Health & Wellness

Outdoor Leadership

Photo by SJC Student Ashley SaupeDo you love the outdoors? What separates Outdoor Leadership at Sheldon Jackson College from the rest?
At Sheldon Jackson College, we integrate teaching and learning in unique ways, blending a general education with outdoor adventure, all in a place of unsurpassed wilderness and beauty. Click here to view a slide show, created by leadership students!

Location, location, location
We’re in Alaska! Our faculty and students live, learn, work, and play in the heart of the Southeast Alaska wilderness. We don’t just visit in the summer. We’re immersed in this environment year round. The dynamic landscape and weather of Alaska is the perfect classroom for learning and practicing outdoor leadership skills, as well as developing a foundation for environmental awareness and education.

The Outdoor Leadership faculty and staff at Sheldon Jackson have extensive experience in the outdoor industry and academia. Their past experiences include working in the field with both Outward Bound and the National Outdoor Leadership School. Click here to read a personal statement by Professor Michael Kaplan,"Why I love teaching outdoor leadership at SJC".

Small ClassesPhoto by Scott Harris
We are a small school, and we will stay that way. A typical student: faculty ratio is 5:1. Our small class sizes allow us to focus on the educational needs of each student.

Wilderness Traveling Skills
Our wilderness traveling skill courses include extensive opportunities in the following disciplines:

Sea Kayaking
snow boarding and skiing
Why Outdoor Leadership?
Are you interested in outdoor environmental education, working as a field instructor for a wilderness therapy program? as a sea kayaking guide? or with a state park? Do you enjoy introducing others to the outdoors? As an Outdoor Leadership major, you will be prepared for these occupations and a variety of others.

You will also have the opportunity to sea kayak among whales, sea otters, seals and sea lions while brown bears saunter, hidden in the dense forests of nearby islands. The rugged snow-capped peaks of Southeast Alaska will also provide wonderful ground for mountaineering throughout the year.

Students of the Outdoor Leadership program can earn a Bachelor of Arts degree, or they may minor in Outdoor Leadership. Students may also earn an Associate of Arts degree with an emphasis in outdoor leadership. Each program prepares students for professional roles in local, state and national parks, private and public treatment programs and adventure therapy programs.
Outdoor Leadership students are exposed to multiple hands-on experiences throughout the program, including internship opportunities and outdoor leadership expeditions.

Photo by SJC Student Ashley SaupeStudent interns have served:
Field instructor trainees for wilderness therapy programs
Sea kayaking guides
Alaska State parks
Backpacking youth programs