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Southern Oregon University

Health, Physical Education & Leadership

Escape the Northern Hemisphere winter for an incredible "summer downunder" in New Zealand and Australia and receive SOU credit! 

  • Five-plus weeks set amidst stunning mountain, forest and beach environments for a "summer downunder.”
  • Learn hard and soft skills while engaging in the following activities: rock climbing, rafting/kayaking, hiking/backpacking, mountain biking, sea kayaking, scuba diving, and surfing.
  • Gain insight into indigenous cultures and contemporary societies abroad.
  • Choose from 15 SOU Outdoor Adventure/Physical Education credit courses, ranging from 1-3 credits (on the quarter system) for a full term of college credit.
  • SOU OAL majors and minors will be able to make significant progress toward their degree.

SOU's Department of Health, Physical Education, and Leadership, along with adventure education partner, Pacific Challenge, is offering students the opportunity to earn SOU credit while traveling and studying in New Zealand and Australia during our Winter term, the southern hemisphere summer. 

See below for a detailed list of the courses offered and what you will be learning. For more details about Pacific Challenge, visit their website.

Winter 2011 Southern Oregon University/Pacific Challenge Course Offerings:

Here is a list of the 15 courses available for Winter 2011:


 Course #

 Course Name



 OAL 250

 Foundations In OAL



 OAL 275

 Adventure Based Facilitation



 OAL 362

 Outdoor Recreation Programming



 OAL 370

 Adventure Based Therapy



 OAL 375

 Advanced Techniques in OAL



 PE 430

 Outdoor Survival



 PE 180

 Rock Climbing I



 PE 180

 Rock Climbing II



 PE 180

 Mountain Biking



 PE 180




 PE 180

 Whitewater Activities I



 PE 234

 Scuba Diving


Here are descriptions of some of the courses available for Winter 2011:

For more information about all the OAL classes offered, see the SOU course catalog.


OAL 250 - Foundations in Outdoor Adventure Leadership (3 credits)

This course introduces the student to the history and philosophy of adventure education in contemporary society, with application to current trends and prospects for the future. Surveys of agencies, organizations, and programs in the leader service field rounds out this introductory course.

Learning Objectives-

  • The student will trace the history of & philosophies inherent in outdoor education.
  • The student will develop an understanding of factors affecting the motivation and development of adventure participants.
  • The student will explore varying outdoor leadership skills & styles.
  • The student will thoroughly survey existing adventure companies and organizations.

OAL 362 - Outdoor Recreation Programming and the Environment (3 credits)

This course explores the planning and management of adventure tourism and its impacts on the natural environment, local communities and their economies.

Learning Objectives-

  • The student will understand environmental impacts of adventure activities and how terms such as “eco-tourism” are applied.
  • The student will explore economic and social changes that have contributed to the growth of outdoor recreation.
  • The student will critically analyze the sustainability of adventure tourism in light of environmental, economic, and socio-cultural impacts.
  • The student will identify planning and management theories and their practical relevance in the local and regional area.
  • The student will appreciate the roles & responsibilities of an adventure tourist, tourist operators, local and national governments, and local residents in regards to adventure tourism.

OAL 375 - Advanced Techniques in Adventure Leadership (3 credits)

This course examines group dynamics, conflict and risk management & how they are thoroughly explored and applied to expedition planning, execution, and evaluation.

Learning Objectives-

  • The student will understand and apply factors affecting the motivation and development of adventure participants.
  • The student will understand the importance of effective trip planning.
  • The student will examine risk management procedures utilized by adventure companies across a variety of activities.
  • The student will explore effective group facilitation with feedback & assessment methods.
  • The student will analyze varying outdoor leadership skills & styles and understand how this influences decision-making and problem solving.

Administrative Requirements 

  • Students must participate fully to receive credit for an activity. There are no opportunities to make up a missed activity, so it is wise for students to get plenty of rest and keep themselves healthy in order to succeed.
  • A good portion of this class will be facilitated on line; thus announcements, readings, assignments, and projects will be administered and submitted via Blackboard.
  • Students must submit a completed final paper/project to pass the class.
  • Late assignments are worth 50% of earned credit. Deadline for late work will be announced.
  • If a due date coincides with a time in which you will not have access to the Internet, you will either need to submit the assignment early or at the next destination.