Outdoor Leadership

Outdoor Leadership Certificate Program

To register or ask a question:

Please contact Virginia Phelps at phelpsve@miamioh.edu or stop by 304 McGuffey Hall.

This certificate program requires 19 credit hours (which includes one 3-credit elective course). The program is for students interested in pursuing professional or leisure opportunities leading youth or adult learners in outdoor sport or adventure learning excursions or activities.

The program will prepare its graduates to assume outdoor leadership roles through classroom and experiential coursework focused on four elements:

  1. Leadership theory and skills appropriate for outdoor educational contexts;
  2. Technical and interpersonal skills for outdoor activity/sport leadership;
  3. Environmental science and sustainability practices;
  4. Leadership capacities for working with and leading culturally diverse groups of learners.

Program Requirements

First tier: 6 credits
KNH 150’s - 2 credits (take at least two of these)
EDL 195: Group Dynamics & Facilitation - 2 credits

Second tier: 8 credits
EDL 290R: The Nature of Group Leadership (Outdoor Leadership focus) - 2 credits
EDL 232: Introduction to Community-Based Leadership - 3 credits
IES 274: Environment and Sustainability - 3 credits

Plus one elective (3 credits):
KNH 378: Sport, Power, and Inequality
IDS 159: Strength through Cultural Diversity
KNH 272: Leadership in Sport
EDL 203: Introduction to Critical Youth Studies

Third tier: 2 credits
EDL 340: Internship - 2 credits

Please refer to the Miami University official bulletin for course descriptions.

EDL 340 Internship

*should be final course taken in program, includes Wilderness First Aid and Leave No Trace Trainer certifications

This internship, offered through the Outdoor Pursuit Center, will equip students with the necessary outdoor leadership skills to become successful trip leaders. The Outdoor Pursuit Center’s Trip Program will serve as a model for students to examine and engage in.

The internship is two credit hours. It is comprised of five distinct learning experiences:

  1. Class meetings

  2. Leave No Trace Trainer certification course (overnight trip).
    This two day course assists students in learning more about the seven principles of Leave No Trace, and techniques for disseminating these low impact skills. Trainer Courses are designed for educators, guides, agency employees and other outdoor professionals. This course follows the curriculum of the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics.

  3. Wilderness First Aid certification course (16 hour weekend course)
    Wilderness First Aid is a two-day introduction to general medical concepts and basic life support skills. It is targeted to the outdoor enthusiast on day trips or short adventures. The course is taught by professional instructors with significant patient care and backcountry experience. Course is offered through Wilderness Medical Associates.

  4. Serving as the Teaching Assistant for a KNH 150 course: Beginning Rock Climbing, Beginning Backpacking, Beginning Canoeing, Beginning Kayaking, Intermediate Rock Climbing or Intermediate Backpacking

  5. Aid in planning and execution of weekend Field Experience for corresponding KNH 150 course.

Sample Plan of Study:

First fall term:

KNH 150 Outdoor Pursuit Activities A, B, C, K or M (one of two required) (2 credits)
EDL 290R The Nature of Group Leadership Outdoor Leadership focus (2 credits)
EDL 232 Introduction to Community-Based Leadership (3 credits)

First spring term:

KNH 150 Outdoor Pursuit Activities A, B, C, K or M (two of two required) (2 credits)
EDL 195 Group Dynamics and Facilitation (2 credits)

Optional summer term:

KNH 150 (if needed/desired) (2 credits)

Second fall term:

IES 274 Environment and Sustainability (3 credits)
Elective (see list below)

Second fall or spring term:

EDL 340 Internship (2 credits)

Electives (all 3 credits — choose one):
EDL 203 Introduction to Critical Youth Studies
EDL 281 Outdoor Leadership in Maui (proposed)
EDT 485 Outdoor Leadership in New Zealand (proposed)
IDS 159 Strength Through Cultural Diversity
KNH 378 Sport, Power and Inequality
KNH 272 Leadership in Sport