Field Trip Guidelines

Field Trips can increase the value of instructional and educational learning experiences. They can they can also present risks to the student, faculty and the University. The following Field Trip Guidelines have been developed to minimize risk without jeopardizing the learning experience.

  • Field trips include required and voluntary activities outside the regularly scheduled classroom/laboratory environment arranged and led by the faculty and/or university staff.
  • Activities such as observation, measurement, instruction, collecting, and capturing may be included.
  • Activities such as presentations, participation or attendance in conferences, competitions, etc. may be included.
  • Field trips can be a single day event or repeated to one site many times within a course or participation in a program.
  • Field trip participants include enrolled students (undergraduate and graduate), employees, students and identified university volunteers.
  • Field trip participants’ and employees’ parents, partners, spouses, pets, siblings or children who are not enrolled university students or university employees are not authorized to participate in university field trips.

Of critical importance is the recognition by the faculty or staff member leading the field trip that they are the point of contact between the University and the student in an environment significantly different from conditions in the on-campus classroom. The following guidelines have been developed and are intended to focus attention on managing common and uncommon risks related to field activities.

  • Select the area where the class is to be held. The faculty or instructor should visit the general area prior to the field trip or otherwise have sufficient knowledge of the area.
  • When selecting an area where the class is to be held, consider travel time and distance from campus. Schedule the field trip time to avoid interference with other regularly scheduled university courses.
  • Consider an alternative activity or assignment that students can complete for the same credit if they cannot participate in the field trip.
  • Determine if there are special needs of the participants and how those needs can be accommodated.
  • Provide written information and training for materials, equipment, activities that participants will be using related to the field trip.
  • Provide written information and training for reasonably foreseeable hazards involved with the activities related to the field trip such as crime, strenuous physical activities, falling hazards, dangerous animals, poisonous plants, etc.
  • Have a first aid kit with materials appropriate for the activity available during the field trip. Ensure that the first aid kit has been recently inspected and restocked as necessary.
  • Consider maintaining American Red Cross or equivalent CPR and First Aid certification.
  • Inform the participants, in writing, of the personal protective equipment and supplies that may be required or recommended to properly and safely participate in the field trip activities. This equipment may include hard hat, safety glasses, long sleeves, long pants, boots, sun block, sun glasses, hat, insect repellant, water, etc.
  • Notify participants in writing of the codes of conduct addressing such issues as fraternizing, drugs, alcohol, etc. and advise participants of the consequences of non-compliance and take appropriate action when aware that participants are in violation of the codes of conduct.
  • Provide, in writing, emergency response action plans and emergency contact name and phone numbers for each participant.