The University of Maine at Farmington’s Alpine Operations Certificate program: Turn your passion for skiing and snowboarding into a career.
Partnering with Maine ski areas, the University of Maine at Farmington’s Alpine Operations Certificate combines a strong on-mountain experience with business and related classes — including a valuable on-mountain internship.
Not a major, not a minor, the Alpine Operations Certificate is open to ALL UMF students — in ANY major: Business Economics, Community Health Ed., Outdoor Rec Business Administration, Secondary Ed., Business Psychology — you name it.
The Alpine Operations Certificate is also open to those not enrolled full-time at UMF: community members, adults, and others.
Designed to get you the core skills for working in the skiing industry, the Alpine Ops Certificate also prepares you to earn PSIA Level 1 certification.
Knowledge, Skills and Hands-on Experience
We asked Maine’s top ski area management what they look for in hire-able and promote-able employees and they told us they spot their best talent in their ski school programs — the skiing and snowboarding instructors who work closely with their customers of all ages: children, teens and adults.
Hearing that, we built our Alpine Operations Certificate on the ski school model. Farmington’s Titcomb Mountain (just 7 minutes from campus — you can see it from the windows of our Scott Hall residence hall) will serve as your on-hill learning lab.
There, you’ll be heavily involved in running Titcomb’s successful UMF Snowcats children’s learn-to-ski program. And you’ll also teach young adults, fellow UMF students and others to ski and snowboard.
Of course, Sugarloaf, Sunday River and Saddleback will also be part of your Big Mountain experience — and likely where you’ll do your required internship.
Bringing Mountain Experts (Industry Contacts) Into Your Classroom
The Alpine Ops Certificate program will not only bring you to the mountains — it brings the mountains to you. You’ll have industry experts from Sugarloaf, Sunday River, Copper Mountain (CO), Ski Maine, Winterstick Snowboards, Mountain Force Apparel, and others come to your UMF classes as frequent guest speakers.
You’ll get some serious knowledge and make some serious industry contacts.
Shakespeare in the Morning Sugarloaf or Sunday River by Noon
Located at the gateway to world-class skiing and snowboarding, Farmington is the perfect location if you’re into the active outdoor lifestyle. With Sugarloaf and Sunday River in our backyard, we’ve got two amazing, world-class ski resorts just a quick drive from campus.
In fact, if you’ve skied Sugarloaf, you’ve probably driven right through our campus. Seriously, where else can you take a Business Psych class in the morning and crush fresh pow by lunchtime?
Get Your Shred On — FREE
All full-time UMF students can ski or snowboard for FREE at Farmington’s Titcomb Mountain. Thanks to a generous donation from Sunday River and Sugarloaf ski resorts, you can get a free season pass to Titcomb Mountain — just 7 minutes from campus.
Titcomb has daytime and nighttime alpine and Nordic skiing and snowboarding. Plus a cozy fireside lodge, a snack bar, a decent terrain park and massive outdoors fire pit — again, just 7 minutes from campus.
And all full-time UMF students can also get FREE skiing and snowboarding lessons at Titcomb, too. The free lessons include a 7-week program at Titcomb followed by 1 big mountain experience at either Sunday River or Sugarloaf. And guess who the instructors will be? Alpine Ops students (you)!
UMF offers men’s and women’s intercollegiate Alpine ski racing, Nordic racing and Snowboardcross and Slopestyle through the United States Collegiate Ski & Snowboard Association (USCSA). Sugarloaf and Titcomb Mountain our home training mountains.
We also have a student-led Farmington Outing Club, and student leadership opportunities through our Mainely Outdoors adventure program — a year-round program designed to help UMF students and community members of all abilities take advantage of our region’s amazing outdoor activities: hiking, snowshoeing, kayaking, camping, mountain biking, Nordic skiing, canoeing, geo-caching, and more.
What Courses Might You Take in The Alpine Operations Certificate Program?SKI 120 Orientation to Alpine Operations
BUS 130 Introduction to Commercial Recreation for Alpine Operations
SKI 122 Theory of Ski Instruction
SKI 124 Ski Instruction - Children (PSIA - Children - Level 1)
SKI 125 Ski Instruction - Adults (PSIA - Adults - Level 1)
BUS 277 Special Topics in Business - Alpine Operations
BUS 396 / SKI 396 Internships