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Outdoor Adventure

Algonquin College
2 years
Full time
Diploma / certificate
Scholarships available
On campus
Fall 2020
Algonquin College

Program description

Outdoor Adventure

Prepare for an exciting leadership role with a career in the outdoors.

The two-year Outdoor Adventure Ontario College Diploma program prepares you for working in the outdoors, leading adventure trips and teaching outdoor skills. Half of your time in the program is spent outdoors, in a variety of locations and adventure operations, including our partner training location at Wilderness Tours. The other half takes place at Algonquin College`s Waterfront Campus.

Complete technical training in various land-based activities from mountain biking and rock climbing to skiing and ice climbing. You also build guiding ability in water-based activities, such as: whitewater rafting and kayaking canoe tripping.

Build competency in outdoor leadership skills such as:

  • Navigation
  • Trip planning
  • Camp cooking
  • Group safety

This program is built around an adventure tourism and small business management curriculum, with classroom courses in:

  • Risk management
  • Business management
  • Ecotourism
  • Human resources
  • Computer applications

Participate in one expedition per term, including one that you plan and execute with a group of classmates.

Admission requirements

Program eligibility

  • English, Grade 12 (ENG4C or equivalent).
  • Mathematics, Grade 12 (MAP4C or equivalent).


  • International applicants must provide proof of the subject specific requirements noted above along with proof of either: (IELTS / TOEFL) IELTS-International English Language Testing Service (Academic) Overall band of 6.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each band; OR TOEFL-Internet-based (iBT) Overall 80, with a minimum of 20 in each component: Reading 20; Listening 20; Speaking 20; Writing 20.
  • Applicants with international transcripts must provide proof of the subject specific requirements noted above and may be required to provide proof of language proficiency.


  • Submission of Letter of Intent and Resume (details in Applicant`s Handbook available on program website.


  • Prior to commencement of the program, accepted applicants must:
    • Participate in a mandatory Program Readiness Camp orientation weekend (several dates available, details in Applicant`s Handbook available on program website). Submission of Applicant Personal Information, Consent and Health form (available on program website), prior to attending mandatory Program Readiness Camp orientation weekend.
      • Provide proof of current Standard First Aid Certification.
      • Sign and submit an Outdoor Adventure Program Assumption of Risk and Release form (available at program website).
      • Those under the age of 18 must submit Parental Consent documentation (available on program website).
      • Obtain a passport valid for duration of program, prior to commencement of Winter Term.

Success factors

This program is well-suited for students who:

  • Enjoy a hands-on approach to learning about the outdoor adventure tourism industry.
  • Are concerned about Social, Economic and Environmental sustainability and want to personally learn more about SEE.
  • Are committed to guiding and teaching others in a variety of environments.

Does this course require proof of English proficiency?

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Program content

Level 01

  • Computer Applications
  • Communications I
  • Professionalism and Ethics
  • Outdoor Expedition
  • Fall Camp
  • Camp Craft
  • River Rescue I
  • Whitewater Kayak I
  • River Rafting I
  • Flatwater Canoeing
  • Cross Country Cycling I
  • Rock Climbing I
  • Outdoor Adventure Leadership

Level 2

Core courses

  • Accounting
  • Communication for the Outdoor Adventure Workplace
  • Marketing the Tourism Experience
  • Winter Expedition
  • Nordic Skiing I
  • Ice Climbing I
  • Wilderness First Aid Skills
  • Risk Management - Outdoor Adventure
  • Alpine Skiing and Snowboarding I


  • Ecology
  • Ecology and Marine Ecosystems

Level 03

Core courses

  • Human Resources
  • Sea Kayak Expedition
  • The Outdoor Adventure Industry


  • Raft Guide - Paddle and Oar Rig
  • Rock Climbing II
  • Canoe Guiding
  • Whitewater Kayak Instructor
  • Backpacking Guide
  • Mountain Bike Guide/Trail Steward
  • Cycle Touring Guide
  • Multi-Day Whitewater Guide
  • Understanding the Natural Environment
  • Geotourism and the Natural Environment

Level 04

Core courses

  • The Business of Outdoor Adventure
  • Marketing and New Media
  • Advanced Expedition
  • Wilderness First Responder Recertification
  • Introduction to Mountain Rescue
  • Graduate Portfolio


  • Advanced Trail Design
  • Ice Climbing II
  • Rope Rescue
  • Terrain Park Operations
  • Sports Injury Management
  • Advanced Bicycle Mechanic
  • Ski Patrol
  • Zipline
  • Rain Forest and Tropical Science
  • Ecotourism and Sustainable Development
  • Alpine Ski II
  • Snowboard II
  • Nordic Ski Instructor

Tuition fees

For more information about tuition fees, please visit the college website. 

Scholarships & funding

For more information about scholarships, please visit the college website.



Ontario College Diploma


Benefit from the opportunity to earn up to 20 industry certifications in your courses, such as:

  • Wilderness First Responder – 80-hour First Aid
  • Swift Water Rescue Technician and Operator
  • Canoe Instructor
  • Whitewater Kayak Instructor
  • Leave-no-trace Master Educator
  • Cycle Tour Guide
  • Sustainable Trail Building
  • Downhill ski, snowboard or Nordic ski instructor

Learning outcomes

  • Assess risk and exposure, manage liability, and create systems consistent with leading risk management practices.
  • Lead others leveraging interpersonal ability, group management tools, and sound decision making and judgement.
  • Consistently demonstrate professional communication strategies, including written, spoken and digital applications.
  • Instruct outdoor technical skills.
  • Initiate an effective and methodical response to emergency and rescue scenarios.
  • Build technical skills and acquire industry recognized certifications.
  • Incorporate environmental awareness and sustainability into outdoor and business practices.
  • Identify and develop business and management strategies to capitalize on opportunities in the adventure industry.
  • Plan and manage adventure-based trips, events and programs.
  • Identify and apply discipline-specific practices that contribute to the local and global community through social responsibility, economic commitment and environmental stewardship.

Career opportunities

Graduates may find employment across Canada and around the world. The combination of technical skills certification, leadership and risk management, and industry and business study creates multiple career paths and graduates that are in demand. Entry-level positions, such as wilderness trip leaders, kayak guides, ski patrol, climbing or snowboard instructors are seasonal in nature and are combined to create year-round work and travel opportunities. Parallel industry positions may include outdoor education, logistics planning and support.

With relevant field experience, graduate's training may allow them to move to senior and guide manager positions, such as ski school director, terrain park manager or program coordinator. Several graduates have purchased an existing business or started their own adventure company, ranging from whitewater rafting to international adventure travel. The Outdoor Adventure program has built a reputation of high quality graduates.

About this institute

Algonquin College

Algonquin College

Consider Algonquin’s unique campuses Algonquin College offers an experience that includes personalized learning and industry-ready skills through field-work, work placement and co-op. Employers value the combination of theory and experiential learning, at Algonquin College you get it all. In addition...

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Why study at Algonquin College

Canada ranked #1 study abroad country

Canada has been ranked the #1 study abroad country in the world for 2020! Known for its untouched natural beauty, friendly and welcoming locals, and a culture of tolerance and diversity, Canada is a clear choice for students looking to study abroad.

Contact info

Algonquin College

1385 Woodroffe Avenue
K2G 1V8 Ottawa Ontario


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