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Graduate Assistant for Outdoor Adventure Program (OAP)

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Please see Special Instructions for more details.

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS: Applications will be accepted through the Career Opportunities Center (COC) at the NIRSA Annual Conference & Recreational Sports Expo as well as through email. Interested applicants should submit a resume, cover letter, and list of three professional references through the career center or via email to Joey Parent, Assistant Director for the Outdoor Adventure Program, at

Posting Details

Position Information

Role Code/Title GASW - Grad Asst Student Worker
Position Number AF009
Working Title Graduate Assistant for Outdoor Adventure Program (OAP)
Department Recreational Sports
Recruitment Pool All Applicants
Department Hiring Range $9000.00 stipend paid in bi-monthly installments
Campus Monroe Park Campus
Position Type Graduate Assistant
Hours/Week 29/week
Normal work days
Normal work hours
Job Category
Does this position provide patient or clinical services to the VCU Health System? No
Does this position require a pre-placement medical assessment? No
Is any portion of this position grant-funded? No
Sensitive Position No
Resource Critical No
Description of the Job

The Graduate Assistant for the OAP assists with the administration and management of all OAP programs and activities. This position encompasses a wide variety of personnel management, as well as program administration, assessment, and evaluation. Additionally, graduate assistants are expected to regularly lead and instruct outdoor courses and trips. This position assists in the supervision of the OAP staff and reports to the Assistant Director for the OAP.

Outdoor Programming:
• Assist with planning, coordinating and leading afternoon, day, weekend, and extended programs in a wide variety of outdoor activities.
• Assist in developing the trips and events calendars for spring, fall, and summer semesters.
• Assist with planning, coordinating, and instructing the Student Outdoor Leadership Experience (SOLE) program, a 9-month student leadership course designed to train new OAP trip leaders.
• Assist in providing leadership and direction to OAP programming that supports student success.
• Assist with the management of OAP special events and programs.
• Regularly instruct field courses and in-services based upon certifications, prior instructional experience, and professional competencies.

Personnel Management:
• Provide daily oversite to the Outing Rental Center, bike shop, and climbing wall.
• Assist in the recruitment, hiring, training, development, scheduling, and evaluation of OAP staff including OAP attendants, managers, trip leaders, and program assistants.
• Assist in creating an environment that promotes and facilitates student learning and development.
• Assist in regularly monitoring staff work time and verifying payroll.
• Assist in identifying partnerships to train and recruit new attendants and trip leaders
• Assist in planning and conducting staff meetings and in-service trainings.
• Provide regular morning, evening, and weekend supervisory coverage.
• Act as a standing member of the student development and recognition committee.

Risk Management:
• Assist with providing and implementing an effective risk management plan for OAP programming and informal recreation.
• Assist with the review and revision of policy and procedure manuals for OAP programming, the Outing Rental Center, and climbing wall.
• Assist with ensuring that all staff maintain appropriate certifications required for their positional duties.
• Conduct regular risk management audits of activities, facilities, and equipment. Report work orders as needed.

Program Promotion/Public Relations:
• Assist with the development of strategies to promote OAP programming and climbing wall usage for informal recreation.
• Collaborate with the Assistant Director for the OAP, the OAP student marketing manager, and the Assistant Director for Marketing & Communications to create marketing and promotional materials for OAP programs

Fiscal/Statistical/Database/Equipment Management:
• Assist with identifying, implementing, and utilizing appropriate assessment and program evaluation strategies to inform policy and procedural decision-making, programming, facility operations, and resource allocation.
• Conduct regular equipment inventories, research new equipment, and acquire equipment following established procurement guidelines.
• Assist with the development and management of annual budgets for OAP programming.

General Administration:
• Participate in Recreational Sports Facility Supervision Rotation, including some nights and weekends.
• Attend and actively participate in staff meetings, in-services, and other Division of Student Affairs or Department of Recreational Sports meetings.
• Participate in other Division of Student Affairs initiatives, programs, and committees as required.
• Collaborate with other university departments in support of the university’s academic mission.
• Assist with administrative items by providing input and completing assigned projects associated with department goals and objectives.
• Maintain professional skill sets and certifications as appropriate for job responsibilities and as a campus recreation professional.
• Perform other duties as assigned by the Assistant Director for the OAP.

Required Qualifications

• Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science, Kinesiology, Recreation, Sport Administration, or related field
• Acceptance into the graduate studies program at Virginia Commonwealth University
• Must maintain a 3.0 GPA.
• Documented experience leading and instructing outdoor recreation and experiential education programming.
• Able to instruct a minimum of two (2) of the following: backpacking, caving, rock climbing, sea kayaking, whitewater kayaking, or whitewater rafting.
• Current Wilderness First Responder (WFR) certification and CPR/AED/First Aid certifications.
• Demonstrated willingness and ability to lead, learn, take initiative, problem solve, and meet deadlines.
• Excellent written and oral communication, interpersonal, and organizational skills.
• Demonstrated administrative skills in planning, implementing and evaluating programs; and managing the inherent risks associated with program participation.
• Demonstrated experience in personnel management and staff development; ability to motivate and supervise staff.
• Ability to lift and handle physical equipment set-ups for various activities.

Preferred Qualifications

• Previous experience working in a campus recreation setting.
• Experience in supervising student employees.
• Experience with Fusion software system.
• Previous experience maintaining and repairing outdoor gear and equipment (sewing experience highly desired).
• Experience in bicycle maintenance.
• Experience overseeing challenge course programming.
• Instructor and/or trainer level certifications (ACA, AMGA, PCIA, LNT, wilderness medicine).

Job Open Date 12/16/2016
Remove from posting on or before
Open Until Filled Yes
Special Instructions to Applicants

Applications will be accepted through the Career Opportunities Center (COC) at the NIRSA Annual Conference & Recreational Sports Expo as well as through email. Interested applicants should submit a resume, cover letter, and list of three professional references through the career center or via email to Joey Parent, Assistant Director for the Outdoor Adventure Program, at

Additional Information

This position is a 29 hours/week, nine-month (August – May) graduate assistantship, which may be renewed for a second year based upon performance review. The start date for this position is August 1, 2017.


• Full VCU tuition and fee waiver, not to exceed $24,000 annually
• $9,000 stipend paid in bi-monthly installments for a nine-month, 20-hour per week appointment from August – May
• $15 per hour for weekend facility supervision rotation
• Hourly summer employment, at the rate of $15 per hour, available upon request
• $500 – $1,000 for professional development available annually depending upon need and requests.


• Position involves working some evenings and some weekends.
• Position is located in a non-smoking work area.

Supplemental Questions

Required fields are indicated with an asterisk (*).

Optional & Required Documents

Required Documents
  1. Cover Letter/Letter of Application
  2. Resume
  3. Reference Letter - 1
Optional Documents
  1. Other Document
  2. Reference Letter - 2
  3. Reference Letter - 3