The university remains open and is actively engaged in maintaining the safest possible learning and work environment.
Click here for the latest university COVID-19 updates.

For details about Student Affairs operations, see the Student Affairs Covid-19 Response. Updated June 10, 2020 at 8:20 a.m.

Graduate Assistantships with Outdoor Programs


Outdoor Programs seeks to offer Graduate Assistants paraprofessional opportunities in the administration of comprehensive outdoor education and recreation programs. While the positions are primarily administrative, opportunities exist to contribute to staff training, program development and trip leadership. Ideal candidates will be well organized, with strong computer proficiencies and a background in Outdoor Education or a related field. The ability to manage and supervise part-time student employees is essential. Strong candidates will work well in a team environment, be self directed, and able to manage multiple projects and assignments at one time. Preferred candidates will seek to work in this position for the term of their graduate studies, possess Wilderness First Responder and associated certifications, and have the skills and abilities to contribute to the training and development of staff.

General Responsibilites for all Graduate Assistants

  • Provide paraprofessional support in the daily administration of Outdoor Programs through work that is consistent with OP’s mission and the educational and developmental goals of the Division of Student Development at Appalachian State University
  • Participate in the design and facilitation of regularly scheduled All Staff meetings and retreats and attend weekly Program Team Meetings
  • Serve as a mentor to OP Student Staff by modeling and promoting personal and professional development
  • Assist with special programs, projects and events
  • Perform other duties as assigned by Outdoor Programs Coordinators and abilities to contribute to the training and development of staff.

All Graduate Assistants have the opporunity to become involved in various areas of Outdoor Programs outside of their specific GA position responsbilities, which could include climbing wall supervisor, challenge course facilitator, trip leader, kayak roll/polo instructor, IDP instructors, etc.

Blue Parkway Corp, Bike App Program, Marketing & Events

  • Assist with the coordination of the Blue Ridge Parkway Corp (BRPC) in affiliation with the Appalachian States Chapter of Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway, the office of Appalachian and the community together and the National Park Service
  • Assist with hiring, training, scheduling and supervising approximately 12-15 BRPC student volunteers
  • Assist with hiring, training and supervising of Bike App volunteers
  • Plan and oversee Bike App clinics and events
  • Oversee Outdoor Programs website and social media accounts
  • Assist with Special Events including Banff, A4, Appalachian Mountain Photo Comp and more
  • Manage staff communications, information and employee files

Outing Center & Trip Logistics & Instructor Development Program

  • Assist with the hiring, training, scheduling and supervising approximately 15-25 outing center student staff
  • Manage equipment rental operations including the maintenance, repair and inventory of rental equipment
  • Lead bi-monthly/monthly staff meetings for outing center staff
  • Manage trip and climbing wall registration database and ensure smooth and consistent operations of these systems
  • Coordinate trip logistics including the preparation of vehicles, first aid kits, and the purchase and preparation of food
  • Provide guidance and instruction to Trip Programmers
  • Oversee Instructor Development Program (IDP) course schedule and student enrollment
  • Assist Trip Coordinator in teaching IDP courses

Climbing Wall & Challenge Course

  • Assist with climbing wall hiring, training, scheduling and supervising approximately 20-25 supervisors
  • Supervise the maintenance, retirement, and replacement of program gear and oversee regular inventory of challenge course and climbing wall equipment
  • Assist with coordinating challenge course offerings as well as hiring, training, scheduling and supervising approximately 10-15 facilitators
  • Assist with climbing wall and challenge course operations to include: manual updates, monthly inspections, incident/injury reporting and prevention and other risk management work
  • Lead bi-monthly/monthly staff meetings for climbing wall and challenge course staff

College Outdoor Program Administration (COPA) a concentration within College Student Development, which is Outdoor Program's recommended program of study.

For more information visit the Graduate Assistant Preview Program (GAPP)

Application Process

Past Outdoor Programs Graduate Assistant Successes - Where Are They Now?

Outdoor Programs Graduate Assistants are part of the College Outdoor Program Administration (COPA) Graduate Program.

Many of our Graduate Assistants and moved on into various professional positions in the outdoor industry.