Outdoor Education Assistant Coordinator

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Deadline to Apply:

Thursday, February 4, 2016, 12:00am


Oregon, IL
United States

Job Category:


Job Type:


Job Description:

Responsibilities:  Along with the Outdoor Education Coordinator and additional Outdoor Education Assistant Coordinator, this person is responsible for executing a successful outdoor education program at Lorado Taft Field Campus that includes residential programs, day-use programs, and outreach. 

  • Plan, implement, and evaluate resident outdoor education programs for public and private schools.  This includes school visits, email and phone contacts, on-site organizational responsibilities, program evaluation, and direct teaching along with school staff and Program Specialists.
  • Recruit and hire Education Program Specialists.
  • Supervise, train, and mentor Education Program Specialists.  This includes the revision and updating of a staff manual for new staff members, planning for and delivering staff training activities prior to the start of the school year as well as throughout, and day-to-day supervision of Education Program Specialist activities.
  • Observe, evaluate, advise, and assist Education Program Specialists in achieving their goals for teaching students in the outdoor environment.
  • Identify and evaluate curricula and resource needs of the program. 
  • Research and write curricula, as needed. 
  • Develop new teaching materials and oversee the maintenance of project areas, including a weather station, pioneer and Native American sites, a prairie plot, composting facilities, a bird porch, an equipment room, a library/resource room, and a water study area.  
  • Assess needs for and maintain trails and natural resource areas.
  • Assess needs for and maintain a safe, usable environment on a low-ropes challenge course.
  • Plan and coordinate special events, workshops, programs, and summer conference groups.
  • Share Manager-on-Duty functions with two other professional residential staff.  This includes being a group’s emergency contact throughout their stay and acting in accordance with campus policy and procedures in the event of facility issues, weather emergencies, and/or participant accidents or illness.

Required Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree in outdoor education, administration, natural sciences or a related field by starting date. 
  • Three years’ experience in outdoor/environmental education programming.
  • One year experience in a position that includes facilitating team building and/or challenge course activities.
  • Six months experience in administration or leadership of youth programs, residential programs, nature centers, or other related outdoor programs. 
  • Six months experience in training and supervising program staff and/or volunteers.
  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and manage work time effectively with little supervision to ensure preparedness and project completion.
  • Demonstrated competence in verbal communication, particularly the ability to present information, ideas, directions, etc. in a clear and concise manner.
  • Flexibility and the ability to deal with the unexpected and quickly changing nature of outdoor activities and children.
  • Demonstrated professionalism as related to the field.
  • Ability to effectively engage in behavior management in order to maintain students’ interest and participation in outdoor classes and activities.
  • Ability to convey information about environmental topics without bias and with the goal of encouraging lifelong learning.
  • Experience in preparing lesson plans, outlines, or guides in preparation to teach or facilitate activities.
  • On-site residence is required.  A private apartment is provided. 

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Proficient using basic desktop programs such as Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Blackboard, and Outlook.
  • Detail and customer service oriented.
  • Demonstrated initiative to go above and beyond minimum assigned duties.
  • Experience in overseeing facility management in the absence of facility leadership.


  • $23,000-$26,000 salary, dependent on experience
  • Housing (private apartment) and board when dining hall is in operation
  • Full benefit package, including paid holidays, retirement, health, vision, and dental.

How to Apply:

To apply, submit a letter of interest; resume; and name, address, and phone number of three references by email to melcostello@niu.edu or by mail to Melanie Costello, Campus Director/Outdoor Education Coordinator, Lorado Taft Campus, PO Box 299, Oregon, IL 61061.  Applications need to be received by February 4, 2016 for consideration.  

Other Information:

In compliance with the Illinois Campus Security Act, before an offer of employment is made, the university will conduct a pre-employment background investigation, which includes a criminal background check. 

In accordance with applicable statutes and regulations, NIU is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, religion, age, physical and mental disability, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, political affiliation, or any other factor unrelated to professional qualifications, and will comply with all applicable federal and state statutes, regulations and orders pertaining to nondiscrimination, equal opportunity and affirmative action. NIU recognizes Dual Career issues.

Applicants must be eligible to work in the U.S. for Northern Illinois University.  For further information about eligibility, please contact NIU’s International Student and Faculty Office at isfo@niu.edu or at 815-753-1346.

Job Compensation:



Compensation Information:

  • $23,000-$26,000 salary, dependent on experience
  • Housing (private apartment) and board when dining hall is in operation
  • Full benefit package, including paid holidays, retirement, health, vision, and dental.

Contact Name:

Melanie Costello

Contact Email: