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Assistant Director, Outdoor Leadership

Gettysburg College
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
$50,000 to $52,000 per year
Date posted
Dec 1, 2023

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Job Details

Gettysburg College’s Garthwait Leadership Center invites a professional outdoor leader with a student development orientation to join its team. Our department is a dynamic organization where every staff member contributes towards our shared work: The mission of the Garthwait Leadership Center at Gettysburg College is to empower Gettysburg students, employees, and young alumni to lead ethically and effectively. Through our expertise in facilitation, coaching, and outdoor experiential learning, we offer a wide variety of engagement offerings to help learners discover their authentic self and develop the skills to work collaboratively with others towards positive change. We are a distinctive, endowed, co-curricular leadership center which serves more than 1,000 students and young alumni each year. We engage an increasingly diverse liberal arts community of 2,300 undergraduate students, including 22% domestic students of color, 11% international students, and over 21% Pell Grant recipients. We recognize that excellence cannot be achieved without diversity, and we seek to recruit and retain a workforce that offers students and colleagues richly varied perspectives and ways of knowing and learning.


Reporting to the Director of the Garthwait Leadership Center, the Assistant Director plays a key role in providing and expanding leadership development services related to preorientation, outdoor experiences, and group development. The primary responsibility of this position is to support students in the design and delivery of custom experiential education programs on campus, at the challenge course and in remote backcountry settings. Other key duties include serving as a site supervisor on the Challenge Course and as a lead field instructor for backcountry experiences. The ideal candidate for this position is passionate about student leadership development and the outdoors. They should be motivated to design experiences that help others discover and evolve their potential to be self-aware with the capacity to have a positive impact on society. This leadership educator will join a dynamic team that integrates an outdoor experiential education program within a thriving leadership development center. This position will oversee sustainable growth and management of our outdoor leadership program. Like all members of the Garthwait Leadership Center team, this person will mentor student staff, design custom educationally purposeful experiences and serve as a project manager for programs and events. They will benefit from continuing education and professional development opportunities. The leadership educator will participate in the hiring, training, supervision, and individual mentoring of student employees. Responsibilities in this position require a number of evenings, weekends, and weeklong commitments due to the workshop, trip, and training schedule.


Required Education, Experience, Certifications and Physical Qualifications:


  • A bachelor’s degree is required by anticipated start date March 1st, 2024. 
  • Demonstrated knowledge of foundational and emerging outdoor leadership development environment, including experiential education philosophy, leadership development models and facilitation methodologies.  Instructional experience in a three to four season backcountry environment, with strong concentration on backcountry travel, technical sea-kayaking and/or climbing skills.  Excellent demonstrated ability to communicate verbally and in writing, including demonstrated cross-cultural competency in communications with diverse groups of students and colleagues.  Demonstrated ability to develop, execute, and maintain systems for event and trip planning.  Demonstrated ability both to work independently, and to work collaboratively and effectively with a diverse group of people in a dynamic environment.  Strong service orientation and the ability to interact positively with students, faculty, and the public, as well as demonstrated commitment to participating in and building an inclusive, equitable, and diverse campus community.  The ability to learn digital platforms that support collaboration such as Notion, Slack, MS Teams.   The ability to obtain a Wilderness First Responder certification within the first 60 days of employment. The physical ability to climb and work at height while managing personal fall protection. equipment, lift equipment including sea kayaks and walk over rough or uneven surfaces while carrying 20-50 lbs. Driving is an essential function of this position; therefore, a valid driver’s license is required.  The successful candidate must have a favorable driving record as outlined by the College fleet policy. 



Preferred Education, Experience and Certifications:


  • Master’s degree in a related field (Education, Leadership, Recreation, Parks/Tourism, etc.). A minimum of one to two years of work experience in leadership development, group development, or a related area, preferably in a higher education student development environment.   Knowledge of and experience with outdoor leadership development for undergraduates.  Skill areas such as adaptability, teamwork, creative thinking, problem-solving and coaching.  Prior challenge course facilitation experience.   British Canoe Union or American Canoe Association Paddle Instructor certification. 
  • Professional Climbing Instructors Association or American Mountain Guide Association Instructor Certification. 


Gettysburg College seeks candidates who have the communication skills and cross-cultural abilities to maximize their effectiveness with diverse groups of students, colleagues, and community members. Interest in creating an inclusive campus community, working with underserved populations, and a strong commitment to the liberal arts college experience is expected. Salary offers will be based on knowledge, skills and experience and will fall in the range of $50k-$52k/year. This salary is complemented with a comprehensive benefits package.

Please visit our website to submit application materials (cover letter, resume, and contact information for three professional references) through our online system:


Application materials must be received by January 1st, 2024.

Anticipated start date is in March 2024. This start date is negotiable. If you have questions about this position, please reach out to Paul Miller, Director of the Garthwait Leadership Center at

Gettysburg College is committed to creating a more diverse community. As part of that process, the College encourages candidates from historically underrepresented groups to apply. 


Gettysburg College, an equal opportunity employer, complies with all applicable federal, state, local laws and regulations regarding nondiscrimination. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment and admission. The College prohibits discrimination and harassment, and provides equal opportunity without regard to race, ethnicity, color, religion, national origin, disability, veteran status, marital/familial status, possession of a General Education Development Certificate (GED) as compared to a high school diploma, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, sex, age, or genetic information in all aspects of employment, educational programs, activities, and admissions. Pursuant to Title IX of the Education Amendment of 1972, Gettysburg College prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex (i.e., which includes but is not limited to the prohibition of sexual misconduct and relationship violence, including sexual assault and harassment) in all of its educational programs and activities. 



Gettysburg College

Founded in 1832, the College upholds a rigorous commitment to the liberal arts in all their breadth and depth. Combined with experiential learning and a drive to Do Great Work, there are no bystanders here.

When you work at Gettysburg, you’re participating in traditions predating even the iconic battle that gave the town its notoriety and historical significance. Before the Civil War and thereafter, the college has stood as a beacon of intellectualism and socially responsible citizenship.

For the fifteenth consecutive year, Gettysburg College has been named one of the 50 Best Places to Work In Pennsylvania

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