Tourism and Outdoor Leadership (TOL)


Your OSU-Cascades Degree Is Naturally Better

The TOL program is unique. We developed this program to provide the outdoor leadership, business, communication, and other skills necessary for success in the tourism and outdoor leadership sectors.

You'll learn the technical and group leadership skills needed to be an outdoor guide or trip leader. You'll also learn the concepts, theory, and business skills needed to move beyond guiding and into management or creation of your own business.

Skiing the slopes of a frosty blue-white mountain.The first two years of the program are primarily completed at Central Oregon Community College (COCC).  Students are admitted to both OSU-Cascades and COCC. OSU-Cascades students taking COCC courses benefit from OSU scholarships and academic services, such as Academic Advising 

The COCC program provides you with a great core education, an ideal transition to Upper Division courses, and at lower cost than other universities. COCC and OSU-Cascades share a 200-acre campus on Bend's Ponderosa-laden westside. Your first two years in the program emphasize:

  • Breadth of knowledge courses
  • Introductory business and communication skills
  • Experiential education and leadership skills

Your final two years feature OSU-Cascade courses addressing:

  • Advanced training, such as risk management and business planning.
  • Recreation and tourism management and policy.
  • Specialty area theory and practice, such as marketing and outdoor and adventure education.

A vital feature of this program is your internship, which you spend working for a company or agency in the field of tourism or outdoor leadership. The internship offers you many advantages, including:

  • Giving you valuable work experience.
  • Providing inspiration for choosing a post-graduation job.
  • Enhancing your qualifications.

Each TOL student does one of the following four options:

  • Eco and Adventure Tourism (EAT)
  • International Ecotourism (IE)
  • Adventure Leadership and Education (ALE)
  • Recreation Management (RM)

Our Extended Classroom Is Some of Mother Nature's Best Work

Bend, Oregon, is the perfect home for a program in tourism and outdoor leadership. There is no better place to live and learn, nestled beneath the spectacular snowcapped Cascade Mountains and surrounded by world-renowned, year-round recreation and tourism opportunities. It is not the rainy Oregon, but a dry and sunny Oregon that you will live in and love.

Many TOL courses include field components, from half-day field trips to multi-day outings. Many students complement their TOL program with participation in Cascades Adventures. And, of course, students spend a lot of their free time recreating. You are minutes from:

map showing location of Bend

  • Downhill skiing and snowboarding at Mt. Bachelor.
  • Backcountry and cross-country skiing at an extensive sno-park system.
  • Rock climbing at world famous Smith Rock State Park.
  • Hiking hundreds of miles of wilderness trails.
  • Mountain biking and road biking that is rated as some of the best in the nation.
  • Fly-fishing on some of the most pristine rivers in the lower 48.
  • Kayaking and white-water rafting on world class rivers.
  • Cultural and art experiences at local galleries, theaters, museums, and events.

This abundant natural beauty supports numerous local tourism businesses on public, private, and Native American lands. Just think of us as Oregon's Playground.

Joining the TOL Program - New and Transfer Students

The TOL program is suited to all types of students:

  • Traditional students who are completing high school and will enter as freshmen.
  • Transfer students from other college or university programs, including COCC and the OSU main campus.
  • For students admitted to the Forest Ecosystems and Society graduate program(s) through the Corvallis campus, it is possible to do a tourism focus with TOL faculty member Kreg Lindberg as your advisor. However it will require coursework in Corvallis (not just in Bend).
  • Non-students who want to take specific classes to improve their skills or for general interest (see below).


Next Steps

  • Ready to complete an application to OSU-Cascades? We accept admissions online.
  • Would you like us to mail you a brochure or would you like to come for a tour? Email us your request or call (541) 322-3100.
  • Are you interested in a particular topic or wish to improve your skills in a particular area, such as tourism marketing or risk management? You can take TOL classes as a non-degree seeking student. Complete this brief application.

Contact us with any questions.

UWCSEA Partnership

UWCSEAThe TOL program partners with the United World College of Southeast Asia (UWCSEA) in Singapore to provide research and internship opportunites for TOL students.

Read more



Growing Outdoor Leaders
OSU-Cascades transforms students into adventure guides
Central Oregon Magazine

Profiles on TOL faculty, staff and students
Quarterly Cruise (OSU College of Forestry newsletter)