Outdoor Education

Outdoor Education educates, trains and certifies the next generation of highly skilled and environmentally sensitive adventure education and recreation professionals.

►Learn more about our students, faculty and alumni.


SUNY Adirondack offers a two-year Associate in Applied Science (AAS) degree in Outdoor Education. Students will develop leadership, management and hands-on experience with outdoor adventure sports and recreation.


The Outdoor Education program benefits from SUNY Adirondack’s proximity to some of the most pristine outdoor recreation in the country. Top-notch canoeing, stellar snow sports and majestic mountain peaks are the hallmark of the surrounding Adirondack State Park, Vermont’s Green Mountains and Massachusetts’ Berkshires.

Our students enjoy small class sizes, access to dedicated faculty and holistic learning in the fields of:

  • adventure education
  • business
  • hospitality and tourism
  • physical education
  • therapeutic recreation  


Our students learn through hands-on fieldwork; Backcountry Living, Canoeing and Eastern Mountaineering form the backbone of our curriculum. A wealth of local and regional sport- and recreation-focused businesses provides students access to real-world internships and crucial career networking.

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Degree requirements

Career Coach




Outdoor recreation is at an all-time high in America: 12.4 billion outings were made last year alone. With this boom in outdoor adventure tourism, adventure sports has become one of the fastest growing segments of the service industry.

Graduates of the program have more opportunities to turn their love of the outdoors into a career than ever before. And a unique focus of our program is to grant students the skills to not only to join an existing recreation company but even to start their own.


  •     Business owner
  •     Excursion agency guide
  •     Sponsored brand ambassador
  •     Hotel/resort recreation leader
  •     Leisure camp staff
  •     Recreation retail management
  •     Sports and athletic club director
  •     Liaison officer in various travel and tourism

Program Learning Outcomes

  1. Plan, implement, manage, and evaluate physically, emotionally and environmentally sound adventure programs.
  2. Analyze and evaluate historical, philosophical, and theoretical foundations of adventure education.
  3. Apply current research and industry standards in developing best practices in teaching and program leadership.
  4. Analyze, manage and mitigate risk associated with adventure programming.
  5. (a) Identify, analyze, and evaluate arguments and dilemmas as they occur in their own or others’ work in the field of adventure education. (b) Develop well-reasoned, articulate, and sustained conclusions.
  6. Demonstrate successful completion of nationally recognized professional certification training programs.
  7. Demonstrate mastery of adventure technical skills.
  8. Apply theoretical constructs associated with primary outcomes for experiential education, group development, and adventure programming.
  9. Examine ecological perspectives of recreation and tourism and contemporary environmental ethics, practices, policies and issues as they relate to adventure education.