The Assistant Director of Colgate University Outdoor Education collaborates with the director in the oversight of sixty student staff and providing year-round outdoor and experiential programming to the Colgate student and staff community. The position is 10 months, with benefits year round. Typical months off are June and July. Assistant director is responsible for effective management of the 25-40 outdoor education physical education courses, 10-20 advanced skills seminars, 40+ backyard adventure day trips, and academic break trips (fall, winter, and spring) including:

– Planning the semester-long schedule of programs
– Assigning the appropriate staff to each program
– Administrative oversights of all travel logistics
– Supervision and evaluation of student leaders
– Marketing of all programs
– Budget planning

Accountable for the effective development, instruction and evaluation of student participants in advanced seminar courses. To include:
– Development of course outline and learning outcomes
– Instruction of courses
– Supervision and risk management of participant safety
– Administrative oversight of all course logistics (i.e. travel planning, budget development, promotion, etc)

Responsible for effective management of the Angert Family Climbing wall to include:
– Hiring, training and evaluating all student staff year-round
– Facilitating route setting
– Creating and enforcing safety policies for the facility and its users
– Purchasing essential equipment
– Oversight of facility maintenance
– Organization and planning of the annual Colgate Climbing Competition.

Responsible for the overall management and full oversight of the Outdoor Education Rental Center. This includes effective:
– Organization of facility and equipment
– Regular inventory and equipment inspections
– Ordering equipment as needed
– Hiring, training, scheduling, and evaluation of student staff

Responsible for weekly student staff meeting agenda and outcomes to ensure student staff members receive the appropriate information, training, and development.

Responsible for effective development, teaching, instruction, and ongoing management of assigned PHED programming areas – primarily whitewater paddling and/or sea-kayaking , rock and ice climbing, and/or team building as well as other areas as assigned.

Exercises independent judgment and unchallengeable authority in decision-making while leading all outdoor education programs and trips. Responsible for the safety and welfare of all participants and has unchallengeable decision-making ability regarding participant activities.

Assists with the student staff training program and the Wilderness Adventure pre-orientation program, as needed.

Responsible for role modeling behaviors, leadership, teaching, and excellence for students.

Responsible for adhering to the division’s mission: to be an inclusive community of competitive excellence.

Tagged as: Administrative Staff, Backcountry Skills, Climbing Skills, Full Time, Instruction and Guiding, Teaching/Education, Water Skills


- Bachelor's degree
- Current WFR (or higher)
- Current driver's license
- AMGA SPI (or equivalent) OR ACA level IV or swiftwater rescue certifications (or ability to certify within a year of employment)
- Mastery and documented experience in other outdoor disciplines

- Master's degree
- Knowledge of experiential education theories and methods
- Experience running an indoor climbing gym and/or route setting

Required Skills:

- One year of professional trip-leading experience.
- Personal AND professional climbing, whitewater paddling, and/or sea kayaking ability at an intermediate or higher level
- Ability to mentor college students in leadership, teaching, risk management, and technical skills
- Excellent organizational skills and the ability to plan and delegate across multiple projects.
- Outstanding communication and interpersonal skills and an ability to work well with a diverse group of students, faculty, and staff

Preferred Skills:

- Three+ years of professional trip-leading experience.
- Experience working with collegiate outdoor programs, outdoor pre-orientation programs, and/or outdoor education programs like Outward Bound, NOLS, or High Mountain Institute.
- Personal lead climbing/multi-pitch ability (rock and ice) and/or whitewater paddling up to grade IV/V
- Experience in other outdoor pursuits, such as nordic or telemark skiing, mountain biking, sea kayaking, SUPing, challenge course facilitation, orlightweight backpacking, etc

About Colgate University Outdoor Education

With over 100 years of history, Colgate Outdoor Education is a highly successful program known nationally for its focus on leadership, teaching, and skill development. Colgate Outdoor Education provides Colgate students with leadership, wellness, personal growth, a sense of place, and community-building opportunities through outdoor and experiential programs. In addition, our community values sustainability, diversity and inclusion, safety, and improvement.

Known for robust pre-orientation programming, student-instructed physical education courses, and a highly selective 500+ hour student staff training program, we value excellence in leadership, risk management, group management, equity and inclusion, and technical competency. Utilizing our on campus climbing facility, trail system, challenge course, and boathouse in combination with the six-million acre Adirondack Park just an hour away, we pride ourselves on offering top-tier educational and recreational experiences.

Application Instructions

Submit application via: https://careers.colgate.edu/postings/5059 To inquire further or submit a trip log or other outdoor resume, email the Director of Colgate Outdoor Education, Heidi Riley ([email protected])