Apply Online Today

Courses Designed to Balance School and Personal Passion

PSA students share a common passion for adventure and exploration but have a range of academic pursuits. Some are highly motivated to graduate university while others might be discovering their reasons for a university education in the first place. Whether you are a student seeking a career in adventure leadership, poised to graduate, or just want to take a gap semester PSA courses are inspirational and take full advantage of a culturally rich and vibrant environment. Students begin each semester considering personal goals for both sport and academics. By the semesters end students find a new personal vigor and understanding for education and how they can balance their school and adventure schedules.

Interactive classes. Leeds University (UK) student Sarah Waddington edits in her Principles of Video Production course. Above Sarah edits kayaking footage with students at Universidad de la Frontera.

PSA offers a variety of university level academic courses allowing students to earn up to 17 credits. PSA’s curriculum involves comprehensive reading, writing, research and student presentations. Because the maximum class size is 6-15 students, students engage regularly in round-table style discussions. Classes examine subjects through an array of lenses for a holistic approach to each area of study. This approach encourages students to develop an all-inclusive way of problem solving and leading effectively in a highly complex and rapidly changing global stage.

Courses, Credits & Hours

  • ACA Level 4 Whitewater Kayak Instructor Certification              3 / 48 hr.
  • Swift Water Rescue Tech 3                                                          2 / 32 hr.
  • Advanced Wilderness First Aid                                                    3 / 48 hr.
  • Leadership, International Logistics, and Negotiation Skills         3 / 48 hr.
  • Principles of Video Productions                                                   3 / 48 hr.
  • PE Expert Kayaking for Competition & Instruction                      3- 5 / 48 – 80 hr.
  • Independent Study Courses                                                        WITH APPROVAL
  • Distance Learning and Internship Programs                                WITH APPROVAL

“Can I receive credits for PSA courses?”

*PSA is in the School of Record review process to secure university credits.

The answer depends on each university. Our Professional Development Industry Job Ready Certification Courses are recognized by many universities and follow mandated curriculum and hours. Many PSA courses are instructed by professional associations and our affiliate Pucon university, Universidad de la Frontera (UFRO). If you’d like to know if your university will pre-approve courses email [email protected] to read and discuss our Credits Approval Guide, curriculum overview, and course syllabi.

Course: American Canoe Association Level 4 Whitewater Kayak Instructor Certification

Program: Fall Semester
Credits / Course Hours: ACA Kayak Instructor Certification (3 / 48 hr.)
Description: The first of our Professional Development Industry Job Ready series is the American Canoe Association Kayak Instructor Level IV Certification. Daily students will complete a half day of ACA mandated hours and curriculum. The exercises and paddling will teach students how to be leaders and teach kayak beginner to advanced instruction. As a bonus, the program combines the certification course with actual teaching of beginner kayak lessons with a Chilean high school. Yes. It can be cold in November for beginner instruction. That’s why we do our roll and strokes drills in the nearby hot springs. That’s right. Eskimo rolling in naturally warmed hot springs. “Is this real life?”
Jobs Requiring ACA Kayak Instructor Cert: university instruction, kayak school instruction, international kayak programs, outdoor camps, rafting companies with kayaking, whitewater kayak programs.

Course: Swift Water Tech Rescue – 3

Program: Fall Semester
Credits / Course Hours: Swift Water Rescue Tech 3 Certification (2 / 32 hr.)
Description: The second course in our Professional Development INDUSTRY JOB READY certifications is the whitewater industry standard for rescue. SWRT-3 courses are most commonly required by whitewater rafting companies, and the rescue field such as firefighters. SWRT-3 is a must course for every whitewater kayaking enthusiast. And especially valuable for kayakers exploring the idea of expeditions. As matter of fact, the better you get, the more you’ll need the skills learned in this life saving course. Students will learn safety fundamentals of river features, how to move body and crafts through currents, how to rescue various crafts, rescue ropes and knot skills for extraction including multipoint Z-drags, vertical extractions, and team work.
Since PSA is focused on extreme kayaking, we take the SWRT-3 course to the extreme by adding our own touch we like to call, “Steep Water Rescue.” We want our students to have the knowledge to make wise decisions and to prevent mistakes. But if mistakes happen you’ll have the tools and knowledge to make the rescue.
Jobs Requiring SWRT-3 Cert: Emergency services, Whitewater Raft Guide, Kayak Instructor, Outdoor Adventure Industry.

