Experiencing an Educational Adventure requires a well-trained professional leader.
Adventure Education Majors and Minors
- B.S. in Adventure Education
- Minor in Adventure Recreation
Program Director: Andrew Bentley PH.D.
Telephone: (802) 287-8326
The adventure education program at GMC is unique. The curriculum is responsive to industry changes and trends. Further, each course is part of a closely woven progression requiring students to develop a thorough working knowledge of themselves, theories, skills and the industry.
First year students learn the fundamentals of outdoor expeditioning in Outdoor Living Skills while backpacking in either the Green Mountains of Vermont, the Adirondack Mountains of Upstate New York, or the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Sophomores participate in the 17-credit Immersion Semester in the Northeast and beyond. The Immersion Semester features 50+ days of outdoor expeditioning where students learn and practice the outdoor, human, and educational skills required of adventure and outdoor educators. Past activities include rock climbing, raft guide training, canoe & sea kayak expeditions, white water kayaking, mountain bike group management, canyoneering and backpacking.
Juniors complete The May Course where they plan and lead an independent outdoor expedition. Professional guides and instructors shadow these expeditions to ensure safety and provide feedback on leadership and trip administration.
After having completed practicum hours, gained certifications, and attended a national-level conference, seniors complete a six-credit, 400-hour Internship with a partner organization. Students frequently travel to Colorado, Alaska, Washington, California, Idaho, and beyond for their internship.
The Fall Block Course
Sophomores and qualifying transfer students participate in the 17-credit immersion semester in the Northeast and beyond. The Fall Block features 50+ days of outdoor expedition where students learn and practice the outdoor, human, and educational skills required of adventure and outdoor educators. Past activities include rock climbing, raft guide training, canoe & sea kayak expeditions, white water kayaking, mountain bike group management, canyoneering and backpacking.
A practicum is applied learning outside the classroom. All Recreation & Outdoor Studies students (Adventure Education and Youth Development & Camp Management) must complete 200 practicum hours that include (at a minimum) four (4) high quality experiences. One of the practicum experiences must be at least 75 hours in length and be with a single organization. All experiences must be in alignment with the student’s degree program and be directly applicable to their career goals.
The National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) began offering college credit through Green Mountain College beginning in the fall of 1999. NOLS college credit is administered by the adventure education program. Additionally, NOLS semester courses offer 3 hours of natural science credit through the math/science department.
The following are courses where credit may be received on a pass/fail basis by attending NOLS.
- BIO 1071 Field Studies in Natural Science (3 credits)
- ADE 100N Recreation Elective (6 credits)
- ADE 1009 Outdoor Skills Practicum (4 credits)
- ADE 1041 Outdoor Living Skills (3 credits)
- ADE 2315 Wilderness First Responder (WFR, 3 credits)
There are many Emergency Medical Services courses offered through a variety of organizations. Green Mountain offers courses in Wilderness First Responder, Outdoor Emergency Care, and Diver Rescue. Which courses are appropriate for you to take? We have prepared a Guide to EMS Courses in the Recreation Field. This document will help you better understand the types of EMS courses out there and to determine which GMC EMS courses you should take.
Video Boater, Three Rivers White Water, The Forks, Me.
David Goff ’14
Head Climbing Guide/Kayak Instructor, Rockie Mountain Outdoor Center, Col.
Matt Edenfield ’12
Staff, Outward Bound, Col.
Jennifer Heumann ’12
COPE Director, Goose Pond Scout Reservation, Lake Ariel, Penn.
Jonathan O’Neill ’12
Staff, True North Wilderness Program, Waitsfield, Vt.
Declan Scannell ’12
Trip Leader, Frost Valley YMCA, Claryville, N.Y.
White Water Kayak Instructor, Rocky Mountain Outdoor Center, Col.
D. Graham Johns ’10
Hang Gliding Instructor, Kitty Hawk Kites, Nags Head, N.C.
Kyle Pike ’10
Guide, Acadia Mountain Guides Climbing School, Bar Harbor, Maine.
Casey Graham ’09
Assistant Director of Outdoor Adventure Programs, Fort Peterson AFB, Fort Peterson, Col.
Maggie Burke ’07
Northern Programming Director for Vermont Adaptive Snow and Sport, Burke, Vt.
Full-time instructor for Outward Bound in Colorado & Utah
Assistant Director of Outdoor Pursuits at Fort Lewis College, Durango, Col.
Stephanie Dolson ’06
Associate Director of Teen and Experiential Programs for Berkshire South Regional Community Center, Great Barrington, Mass.
Jordan Haskins ’06
Guide and instructor for Wild Waters Rafting Company Okemo Mountain Resort, Ludlow, Vt.
Amanda Kelley ’06
Director of Adventure Programs at Frost Valley YMCA, Claryville, NY.