UMaine offers scholarships for teachers looking to boost outdoor leadership skills

With its abundant natural resources, Maine’s K-12 schools have long embraced outdoor education and place-based learning. As the flagship campus of the state’s public university system, the University of Maine also has a long tradition of outdoor leadership and adventure learning. 

UMaine’s College of Education and Human Development, the largest teacher preparation and training program in the state, recently launched a new outdoor leadership and education graduate certificate. The program is intended for practicing teachers and other professionals who want to incorporate more outdoor and experiential learning into their schools or other educational settings. 

A generous gift from the Onion Foundation is allowing the college to provide scholarships that will cover part of the cost for teachers who want to take two classes being offered this summer in Oxford County, Bringing the Classroom Outdoors and Wilderness First Aid (WFA). 

“We’re incredibly thankful to the Onion Foundation for their support of teachers’ professional development,” said UMaine outdoor leadership program coordinator Lauren Jacobs. “The outdoors are an essential part of Maine’s heritage and economy, and educators play a key role in developing the next generation of leaders and stewards who will sustain safe and meaningful outdoor opportunities for all.”

The two courses both lead to state- or national-certification. Bringing the Classroom Outdoors meets the training requirements for Maine’s Educational Trip Leader Permit, which allows educators to bring students outdoors in settings that would normally require a Registered Maine Guide Recreation license. WFA certifies students in nationally-recognized WFA and meets the medical training requirements for being a Registered Maine Guide, Maine Camp Trip Leader and Maine Educational Trip Leader.

The scholarships cover most of the overnight food, facility and equipment costs for a weekend trip that is part of Bringing the Classroom Outdoors, as well as most of the tuition, overnight, food, facility, equipment, books and certification costs for the WFA course. 

The deadline to apply for a scholarship for Bringing the Classroom Outdoors is April 29, while the deadline to apply for a scholarship for the WFA course is May 23.  

For more information: Lauren Jacobs,