Outdoor & Experiential Education

Outdoor & Experiential Education (OEE) is designed to introduce teacher candidates to a wide variety of ways in which environmental and experiential programs can be offered in various school and community-based settings.


Application Process

Selection of Consecutive Education teacher candidates is based on the Queen's application requirements as well as the supplemental documents submitted to Student Services. Applicants must meet the requirements for Primary-Junior and/or Intermediate-Senior.

Selection of Concurrent Education teacher candidates is based on their application made in December of year 4.

How to Apply


  • It is offered to Concurrent Education students in their final year as well as Consecutive Education teacher candidates.
  • For both Primary-Junior and Intermediate-Senior teacher candidates.
  • 4 successive terms, starting in May and ending in August the following year. Queen's graduates are out into the job market early.
  • Integrates conventional teacher education with preparation of leading dynamic school and/or community-based outdoor, nature-oriented activities.
  • Explores experiential education theory and hands-on methodologies as they apply to a variety of environmental contexts/all teaching subjects.
  • Teacher candidates in OEE will complete 21 weeks of placement, 3 of which are at an outdoor facility (Winter Practicum), and 3 of which can be done outside a school setting and anywhere in the world as long as it is related to the program (Alternative Practicum).
  • Travel fellowships support education-related travel outside Canada such as for alternative practicum placements.
  • Program orientation and field camp is held in late August.
  • Emphasizes the development of leadership skills required to implement innovative outdoor and experiential programs through examining the skills required to propose, administer, evaluate and teach such programs.
  • Develops critical thinking skills pertaining to contemporary environmental and educational issues.

See the Faculty of Education calendar for information about program policies and fees and course descriptions.  


Courses & Practicum

The field camp initiates community building for each year of OEE teacher candidates. This initial sense of community continues to grow through classes, additional events, and workshops held throughout the rest of the year. See the Academic Calendar for degree requirements and course descriptions (EDST 260 and FOCI 260).

Regular practicum placements mean that you will work alongside other education professionals in classrooms for 21 weeks: one component in the first summer (3 weeks); two components in the fall (3 weeks and 4 weeks); one component in the winter term (4 weeks) followed by an alternative practicum (3 weeks); and one component in the second summer (4 weeks).

The practicum blocks take place in schools within the designated catchment area, which includes 26 boards spanning from Burlington to Cornwall. You will complete a practicum registration where you select four different potential school boards for placement.

Candidates in the OEE program complete the winter term practicum in an Outdoor or Experiential Education setting. This practicum must be in Ontario with an OCT certified teacher in good standing. Typically this practicum is at an outdoor centre, with an integrated program in a public school, or at an alternative school like a credited program for youth at risk. 

For the 3 week alternative practicum, OEE teacher candidates are required to complete an alternative practicum that is in a non-traditional outdoor-based setting. You can do the alternative practicum anywhere in the world as long as it is related to your program. There are travel fellowships available that can help you get there.

OEE and Practicum 

An advantage to getting into the OEE program track is the opportunity to choose a practicum environment that suits your personal interest or will allow you to explore an approach you are considering for your professional career. In other words, sometimes people who come in with a lot of experience in adventure programs realize that they might be more interested in exploring Forest School programs with primary level students. Likewise, some people who have naturalist work experience may decide that high school integrated programs that allow a longer period of time to get to know students is a strong area of interest. The emphasis of the program is on exploring the many forms of outdoor education and finding out where your future might reside. 

The Bachelor of Education degree can open doors to the many work environments that need good communicators and educators, but are not in a conventional school setting. OEE alumni are engaged in a variety of careers ranging from full-time classroom teaching to work in other related fields such as service, environment, and health. Many employers actively seek out their dynamic qualities. 

OEE graduates have gone on to propose and implement various programs, such as some of the initial environmental integrated programs, nature-based preschools, and unique environmental initiatives within a school board.

