The Adventure Leadership Institute (ALI) at Oregon State University offers a variety of courses, trainings, certificates, resources and adventures to students and community members alike. Located in the Dixon Recreation center at the Corvallis campus, the ALI is the place to go if you have a passion for the outdoors, going on adventures, making friends or gaining lifelong leadership skills.
The Adventure Leadership certificate is offered in a very unique and interdisciplinary way. There are three levels to the certificate that students would complete, where level one is where you get all the training you would need to become a guide, obtaining the leadership and technical skills needed when out in the field. When you get to level two you are an independant guide and are mentoring others. The last level, level three, is where the student is able to step into a professional role. They are ready to work in the field with a leadership position.
There are many skills taught by the ALI. Leave no Trace training is one of them. This awareness based idea is to ensure that when people are going on outings, on the river, in the forest, up a mountain or where ever, that they are being mindful of the impact they are making to the surrounding lands and not leaving behind any garbage. Other skills to highlight are problem solving abilities, especially in high risk situations, and the ability of self-confidence. The skills and knowledge learned through the ALI are similar to the ones taught through the Guide and Outfitter Recognized Professional Program through OSU Extension/Oregon Sea Grant.
Within the ALI there are about 32 classes offered, credit and non-credit, ranging anywhere from white water rescue, wilderness first aid, camping hacks, hiking local trails, canyoneering and rock climbing. These courses are taught with a lot of cooperation from student employees at the ALI, in fact, the ALI only has five full-time and 2 adjunct employees with 75-100 student employees at any given time.
The Sr. Assistant Director of the ALI is Josh Norris, who has been at OSU since 2003, before the ALI was formed in 2008. With a background in psychology and a history of running his own guide service, he describes what means a good leader.
“It is the ability to understand and interact with others and then to look for a solution that benefits all,” said Norris. “It is those types of things, the desire to care more about the common goals. Being aligned towards these common goals, taking a group, helping them to define those goals, and then taking them all the way through the process to accomplish those goals, all while yielding themselves out of the way so to speak, those are good leaders.”
Student and community members are able to participate in the ALI activities. There is even an Adventure Club all students are welcome to join! More information about the ALI can be found at: https://recsports.oregonstate.edu/ali/adventure-leadership-institutetm