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Field Trips

Academic Affairs Division Field Trip Policy
Effective Fall, 2010

Background:As a result of a CSU Off Campus Activities (OCA) Audit conducted in 2009-10, Undergraduate Studies has been instructed to create a field trip policy for the Academic Affairs Division such that current CSU standards of risk management and faculty accountability for student safety are sufficiently addressed and protected. This policy sets for the procedures faculty should follow and the oversight process UGS will follow. The policy is effective for all field trips starting Fall 2010. For further information, contact Undergraduate Studies (4-2447) or the Office of Risk and Compliance (4-2159).

Approved by Dennis Jaehne, AVP of Under Graduate Studies, July 22, 2010

  1. A field trip is an off-campus group learning activity, linked to a scheduled university course, led by a faculty or staff member who supervises the group. This definition does not include off-campus learning activities such as internships, service learning, or extracurricular assignments for students to visit specified sites where a student acts independently of a group excursion. (Internships and service learning are covered by different policies.)
  2. Field trips are part of the university curriculum and must be described in sufficient detail on any course syllabus in which a field trip is held. Field trips should be clearly linked to the student learning outcomes of the course in which they occur and should be assessed for effectiveness in helping students meet those learning outcomes in accordance with the department's assessment plan. Faculty members should identify all required or voluntary field trips in the course syllabus and provide detailed information about date, time, location, means of transportation and any fees for which a participant is responsible. Faculty must consider ADA implications of field trips, and offer reasonable accommodations or an alternative assignment or activity for those who cannot participate in the field trip.
  3. Field trips (along with internships, service learning, study abroad and other potentially hazardous activities) require a dedicated level of attention to safety and risk procedures, depending on the nature of the activity. The Academic Affairs Division has a responsibility to insure that the university curriculum conforms to applicable state, local, and campus policies, including safety and risk management policies. In the context of our responsibility to promote the academic development of our students, SJSU faculty and staff are responsible for ensuring a safe instructional environment for all SJSU students. Faculty and staff have a duty to warn participants of any known hazards at a field trip site. They must exercise reasonable/ordinary care to protect and supervise students while they are participating in a field trip. They must be reasonably prepared to respond to emergencies while on a field trip, as they are on campus.
  4. To ensure an acceptable level of planning and care for students, faculty must comply with the SJSU Risk Management policies and procedures for field trips, found at www.sjsu.edu/hr/docs/risk/policies/field_trip.pdf.
  5. Faculty members are responsible for having students fill out the Student Travel Informed Consent Form (STIC) and for the Faculty Field Trip Sign Off form found at www.sjsu.edu/hr/docs/risk/policies/field_trip.pdf.
  6. The STIC has emergency contact information for each student. Faculty members should leave the original in the department office prior to the field trip and carry two copies on the field trip (one as backup in the care of a participant other than the faculty member). Departments will retain the originals in a field trip file in the department office for one year. Departments should forward the Faculty Sign Off forms to the College office.
  7. College Deans are responsible for insuring that all field trips conducted as part of the college's courses comply with this policy. It is their responsibility to review these forms annually and to follow up with Chairs/Directors and faculty as necessary if compliance issues arise.
  8. Undergraduate Studies has responsibility for ensuring that the university complies with the Risk Management Field Trip policy. To this end, the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies will discuss compliance with the Associate Deans of the colleges at the first Associate Deans meeting of each semester (normally the second Monday of the term: viz., Sept. 13, 2010; Feb. 7, 2011; Sept. 12, 2011; Feb. 6, 2012).
  9. In planning a field trip, faculty should give careful consideration to transportation issues and pay particular attention to Risk Management policies. When field trips are organized so that students meet at the site, the field trip should begin and end at the field trip site. Faculty members should not solicit participants to drive or attempt to arrange any carpools. Direct any transportation questions to the Office of Risk and Compliance (4-2159).
Field Trip Sign-Off Form (pdf)

Academic Affairs Division Field Trip Policy(pdf)