Some other examples of employment opportunities include:

  • Classroom teaching within experiential emphasis (public or private school setting)
  • Leadership positions, such as principals and camp directors
  • Independent outdoor programs (e.g., Outward Bound, eco-tourism lodges)
  • Outdoor-focused businesses 
  • Teaching abroad
  • Environmental advocacy and awareness to organizations and businesses 

Our OEE Community


The OEE program is looking for teacher candidates who can bring unique perspectives and a range of experiences to our learning community. This allows each year of students to learn from each other as they discuss and participate in a broad range of activities designed to encourage critical thinking. You do not need to come 'fully loaded' with certifications and years of experience in some outdoor field. We attempt to accept a variety of students to the OEE program which allows all of our teacher candidates to learn from one another. 

The OEE program is comprised of dedicated and open-minded students committed to personal reflection. This continued exploration will help to shape their professional vision. Selected readings and theories change yearly to reflect the constantly evolving field.  Likewise, field trips are based on student interest and initiative and have included: 

  • Local organic farms
  • Heirloom seed sanctuary
  • Local outdoor centres
  • Conservation areas
  • Water treatment plants
  • Sewage treatment facilities
  • Nursery and morgue visitation
  • Native cultural sites and sweat lodges
  • Winter camping

Finance Your Studies

Queen's Student Awards provides charts with guidelines for costs that Teacher Candidates may incur, including education and basic living expenses. The amount it costs to attend Queen's will depend somewhat on the choices you make, which will affect your budget (such as where your extended practicum and/or alternative practicum is located).

For information on financial assistance please contact Queen's Student Awards.

For most entrance awards, all eligible candidates will be considered automatically. Most of these awards are based on academics. Visit the Student Awards Website to learn more.

Award Title Description
J. Bolton and Kathleen Slack Scholarship Awarded on the basis of academic excellence to students entering the consecutive Bachelor of Education program in the Faculty of Education.
Milton Frederick Pummell Scholarships Two entrance scholarships are to be awarded on the basis of excellent teaching-related experience and academic standing to teacher candidates entering the consecutive Bachelor of Education program in the Primary-Junior option.
Paul Park Scholarship Established to encourage students entering the Faculty of Education to teach in the fields of Mathematics, Science and Technological Education. Up to 10 scholarships are to be awarded on the basis of academic excellence.
Senator Frank Carrel Upper Year Scholarships Up to ten scholarships are to be awarded on the basis of general proficiency to candidates who for at least one year at the time of their application have been and remain domiciled in the Province of Quebec.
John R. McCarthy Scholarship
(Application Required)
Awarded to a student who has graduated with at least second-class standing from either a three-year or four-year degree program in the Faculty of Arts and Science at Queen's University who is normally domiciled in Ontario and will be enrolling in the Faculty of Education at Queen's University in the fall session immediately following graduation.


Students who are currently registered at Queen's University in the Faculty of Education can apply/nominate for the following awards.

Award Title Description
Indigenous Teacher Education Practicum Award Awarded on the basis of demonstrated financial need and academic achievement to part-time or full-time students in the Diploma or Bachelor of Education programs in the Faculty of Education wishing to broaden their studies through a practicum placement within a First Nations school or provincial school.
Bamji International Practicum Placement Award Awarded on the basis of financial need and academic achievement to support a final year full-time Concurrent Education student in the Faculty of Education, wishing to broaden their studies in the international environment through and alternative placement.
Charles Martyn Elliott and Kathleen Mead Elliott Award for Travel Fellowships in Education Elliott Travel Fellowships for study outside Canada in the field of teacher education, pedagogy, or a related field are awarded to students enrolled in the Faculty of Education. In order to be eligible for this award, applicants must demonstrate financial need.
The Hajee Family Travel Fellowships in Education Awarded on the basis of financial need and academic achievement to full-time students in teacher education or graduate programs in the Faculty of Education wishing to broaden their studies through an alternative practicum placement or research project in Africa.
Rose A. Freeman Memorial Award It is given to a graduate student Teaching Assistant in the Faculty of Education who directly contributes to the learning experience of Bachelor of Education (ConEd, BEd, DipEd) students through exhibiting outstanding commitment to the value of learning, availability to students, good organizational skills, and motivation.
Upitis International Study Award Awarded annually to full-time students in teacher education and graduate programs enrolled in any Faculty of Education program wishing to broaden their studies in the international environment through an alternative placement.

