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 poor risks. The site visit should be documented and retained by the sponsoring department. 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.
  • Conduct a pre-departure orientation to provide students with an Instructional Agenda, Health and Safety Information Emergency Procedures and the Student Code of Conduct, prior to the trip.

    • Examples of Health and Safety Information are: Situational awareness, travel in groups, appropriate use of personal protective equipment, appropriate attire including footwear, hydration, use of sunscreen.

    • Components of Emergency Procedures should include: Instructions to contact 911 in all cases of serious injury or illness, identification of nearest medical facilities, notification to the Office of Risk Management and Academic or Administrative Department Head and assigning an alternate trip leader in the event the faculty or current trip leader becomes incapacitated.

  • Complete a Request for Field Trip or On/Off Campus Activity form (paper form or electronically) and submit to Risk Management at least 10 days prior to trip. For more information, click here

  • Ensure that all participants have signed the required Waiver of Liability form prior to departure. Copies od signed Waivers, Emergency Contact Information and any instructional agenda must be retained by the department for a period of one year after the conclusion of the semester during which the field trip took place, per EO 1062. There is no need to retain copies of signed waivers when utilizing the electronic waiver program, unless students sign a printed, hard copy.

  • Ensure student emergency contact information is obtained for all field trips. Copies of emergency contact information should be retained by the faculty or staff leading the trip for one year after the trip ends.

  • For Field Trips with durations lasting more than one day, submit copies of the trip roster and itinerary 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 and cell phone number (if applicable) appear at the top of the roster and itinerary.

  • 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.

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.


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

While students are always welcome to take DDT, 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 or visit our Travel  website.

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.

 Advise Students of Risk

Discuss with your students the nature of the activities during 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. Contact the Accessibility Resource Center at ext. 5959 for assistance.

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 Accounts Payable to complete the necessary paperwork required for your travel. Refer to CSU Executive Order 1041.

Foreign Travel-Please consider the following:

  • All international travel involving students must be submitted to the Study Abroad Committee for review. Please visit the Study Abroad website for more information.
  • 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 Insurance 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.
**For additional information, please see the FAQ page of this website**