NOLS Semester for Outdoor Educators

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This 89-day semester is jam-packed with an entire curriculum dedicated to the field of outdoor education. You'll be with other professionals and students ages 21 and over who want to learn outdoor skills and leadership as they further develop their teaching skills. This is your chance to translate your theoretical knowledge about outdoor education into reality.

The NOLS Semester for Outdoor Educators means more time teaching and more focus on topics like group management as well as field and in-town administrative practices. By the end of your semester, you'll be a competent backcountry expeditioner, the first step to being ready to work for outdoor educational programs across the country.

Questions & Answers


based on 2 reviews
  • Housing 9.5
  • Support 10
  • Fun 10
  • Value 10
  • Safety 10
Showing 1 - 2 of 2
Default avatar

The Best Choice I Have Ever Made.

I loved this semester. It was the absolute best choice I have ever made. There was a perfect balance between challenge and feedback to improve. I pushed myself hard and learned all sorts of skills -from how to read a map to how to pack and walk efficiently. I tried so many things for the first time, some that I loved, and some that were terrifying. I hiked in snow up to my waist, struggled up rock faces, and swam through slot canyons. I also made friends that have changed the way I look at the world. I watched the sun rise over calm waters, and skiied in the moonlight. My NOLS course will stick with me for the rest of my life.

How can this program be improved?
Our first section in the Wind River Range did not have all the gear that would have made the journey safer and more comfortable. However, I think that was a valuable learning experience in and of itself.
Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar

Fantastic course for educators.

I was only able to do a shorter Outdoor Educator course with NOLS. While I wish I had done a semester, my month in the field was still fantastic. The course had 12 other educators and three instructors. Everyone came from different backgrounds; some were classroom teachers, others worked in the outdoors. We traveled through the Beartooth Mountains in Montana- which was beautiful. We didn't see any other groups while we were in the field and that year there was a lot of snow pack, so we were camping on snow most of the time. The days were packed with backpacking, climbing camp and class time. I truly feel that the course improved my technical outdoor, as well as teaching skills. I can highly recommend an Outdoor Educator course to anyone who is interested in working in the outdoors or wants to improve their teaching.

How can this program be improved?
I wish we had spent more time climbing, but that probably was because I was on a shorter course.
Yes, I recommend this program


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About NOLS

NOLS is a nonprofit global wilderness school that will help you step forward boldly as a leader.

We believe that anyone can be a leader; it's our role to provide the environment and training to help you discover your full potential. We do that in...