Course: Leadership, International Logistics & Negotiation Skills

Program:  Fall and Spring Semester
Credits / Course Hours: Leadership, International Logistics, and Negotiation Skills (3 / 48 hr.)
Description: This program represents our first big road trip to Chile’s best waterfall experience packed into a short and sweet package. After receiving courses in instruction, first aid and rescue and lots of creek training it’s time to put those skills to use. Rio Claro’s Seven Teacups National Park is a whitewater and geological anomaly. A crack in the arid central wine valley annually drains the snow peaks. The basalt chasm has been polished, milled, and carved for 57 million years. So, you might consider yourself amongst the first in history to experience the whitewater phenom. Each year we plan our road trip north to experience the crystal-clear waters and ride the banking boofs to our screams of adrenal filled joy. Adding to the Claro’s remarkable experience are the Rios Maipo and Nuble which are both endangered of being dammed.
Students will participate in a proactive leadership program navigating international logistics, planning menus and food shops, learning tangible negotiation skills, and research case studies of winning leadership traits. This is a reality application of leadership and maybe the most profound learning experience of your life.

Course:  Advanced Wilderness First Aid

Program:  Fall and Spring Semester
Credits / Course Hours: Advanced Wilderness First Aid Certification (3 / 48 hr.)
Course is taught by Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities (SOLO) Instructor Trainer Richard Bravo.
Description:  Accidents happen. People get hurt, sick, or lost. The temperature drops, wind picks up, and we’re most often wet on rivers. Would you know what to do? Many backcountry emergencies are preventable, and even when bad things happen, sometimes the wrong care can make things worse. By learning a few basic skills, you can make the difference between a good outcome and a bad one – and maybe even save a life. PSA has requested that this course be taught with an emphasis on whitewater canyon and expedition extremes. Advanced Wilderness First Aid course is designed to give outdoor industry professionals the knowledge and tools required to deal with first responder emergency care situations.
Jobs Requiring AWFA Certification: emergency services, whitewater rafting, kayak schools, outdoor adventure camps, university outdoor adventure programs.

Course:  Principles of Video Production

Program:  Fall Semester, Xmas Tour de Stouts (Holiday Break), Spring Semester
Credits / Course Hours: Principles of Video Production (3 / 48 hr.)
Description: It seems every kayaker has a camera on their helmet today. But do you know how to compose and edit that makes you employable? Or script and tell a compelling story? Time lapse? Shot composition? This course will focus on concept and skill development when producing digital video media. Students will learn how to produce their own edits. Final projects consist of partner biography productions. What will your story tell?

Course:  Expert Kayaking for Competition and Instruction

Program:  Fall and Spring Semester
Credits / Course Hours: (3 / 48 hr.)

Course:  Intensive Spanish SPAN 131, 231, and 331

Credits / Course Hours: SPAN 131, SPAN 231, SPAN 331 (3 / 48 hr.)
Description:  Syllabus available upon request.

Course:  Internships and Distance Learning

Credits / Course Hours:  PENDING REQUEST
Description: Many students are required to work with their home university through distance learning or internships. Internships and DL programs / courses may be offered with the approval and cooperation of the home university. PSA has successfully offered internships and distance learning programs via various forms including:

  • Internships approved by university departments. Some include Adventure Tourism Management, Adventure Tourism Guide Practicum, Media and Communications, Administration and Management, Teaching Experience, Leadership Practicums, and Hospitality Services.
  • Distance learning programs via home institutions and accredited online institutions.

Course:  Independent Study

Credits / Course Hours: PENDING REQUEST
Description: Some students may also be interested or required to take courses PSA does not offer. PSA has successfully offered independent study courses via various forms including:

  • Online accredited distance learning courses.
  • Distance learning courses offered and approved by local institution. Students may work with a home institution professor online to complete courses for credit.
  • More Info Email: [email protected].