Students who are currently registered at Queen's University in the Faculty of Education can apply for the following external awards.

Award Title Description
Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO/FEEO) Faculty of Education Award
(Application Required)
Awarded by ETFO/FEEO to a student at a publicly-funded university/institution in Ontario, during the final year of their teacher training. The deadline to submit your application to ETFO/FEEO is April 30.
F.D. Sawyer Memorial Award, Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF/FEESO)
(Application Required)
The FD Sawyer Memorial Award was established in the memory of Frank D Sawyer, who was a member of the Provincial Executive during some of its most stirring years from 1952 to 1959 and President of OSSTF in 1954. At the time of his death in 1960 he was principal of Petrolia District High School. Frank Sawyer's great contribution to Federation lay in his ability to discover the basic issues in the many difficulties which arose in teacher-board relationships during his term of office and in his having a sense of humour in periods of crisis. The OSSTF/FEESO Faculty of Education Award, valued at $1,000 annually, shall be awarded to a graduating Intermediate/Senior or Technological Studies teacher candidate.
Margaret Craig Education Award
(Application Required)

This award is be presented annually by the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International Nu Chapter, on the basis of merit and need, to a female student who:

  • is enrolled for full time attendance in the final year* of an approved education program leading to a degree, or diploma (*final-year Concurrent or Consecutive Education teacher candidates);
  • demonstrates outstanding ability as a potential educator.

The deadline to submit your application to the Delta Kappa Gamma Society, Nu Chapter, Scholarship and Awards Committee is December 1. You can find more information and the application on OnQ under BEd >> Awards >> Margaret Craig Education Award

OMLTA Helen G. Mitchell Award

This award is granted annually by the Ontario Modern Language Teachers Association (OMLTA) to honour students graduating from a pre-service Modern Language program in Ontario Faculties of Education. The candidate must exemplify the attributes of a potentially outstanding Classical/FSL/International Language teacher. Nominations must only be submitted by the language instructor at the Faculty of Education; no applications are required from teacher candidates.

Phyliss M. Beatty Memorial Award
(Application Required)
This award will be granted annually by the Ontario Alpha Delta Kappa Lambda Chapter to a female teacher candidate who is graduating from the Faculty of Education at Queen's University, and is a graduate of a high school in the Hastings and Prince Edward District School Board. The deadline to submit your application August 31.

Students currently registered at Queen's University in the Faculty of Education may be nominated for the following graduation awards.

Award Title Description
A. Lorne Cassidy Award Awarded to the graduating student who best displays outstanding talents and interests in the education of exceptional children during their program of study at the Faculty of Education.
Chiltern Way Academy Scholarship The Chiltern Way Academy Scholarship in Exceptional Education is awarded to the graduating student on the basis of academic excellence in Exceptional Education.
L.W. Copp Award Awarded to the student graduating from the Primary-Junior stream with high overall achievement and who demonstrates the qualities of an exemplary primary educator.
Frank J. Fowler Award Awarded to the student graduating from the Primary-Junior stream who best demonstrates the qualities of an exemplary primary educator.
D. E. Loney Prize Awarded to the graduating Technological Education student who has shown the most outstanding qualities of character and scholarship and demonstrated potential as a teacher.
Ontario English Catholic Teachers Association (OECTA) Scholarships Awarded to the graduating student who has demonstrated academic excellence in one or more of the courses preparing candidates to teach in Ontario Roman Catholic Schools: EDST 456, A Study of the Religious Education Program in the Roman Catholic Schools of Ontario; FOUN 416, Catholic Education.
John Deakin Buckley Walton Excellence in Student Teaching Award Awarded to the student graduating in the Intermediate-Secondary stream or Technological Education who has demonstrated excellence in student teaching.
John Watson Award Awarded to the graduating student in the Primary-Junior stream who has demonstrated excellence in student teaching.

Contact Us

For more information regarding admission, please contact Student Services.