Learn by Doing" educational programs, field trips can provide essential, real life
contact with instructional and experiential subjects, increasing the value of the
learning experience overall. It is impossible to eliminate all risks entirely. However,
advanced planning can help minimize exposures. The following information is designed
to be a guide to assist Cal Maritime faculty and staff in making a reasonable effort
to ensure a safe educational experience for the students participating in the activity.
Field trips include required activities outside the regularly scheduled class room/laboratory
environment led by the faculty and/or university staff. Field activities include travel
related to participation in university programs such as professional societies, student
affairs student programs, intercollegiate athletic competitions, judging competitions,
- Activities such as observation, measurement, instruction, collecting, capturing; project
activities such as building, teaching, removing; presentations, participation in conferences,
competitions, etc. may be included.
- Field trips can be single or repeated to one site or many within a course or participation
in a program
- Participants include: enrolled students (undergraduate and graduate), employees (faculty,
staff, student and teaching assistants), Identified University Volunteers.
- Participants' and Employees': parents, partners, spouses, siblings, children who are
not enrolled university students or employees, (and pets) are not authorized to participate
in University field trips.
Planning and preparation are essential components of field activities and the management
of risks to the students, teachers, support staff and other participants. The following
questions are intended to focus attention on managing common and uncommon risks related
to field activities.
- Is this field activity the best alternative for the students and the educational objective?
Are there other activities and/or methods that would provide the desired learning
experience with less risk?
- Can travel time and distance be minimized to reduce risk. Can field trip time be scheduled
to avoid interference with other regularly scheduled university courses.
- Does the leader of the field trip have either direct or indirect knowledge of the
specific destination, area, activities and resources to be able to guide, lead, direct
and supervise the field trip and the student participation; including in a crisis
and non-crisis situation?
- Have students been notified in advance of the field trip? [Course description in the
catalog and/or notification provided at first course meeting] Is/are field trips included
in the approved Course Description?
- Is there an alternative activity or assignment that student can complete for the same
credit if they cannot participate in the field trip?
- Have you determined if there are special needs of the participants and how you will
accommodate those needs?
- Have you provided a written detailed instructional and support plan for the field
trip? [educational objectives, observations, activities, assignments as well as date,
time, location, transportation, support services, emergencies, etc.]
- Have you designated and defined "Field Trip Time" and "Free Time" for this activity?
[students meeting you at the site?, everyone traveling together?, people responsible
for their own support – food, shelter, etc.]
- Do you have an "alternative" destination(s) and or activity(ies). Is there a designated
contact point for participants to call for change in plans?
- Have you provided written information and training for materials, equipment, activities
that participants will be using related to the field trip?
- Have you provided written information and training for REASONABLY FORSEEABLE hazards
involved with activities related to the field trip? [crime, strenuous physical activities,
falling hazards, dangerous animals, poisonous plants, etc.]
- Have you informed the participants in writing of requirements for personal protective
equipment [hard hat, safety glasses, long sleeves, long pants, boots, etc.] and/or
advised personal supplies [sun block, sun glasses, hat, insect repellant, water, food,
- Have you informed participants in writing of permissible conduct rules (destination,
area, CSU, and Cal Maritime) and consequences for inappropriate behavior?
- Have you provided in writing, emergency response action plans and emergency phone
numbers and contacts?
- Do you and/or other leaders and/or participants have current American Red Cross or
equivalent CPR and First Aid certification?
- Will a first aid kit with materials appropriate to level of skills of the leaders
and participants be available during the field trip? Has the kit been recently inspected
and restocked as necessary?
Important Things to Know Before You Go
- How will you respond to hospitalization for injury or illness; rape, sexual assault,
or physical assault; crime; severe psychological problems; or civil unrest, terrorist
attacks, or outbreak of war.
- Know how to seek appropriate medical care (medical emergency) or a safe location.
- Notify the Cal Maritime Risk Management office and your department of your location
- Travel leaders should not make direct, initial contact with family members without
- When possible, students should communicate with their parents when emergencies arise.
- Do not presume that a student's parents are the listed emergency contact.
- Travel leaders should contact their department if a student is ill or injured, even
if it's not an emergency, so the department and University are not caught off guard
if contacted by parents.
- If a student is ill or injured abroad, the student should be encouraged to inform
their parents, but this disclosure is ultimately up to the student.
- Travel leaders may choose to inform emergency contacts about a potential emergency
abroad without the student's express permission, if the student is unable to speak
for him or herself; the student has been missing for more than 24 hours; the student
is perceived to be a danger to themselves or others; or when a significant health,
safety, or security incident has occurred that affects the entire program.
It is recommended that students provide their own transportation to and from field
trip sites whenever possible. Alternatives are listed below in order of increasing
risk to the University.
- Commercial Transportation - contact Contracts & Procurement to arrange for buses,
ships, airplanes, etc.
- Car pools may be organized, however: all drivers must be state employees or identified
University Volunteers and must be authorized to drive vehicles on University (state)
business. Use of personal vehicles on University business requires additional authorization.
CSU Executive Order 590 and A&F Policy require the execution of a "release and hold
harmless statement" by each student who participates in CSU - sponsored student air
travel and/or air travel required in a CSU - affiliated program. Students traveling
by air on flights not regulated by the U.S. Department of Transportation are required
to purchase life and personal injury insurance.
