Outdoor Leadership SemesterNOLS & Paul Smith’s College
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As part of this unique semester, students will have the opportunity to attain professional certifications. Certifications are offered through partner organizations and each have specific criteria that must be met by each student in order to be awarded certification; taking the certification course does not mean a student will become certified. This higher standard allows PSC students to reach higher-than-entry level skills and certifications. Participation in each certification opportunity is required for all PSC Outdoor Leadership Semester Students.
American Canoe Association
Level 2: Essentials of Canoe Touring Skills Assessment Course
Solo and Tandem Canoe
ACA Assessment courses have been developed as a tool to allow paddlers a clear progression of skill development. Courses provide progression in skills and paddling venues associated with specific disciplines and paddlecraft. Upon successful completion of each Skills Assessment checklist, your Instructor will submit the paperwork and you will receive official documentation of your level of skill from the ACA National Office. To receive Skills Assessment documentation, you must be a current ACA member. ACA membership will be included in your semester course fee. Your Paul Smith’s College Instructor will assist you with the membership registration process.
Paul Smith’s College Outdoor Leadership Semester students may choose to sit for their NYS Guides License Exam. The licensing of outdoor guides is administered by the New York State Forest Rangers. You do not need to be a resident of New York State to receive a guides license. In general terms, a guide is a person, at least eighteen years of age, who offers services for hire, part or all of which includes directing, instructing or aiding another in fishing, hunting, camping, hiking, whitewater rafting/canoeing/kayaking, or rock and ice climbing. NYS requires individuals engaging in the business of guiding on all lands and waters of the state to possess a valid NYS Guide License.
Attaining a NYS Guide License is a multi-step process with various requirements; the cost of the basic exam entry fee is covered as part of the Outdoor Leadership Semester Course Fee. Students may choose to sit for additional exams from NYS in order to be licensed for specific recreational activities such as boating, ice climbing, fishing, hunting, and more. Kendra Ormerod, PSC Recreation Faculty and Outdoor Leadership Semester Coordinator, will facilitate the application and exam process for students starting in late September, upon return from the NOLS Expedition. For more information on the various aspects of the NYS Guide License Program, visit the DEC website.
Certified Interpretive Guide
This certification course allows NOLS/PSC Leadership Semester students to gain 2 PSC credits. This is a 32-hour course with an exam, presentation, and other work that must be passed by the student to attain certification and to pass the course. This four day course combines both the theoretical foundations of interpretation with practical skills in delivering quality interpretive programming to visitors. Content covered includes the history, definition, and principles of interpretation, designing programs that are purposeful, enjoyable, relevant, organized, and thematic, using tangible objects to connect audiences to intangible ideas and universal concepts in interpretive programs, and presentation and communication skills. In addition to academic credit, this course offers a four-year, interpretive guide certification through the National Association for Interpretation. To learn more about NAI’s CIG course, click here.