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About Student Leadership

Three people with different skin tones, wearing helmets of different colors, and full-body harnesses on a light blue background

Develop your leadership skills through adventure education. The student leader role is a paid position tasked with facilitating team building programs and adventure trips.

As a student leader you will have the opportunity to:

  • Complete the Outdoor Leadership minor.
  • Grow your leadership skills while leading and facilitating others.
  • Learn group facilitation, risk management, and technical outdoor skills.
  • Learn more about yourself, how you work in a team, and your place at UNC Charlotte.

VOLTAGE - Venture Outdoor Leadership Training and Group Experience

This is the formal name of the student leadership and employment program for Venture Outdoor Leadership. 

VOLT - Venture Outdoor Leadership Training 

This acronym has become the nickname for our student leaders. You may hear them say, "My name is Terry and I'm a VOLT with Venture!"  We're not sure how it started, but it has become a fun way to refer to our amazing student leaders. 

  • Facilitate team building and adventure trips using experiential learning models.
  • Attend training to grow and maintain competencies in risk management, technical abilities, and interpersonal skills. 
  • Typical workload is between 5 and 10 hours per week, on average.
    • Work is based on your availability.
    • Some weeks will be busier than others. 

For more information on responsibilities and current pay rates, go to Hire-A-Niner

  • Hourly rate for up to 20 hours/ week (Federal limit for campus employment).
  • Paid training. 
  • Sponsored certifications, such as Wilderness and Remote First Aid (i.e. free to you).

Since pay rates change year-to-year, check out the job description in Hire-A-Niner for the current rate. Search for "VOLT Student Apprentice".

  • Academic courses can supplement your training and accelerate your progress within the program.
  • Student employees are not required to take Venture academic courses.
  • Student leaders are approved to minor in Outdoor Adventure Leadership.
  • Students leaders (whether minoring or not) are eligible to take leadership-level courses, such as Rock Site Management and Challenge Course Facilitation.

Note: Because you will earn academic credit, you are not paid your hourly rate for your time in class or other class requirements, such as program shadowing and adventure trips.

Our aim is to represent the diversity of our campus community in our student leaders. We know the importance of seeing yourself in your facilitators and relating in to each other's experiences.

You should consider applying to work or study with us if: 

  • You are excited by and/or curious about adventure activities.
  • You appreciate self-reflection. 
  • You enjoy helping and teaching others.
  • You understand the importance of being open-minded, curious, and challenging our assumptions. 

Leadership looks different here. Our leaders are not the loudest in the room. They are facilitators who focus on teaching and providing space for others' voices. If you never considered that you have leadership potential, we're here to give you the opportunity to start. 

No experience necessary! Most of our student leaders started without any prior adventure education experience.  Many never spent a night outdoors, had never been in a cave, had never been on a high ropes course.  Don't let perceived "inexperience" keep you from joining our team. 

Register for KNES 1231: Introduction to Outdoor Adventures

  1. Pre-requisite for employment and the Outdoor Adventure Leadership Minor.
  2. You will be introduced to the fundamentals of adventure education, experiential learning, and the mission/ vision of Venture Outdoor Leadership.

Attend the interview/ facilitation training

  1. Toward the end of KNES 1231, you'll be invited to day-long facilitation training.
  2. One-part interview and one-part training, this training will invite you to put into practice everything you have learned in KNES 1231.

Acceptance or Development Plan

  1. If you are accepted into the program, you will officially start employment/ declaring the minor in the following semester.
  2. If you are not accepted, you are invited to begin a Development Plan based on the skills that need to be developed to meet the minimum requirements for employment/ to declare the minor.