Contact Risk Management for assistance.
Voluntary field trips offered by the University shall include the execution of a University
Activity Release Agreement.
The form and language has been reviewed and approved by University Legal Counsel and
University Risk Management for use in University classes and program which include
required out of class room activities. For example: field trips, internships, service
learning, student teaching, observation, etc.. Effectively implemented, this form
will briefly notify students of planned out of classroom activities; logistical issues
and arrangements; identified conditions and risks; and transfer the responsibility
for managing risk to the student. Additional specific information prior to the actual
out of classroom activity is essential to effectively define the responsibilities
of the University and the student, and must also be provided.
Specific language and general format are not to be altered without consultation with
University Risk Management.
- Copy form onto new document. (it is write protected)
- Form should be produced on department, university letterhead (first page) additional
pages must be physically attached if provided in paper form.
- Provide course and section if a class; provide title of class or program; indicate academic term; provide name of faculty and/or program leader.
- Provide name/title of activity.
- Cite regulatory requirement for the activity, if any.
- Identify if an alternative assignment is available and who to contact.
- Provide specific: start and end Dates, Times, Destination, Activity.
- Indicate if there are fees and expenses that the student will be required to pay.
- Indicate if: transportation, lodging, food, equipment, etc., are required and if the student or the University is responsible for services.
- Indicate expected environmental conditions for both travel and destination.
- Identify any specific risks, in addition to bodily injury, damage to property, liability to others and or damage
to property of others.
- Completed form is to be provided to students on their first day of class.
- Student is to print their name, sign and date the form and return to faculty/leader
who will establish a file within the department where the documents shall remain until
the fourth academic year following the specific class or program.
- If a student refuses to sign the form, print their name on the form and indicate in
the signature area that they received a copy, date the form and retain.
Through developing detailed travel plans in advance risks can be mitigated. In order
to ensure the health and safety of participating faculty, staff, and students, travel
coordinators shall conduct a hazard assessment to identify and address the risks associated
with travel to foreign countries in advance, especially when traveling to remote areas.
This section serves as an at a glance resource guide that can be used by departments
to aid with planning and the coordination of travel to foreign countries.
Travel Check list:
The travel planning process should include the identification of potential health
and security risks involved in travel to foreign countries, the measures that can
be taken to avoid them, and advance planning on how to respond to emergencies if and
when they occur.
Identify potential travel risks and security risks, how to reduce or avoid them, and
how to respond to emergencies when they occur.
- Agree on an emergency communications plan; consider establishing a "buddy system."
- Agree on guidelines for handling emergencies and contacting parents and family members.
- Make certain that all participants register for travel insurance.
- Know how to contact local law enforcement authorities.
- Transportation from one site to another.
- Know how to contact the local US Embassy/Consulate.
Use online Travel resources to get real-time intelligence, notices, and alerts about
political unrest, natural disasters, and health warnings as well as information about
required immunizations, entry/exit, safety and security, transportation, weather,
- Review the California State University Risk Management (CSURMA) High Hazard & War
Risk Country list
- Review State Department information sheets and travel warnings and discuss with participants
to identify potential travel risks and emergencies that may arise.
- Review the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for vaccinations and other health hazards
associated with the proposed country for travel.
What is STEP?
- The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service to allow U.S. citizens
and nationals traveling and living abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S.
Embassy or Consulate
Benefits of Enrolling in STEP
- Receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination
country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans.
- Help the U.S. Embassy contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil
unrest, or family emergency.
- Help family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency
Quick Link: https://step.state.gov/step/
Cal Maritime utilizes collaborative approach to assist and coordinate emergency action
as required, including notifying the State Department or local authorities. This
includes, but is not limited to the utilization of Cal Maritime Police 24/7 dispatch,
the Travel Insurance provider and Cal Maritime Risk Management.
- Departments can ask participants to provide information on the Emergency Information
& Contacts form about who should be contacted in the event of an emergency and who
their insurance carrier is.
- The form also offers the participant the opportunity to advise the trip organizers
of any allergies, dietary restrictions, or other conditions they have and any medications
they may be required to take. It is important to review this information and to understand
what, if anything, it will require of the employees leading the activity. If travel
is to remote areas where certain vaccinations or immunizations are advisable, departments
can ask the participant to show proof that they have gotten them. All this information
is confidential and should only be shared with people who have a need to know.
- The employee leading the trip should take the Emergency Information & Contacts form
with them in case a participant is injured. If the completed Emergency Information
& Contacts form is not needed, the campus department should destroy it when the trip
is over. If the completed Emergency Information & Contacts form is used for one reason
or another, it should be retained for three years after the trip is over. If the department
has had to rely on the form, the hard copy must be retained.
Prior to departure it may be useful to conduct an orientation meeting with attendance
required for all participants. Review administrative matters and important information:
contacts and addresses, including consulate contacts, clothing, transportation, lodging,
local customs, money, personal health and safety, required documents, use of credit,
telephones, communications, medical issues, required vaccinations, etc. Provide information
specific to living in the destination country. Provide materials such as maps, practical
living information, guidebooks and handbooks, links to relevant websites, including
the State Department website.