Outdoor Leadership Semester

NOLS & Paul Smith’s College

Semester Overview

The NOLS/PSC Adirondack Leadership Semester is a stand-alone program offered through Paul Smith’s College’s (PSC) Recreation, Adventure Education, and Leisure Management (RAELM) Program in partnership with the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). Students will gain leadership, environmental education, and technical skills (climbing, backpacking, and canoeing) while earning professionally-relevant certificates through nationally-accredited outdoor and educational organizations, including NOLS, American Canoe Association, the National Association for Interpretation, and more. With a holistic view of outdoor education and leadership, the semester provides equal emphasis on:

  • fostering and polishing technical skills while gaining relevant certifications
  • developing an ethic of servant leadership
  • strengthening communication and teaching abilities

In one Paul Smith’s College semester, you can develop more outdoor skills and certifications than many outdoor professionals ever get in a career. The program is designed to admit any student with at least one year of college. No pre-requisite courses are required. Some certifications, including the AMGA Climbing Wall Instructor certification, do require the fulfillment of pre-requisites as outlined by the certifying organization, not Paul Smith’s College. The program is an ideal add-on semester for any degree from any college and university, and can also transfer a full 15 credits into the middle of many programs. After the NOLS expedition ends, students will live together on campus for the rest of the semester, continuing and deepening the team experience through a themed living arrangement on our beautiful lakeside campus.

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