The Outdoor Education program provides students with the skills, knowledge, experience, and confidence to enter the profession as an educator and a leader. At Northland, students work with faculty who are redefining the role of outdoor education in environmental and social sustainability, gain experience providing outdoor and environmental education to children and adults, and engage people of all ages and abilities in establishing sustainable relationships with nature and humanity.
While in the program, students gain an understanding of the principles that guide effective outdoor education experiences, read the works of leading outdoor educators, gain perspective from historical expeditions, and embark on their own experiences within the woods, waters, and wilderness of our region. Students also develop advanced professional skills and knowledge during their junior and senior years under the close supervision and support of program faculty. Finally, students join a family of graduates who are experienced educators of universally designed outdoor and environmental education and skilled in sustainable outdoor living and travel principles and practices.
Outdoor Education's Embedded Curricula
Northland College leads the Outdoor Education profession in the development of environmentally sustainable and universally designed practices for outdoor education programs. To provide our students with the best professional-level knowledge and skill, we embed cutting-edge curricula throughout our courses in the areas of Access and Diversity and Responsible Environmental Impact in the following ways.
Access and Diversity in Outdoor Education
Students explore ways to include under-represented and marginalized populations in outdoor education. In select courses each semester, faculty and students work together to incorporate universal design into outdoor education activities, programs, and professional skill development. When congruent with course intent, students apply skills and knowledge in community-based experiences in support of under-served populations.
Responsible Environmental Impact in Outdoor Education
In select courses each semester, faculty and students work together to study popular practices of the outdoor education profession and to identify and apply alternatives that reduce adverse impacts on our natural environments and human societies by using the As Sustainable as Possible (ASAP) model developed by Northland College Students and faculty.