"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
Margaret Mead

Risk Management Requirements

All faculty teaching courses in which students are asked to participate in service or civic learning, class-related volunteering, or classroom observation activities must make sure that a current Student Placement Agreement (pdf) between the University and the host organization is in effect.  This can be accomplished simply by contacting the Director of Civic Engagement, Dr. Michael Briand, at 898-5486 or mbriand@csuchico.edu

The University has purchased insurance policies that provide general and professional liability coverage for students placed with non-university organizations and agencies for academic credit.  These insurance policies provide coverage only if a written agreement with the non-university agency is in place.  All off-campus placements of students with non-university organizations and agencies for academic credit require that a Student Placement Agreement between the University and the non-university agency be in effect. 

Note: 

1.  It is especially important to manage risk when Chico State students work with community organizations and government agencies where they may encounter children or members of other “vulnerable populations.”  A prime example is the Chico Unified School District (CUSD).  Although a Student Placement Agreement with the CUSD is currently in place, the University does not have similar agreements with most other school districts.  Please consult the Office of Civic Engagement if you are considering placement of students in the schools of other districts. 

2.  In addition to ensuring that a current Student Placement Agreement exists, students who may come into contact with minors or other vulnerable populations must be screened (“cleared”) by staff at CAVE, which has instituted procedures that address potential risk-related issues.

The Clearance Process

In their course syllabi, faculty should note the requirement that CAVE conduct a clearance process for every student before he or she is placed at a service or civic learning site.  Faculty must provide CAVE staff with a course syllabus by Friday of the first week of the semester.  

At the beginning of the semester, CAVE will communicate with faculty to discuss how to best assist in placing students from different disciplines.  Faculty participation in these meetings is essential for facilitating appropriate placement of students in a timely and efficient manner.

(Note:  Before engaging in activities at any school in the Chico Unified School District, students are required to meet the Volunteer Site Liaison for that site to present a CAVE Clearance Form signed by a member of the CAVE career staff.) 

Clearance Components:  The CAVE Clearance Form will attest that a student has:

  • completed an appropriate CAVE Application.
  • completed a Personal & Professional Fitness Form, with written explanations as required.
  • completed a CSU, Chico Assumption of Risk and Release of Liability form.
  • completed additional forms that may be required by CUSD.
  • provided a letter of recommendation, or three references, from a professional source other than the course instructor for this service learning or volunteer activity.
  • provided documentation of a clear TB test (tests are valid for up to two years).
  • attended a pre-service orientation session with CAVE staff to learn about expectations in their role as a service learning or volunteer student.

       ► The CAVE clearance process does not include a criminal background check.  As a result, the CAVE clearance process will not authorize CSU, Chico students to engage in activities on the school district sites that leave them alone with school pupils.  CSU, Chico service learning, class-related volunteering, and observer students must be under direct supervision of school personnel at all times.

       ► A CAVE clearance is required when a student secures his or her own placement at a CUSD site.

       ► A CAVE clearance is required as well for service learning, class-related volunteering, and observation placements at other local school districts.

       ► CAVE will make instructions for clearance, including all necessary paperwork available prior to the beginning of the semester. 

Deadline:  The deadline for submission by students of CAVE clearance paperwork is the University census date, unless an earlier deadline is arranged by the faculty member.  Typically, CAVE staff will complete clearance paperwork within two weeks of submission and will inform faculty if individual circumstances prevent a more timely completion.  It is the faculty member’s responsibility to monitor students’ progress toward obtaining the documentation required for  CAVE clearance.  Once the clearance process is completed, a student will receive three (3) copies of the signed CAVE Clearance Form—one for the faculty member, one for the Site Liaison at the student’s placement location, and one for the student’s personal records. 

Placements Other than those for Service-learning, Class-related volunteering, and Classroom Observation

 Student placements that are more accurately described as a “preceptorship,” an “internship,” a “practicum,” or a “clinical experience” are not covered by the Student Placement Agreement used for placing students with the CUSD and other community organizations, government agencies, etc. for service-learning, class-related volunteering, and classroom observation activities.  Faculty should contact Procurement and Contract Services to initiate placement agreements for nursing students, and the Career Center to initiate internship agreements.