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Outdoor Education

Swap your laptop bag for a wilderness pack and get outside! If you’re interested in an outdoor career, the outdoor education minor or concentration is the place to start. This unique program involves two components: the Wilderness Immersion and Leadership Development (W.I.L.D.) semester and an outdoor education internship. You’ll gain essential outdoor skills, certifications and practical leadership experience through an extended wilderness expedition, intentional community living and extensive outdoor adventure pursuits.

Pursue outdoor education as a concentration in the recreation, sport and wellness major, or as a minor alongside a different major.

Why study outdoor education at Gordon?

Gordon College has long been a leader in the field of outdoor education; our nationally recognized La Vida Center for Outdoor Education and Leadership (an affiliate of the Wilderness Education Association) was one of the first of its kind in the country. Here, outdoor education is more than adventure and adrenaline. You will explore and think critically about the historical, cultural, spiritual, moral and environmental dimensions of the wilderness.

What careers can I pursue with outdoor education?

The outdoor education program prepares visionary leaders to be agents of change in the world—meaning you’ll be equipped with the teamwork, leadership and problem-solving skills to be successful in any vocation. Many outdoor education students pursue graduate programs or go straight into a wide range of careers, including:

  • Adventure education and programming
  • Wilderness guiding
  • Search and rescue
  • Park ranger
  • Adventure tourism
  • Wildlife management

Gordon College Career Services ➔


Rachel Collins

Rachel Collins ’06 

Visitor Use Management Specialist and Planner, Denver Service Center, National Park Service

“Gordon's outdoor education programs helped to cultivate my love of wild places and showed me that I could make a career out of ‘playing outside.’ I now have a career where I get to help ensure that others have the opportunity to experience our National Parks while protecting these places for future generations.”  Hear from others ➔


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The robust internship program enables you to apply what you are learning in the classroom in practical ways in the work environment. Many students pursue more than one internship—at places like Waypoint Adventures, Noah’s Ark and Summit Adventures—which often translate into full-time jobs after graduation. You’ll also have opportunities for real-world experience on campus at the La Vida Center for Outdoor Education and Leadership.

Global Opportunities

Expand your global perspectives through study abroad programs.

Related Programs

Recreation, sport and wellness majors with a concentration in outdoor education may add a second major or minor in a related program—such as kinesiology, business administration, psychology, sociology or communication arts. Many other majors can benefit from a minor in outdoor education.


For more information, contact:

Valerie J. Gin
Department Chair
Recreation, Sport and Wellness

978 867 4337

Or request more information about Gordon ➔