majors]
  • COMM 2107 – Interpersonal Communication (3 credits) [note: that this class is currently restricted to certain majors]
  • COMM 3135 – Leadership, Communication, and Group Dynamics (3 credits)
  • COMM 3136 – Leadership, Service, and Ethics (3 credits)
  • EDUC 2100 – Intro to Education and Diversity in Schools (3 credits)
  • ESCI 2010 – National Parks: Science Behind the Scenery (3 credits)
  • ESCI 3150 – Natural Environments of North America (3 credits) [note: this course has prerequisites]
  • MDSK 3160 – Learning and Development: Birth through Adolescence (3 credits) [note: this course has prerequisites]
  • PSYC 3111 – Psychology of Learning (3 credits) [note: this course has prerequisites]
  • PSYC 3130 – Social Psychology (3 credits) [note: this course has prerequisites]
  • SOCY 4263 – Sociology of Small Groups (3 credits) [note: this course has prerequisites]
  • SOWK 2182 and/or 2183 – Human Behavior in the Social Environment (3) [note: this course has prerequisites]
  • Independent Study in First Aid which could be given for completing a certification in Wilderness First Responder (3 credits), Wilderness Advanced First Aid (2 credits), or Wilderness First Aid (1 credit) [note: needs to be arranged through an approved provider]
  • Independent Study in Outdoor Adventure through taking one of the courses offered by Outward Bound or the National Outdoor Leadership School or similar type program.
  • Students may petition for other classes to count toward elective credits.

A note on progression: The ideal progression is to take the 1000 level, then 2000 level, etc., with electives taken at anytime. However, such a progression may not always be possible for students. It is highly recommended that students in the Minor confer with the Venture Outdoor Leadership teaching staff when planning their personal course progression.