Outdoor Leadership


About This Program

As the North American population expands, more people are escaping metropolitan areas for the freedom of the outdoors. Demand is growing for competent leaders who understand the environment, outdoor safety, and recreational activities. Choosing either the degree or certificate track, you will be focused on three skill areas: technical skills, instructional skills, and leadership skills.

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Degrees & Credits

A.A.S. Degree (60 credits)

A.S. Degree (60 credits)

Certificate (30 credits)


Program Video

Program Features

Skills to work in, live in, and experience the outdoors

Some of the program features include:

  • Top tier program placement
  • Industry experience and practical knowledge
  • Fieldwork including trip planning and leadership
  • Agency work with National Park Service, Outward Bound Wilderness, U.S. Forest Service, MN Department of Natural Resources, and local outdoor providers
  • Leadership training and development
Career Opportunities

To outdoor education and beyond

Students completing their degree in Outdoor Leadership have several options when they explore career paths. Most students choose to work in the outdoor education field, however, there are several additional options including transferring. Some career areas include adventure education, experiential education, guiding/instructing in outdoor pursuits, wilderness and backcountry travel, adventure tourism, and backcountry recreation technician.


Mark Carlson

Outdoor Leadership Instructor

Meet Our Alumni

Meagan Jaskela

Outdoor Leadership

Minnesota North - Vermilion

Education and experience
I worked at Outward Bound in 2013 as an intern. I’ve worked a variety of jobs have made me a well-rounded person. These jobs include nannying, general construction, roofing, brush removal, wedding photography, kitchen work, mowing lawns, etc. I guide dogsledding trips as my main bread and butter. Living in Ely is like making a cake, there are thousands of different recipes, and making it from scratch is always more work, and sometimes you have to improvise but it always tastes better than making from a box!

Current employer
Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge

Senior Dogsled Guide. I’ve worked at Wintergreen for six years now, I guide dogsledding trips as my main bread and butter. As a senior guide, I am responsible for the quality of the trip I am leading, training in new guides, managing not only my guests but also managing ten to forty sled dogs! Guiding is a lot of work, you give a lot of yourself and you don’t always get that energy reciprocated which can be exhausting. But in the end, even on a bad day, you’re still spending your time out in the woods and not in a cubicle!

Favorite Vermilion memory
My favorite non-educational memory would have to be ice skating across Fall Lake before any snow had fallen but there was enough ice to skate on. That doesn’t happen very often and it was magical!

Additional Information


The Outdoor Leadership Professional program is designed for students to immediately find employment and the Certificate program is designed to be attached to student’s other primary degree programs.

The Outdoor Leadership Associate of Science program is the only degree program designed to transfer to additional higher education institutions. Transfer agreements have been set up with:

  • University of Minnesota Duluth
  • Winona State University
  • University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point