Academic Field Trips & Off-Campus Activities

Academic Field Trips and Off-Campus Activities

CSU Executive Order 1062 establishes minimum standards for a campus field trips and delegates responsibility for implementation to the campus president. The executive order defines a field trip as a university course-related, off-campus activity led by a faculty or staff member and designed to serve educational purposes. A field trip would include the gathering of data for research (such as at a geological or archaeological site), museum visit, participation in a conference or competition, or visits to an event or place of interest. The duration of a field trip may be a class period or longer, and could extend over multiple days. This definition does not apply to activities or placements in the context of a teacher preparation program, intercollegiate sports, or service-learning placements, all of which are governed under separate policy.

Off-Campus Activities Policies and Procedures (Local, Out-of-State, and International)

Faculty and/ or staff leading students on a University related field trip or Off-Campus activity must complete the following steps:

  • Conduct a pre-trip evaluation. This can be done by conducting a site visit to become familiar with the site and to identify any potential hazards or risks. The site visit should be documented and retained by the sponsoring department - See appendix A for site visit template. A site visit can be bypassed if the faculty member can demonstrate and document sufficient knowledge of the field trip site. This could be accomplished by review online, published materials, or contacting the site to discuss proposed activities and potential hazards.

  • Complete a Request for Field Trip or On/Off Campus Activity form (paper form or electronically) and submit to Risk Management at least 5 days prior to trip. See http://www.csuchico.edu/risk/waiverprogram.shtml

  • Ensure that all participants have signed the required Waiver of Liability form prior to departure.

  • Ensure student emergency contact information is obtained prior to the field trip. Copies of emergency contact information should be retained by the faculty or staff leading the trip.

  • Submit copies of the trip roster, itinerary and emergency contact information to Risk Management. Copies should also be retained by the department sponsoring the trip. Please ensure that the date of the trip, location, course and the faculty member's name & cell phone number (if applicable) appear at the top of the roster and Itinerary.

  • Provide students with an instructional agenda, health and safety information, emergency procedures, and the student code of conduct, prior to the field trip.

  • Include a plan to accommodate students with special needs.

  • Provide training for any equipment that may be used on the activity.

  • Provide for an alternate assignment for students unwilling to accept the risk of participation.

  • Comply with the California State University Use of University and Private Vehicles Policy Guidelines and the California State University student travel policy, where applicable. See Executive Order 1041.

  • In addition to the above requirements, it is strongly recommended that faculty and/ or staff leading students: 

    • Take a first-aid kit appropriate for the possible injury risks.

    • Take a cell phone, but avoid using it while driving, even with a handsfree set.

    • Identify participants with specialized training such as CPR, first aid, EMT, etc.

    • Establish a contact in the area(s) to be visited (name and telephone number) in event of an emergency.

Students traveling near other California State University campuses should be aware that Executive Order 943 states,"students eligible for basic services at one CSU campus Student Health Center shall be eligible for basic services provided by other CSU campuses at no additional charge."

Student Drivers

Students driving to and from a University related event (i.e. field trips, seminars...) do not need to be made a volunteer employee, take Defensive Driver Training (DDT), or complete a Travel Request form unless:

  • The student has  been designated by faculty or staff to drive their personally owned vehicle on behalf of the University.

          OR

  • The student will drive a University owned or leased vehicle (includes rental vehicles).

While students are always welcome to take DDT, and are encouraged to do so, they are not required to unless the above conditions apply.

When discussing field trips or off campus events with students, faculty/staff should play no role in arranging student transportation unless the University will provide transportation (i.e. University bus, chartered bus, rented vehicles, faculty/staff driving their personally owned vehicle and taking students).

Please note that reimbursement of travel expenses alone does not constitute a need to make the student a volunteer employee. For additional information please see the student travel reimbursement guide: http://www.csuchico.edu/ao/documents/travel/Student%20Travel%20Reimbursement.pdf.

Occasionally student employees are asked to drive on behalf of the University. Even though the student is an employee, they will still need to be made a volunteer employee, take DDT and complete a Travel Request form if driving for a specific trip or event does not fall within the course and scope of their student employment.

Please contact the Office of Risk Management at ext .6588 if you have any questions regarding student travel.

Foreign Travel-Please consider the following:

  • Review country specific information at The US Department of State International Travel website. Executive Order 998 states that international programs must not operate in countries where there is a U.S. Department "Travel Warning" without the approval of the Chancellor.
  • Please review EO 998 which states all CSU Study Abroad Programs must consider the health, safety, and security of students, staff and faculty as a central feature of planning and operation and must require students to carry medical insurance that will be valid in the host country(ies). Foreign Travel Insurnace can be secured through Risk Management. For details, visit CSU, Chico Insurance link on our website.
  • All employees travelling internationally on University business are required to secure the foreign travel insurance available through California State University Risk Management Authority (CSURMA). Please contact Risk Management for any questions and to secure foreign travel insurance.
  • For information regarding International Study and Study Abroad, please refer to the guidelines for International Programs.

 Advise Students of Risk

Discuss with your students the nature of the activities durning the field trip, include any inherent hazards, strenuous activity, or unusual activity that might take place. Invite students to apprise you in advance of any special accommodations or medical conditions that may need to be addressed to help ensure a successful trip for them.

Students needing special accommodations or precautions typically know best what those should be and you will know best if you can oblige. However, i fthe accommodations or precautions is something you could do but wouldn't be comfortable doing - performing a medical procedure or the like - your're encouraged to contact the campus Disability Support Services office for advice.

Authorized Participants

Allow only CSU, Chico faculty, staff, volunteer employees, and students to participate in your field trip. The minimal protection that accrues to each of these participants is not afforded to family members or students from other institutions.

Travel Documentation

Contact Travel services to complete the necessary paperwork required for your travel. Information on Travel Services can be found at http://www.csuchico.edu/ao/travel.

Refer to CSU Executive Order 1041.