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Regardless of the destination or time away from campus, study-travel experiences contribute to students’ academic growth and often provide life-long memories. In general, McPherson College categorizes study-travel experiences in one of three ways:

  1. International study-travel experiences
  2. Domestic study-travel experiences (under McPherson College’s insurance policy, domestic travel is defined as anywhere in the 50 United States, plus Canada and Puerto Rico)
  3. Local study-travel experiences, usually field trips of no more than a day in length

The following guidelines apply to study-travel experiences sponsored by faculty, including, but not limited to, travel courses, deputations, ensemble tours, student club and organization trips, alumni tours, service projects, and field trips. Travel for intercollegiate competition or off-campus practices is governed by athletic travel guidelines.

611.1 International Study-Travel Experiences

International travel includes all travel outside the 50 states, with the exception of travel to Canada and Puerto Rico. Faculty sponsors of such travel experiences are required to see that all relevant procedures in this section are followed.

611.1.1 Permission Procedures

Before international study-travel experiences can be announced or advertised, the faculty sponsor(s) must complete the following procedures:

  • To assure liability coverage for international travel, sponsors must submit to the chief financial officer the following information no later than February 1 preceding the academic year in which the travel is projected:
    • the potential countries to be visited
    • an estimated number of students, faculty, and chaperones
    • an estimated length of the travel experience.

Faculty sponsors should submit this information even if they are unsure the travel experience will actually materialize as the college cannot insure a trip after the insurance contract for the academic year is finalized.

  • Travel courses for credit must be approved through normal faculty procedures. The chief academic officer can also approve courses on a one-time pilot basis only.
  • A tentative itinerary and a realistic budget, including the estimated cost for students, must be submitted to the chief financial officer. Only after the CFO approves the budget and appropriate arrangements have been made with the Business Office may the trip be promoted.

611.1.2 Preparing for the International Study-Travel Experience

Prior to embarking on the international study-travel experience, the faculty sponsor(s) should see that the following have been secured:

  • At least one faculty member or responsible adult chaperone in addition to the sponsoring faculty member must accompany every international travel experience. This second responsible adult should be prepared to stay with a student who becomes seriously ill or injured while the group continues its travels. It will often be helpful if one of the adults assuming responsibilities is male and the other is female, but this is not required.
  • The list of trip participants and their emergency contact information has been gathered on the McPherson College Travel Form and submitted along with the final itinerary to the Academic Affairs office at least a week before travel begins.
  • The faculty sponsor has verified through the administrative assistant in the VPAA’s office that each trip participant has a signed Release of Liability Waiver on file in the Academic Affairs office. Most students will sign the waiver during check-in at the beginning of the academic year. If the student’s waiver is not on file, the student will have to complete one in order to travel with the group.
  • If students will receive academic credit for the experience, a copy of the class syllabus should also be submitted to the Academic Affairs office.

For detailed suggestions and guidelines for planning the international study-travel experience, faculty should consult Appendix __, Planning Effective Study-Travel Experiences. Questions or concerns regarding travel liability should be directed to the chief financial officer.

611.1.3 International Travel Guidelines

In case of a significant illness or injury to a trip participant, the faculty sponsor should seek appropriate medical care at a health care facility within that country. The emergency contact provided by the student should be informed as soon as possible as well as the college’s chief financial officer and/or chief academic officer. Should the situation demand, one of the faculty members or accompanying chaperones should be prepared to stay on location with the affected traveler while the group moves on in keeping with its itinerary.

All institutional policies, including the policies regarding alcohol, drugs, and harassment, remain in place on international trips. Students who violate the college’s code of conduct should be confronted by the faculty sponsor. In case of non-compliance, the professor has the right to return the student to the U.S. Upon return to campus, the sponsor may use discretion in determining whether to report the misconduct to Student Services for further action.

611.1.4 Rental Vehicle Policy

The faculty member or employee renting a vehicle outside the United States (except Canada and Puerto Rico) must have been approved as a college driver as explained in Administrative Policy ADM 315. In addition, the approved college driver must meet all applicable laws in the country where the vehicle will be operated. At the time of finalizing the rental, the faculty sponsor must purchase the Collision Damage Waiver offered by the rental agency. Vehicles are limited to 15-passenger vans, minivans, compact to full-size cars. Students are not allowed to operate a rented vehicle outside the United States.

Every accident, with or without injuries or property damage, needs to be reported immediately to the local police, the rental agency, and to the college’s CFO.

FAC 611.2 Domestic Study-Travel Experiences

Domestic travel includes all travel within the 50 United States, as well as travel to Canada and Puerto Rico. Faculty sponsors of domestic travel experiences are required to see that all relevant procedures in this section are followed.

611.2.1 Permission Procedures

Before domestic study-travel experiences can be announced or advertised, the faculty sponsor(s) must complete the following procedures:

  • Travel courses for credit must be approved through normal faculty procedures. The chief academic officer can also approve courses on a one-time pilot basis only.
  • A tentative itinerary and a realistic budget, including the estimated cost for students, must be submitted to the chief financial officer. Only after the CFO approves the budget and appropriate arrangements have been made with the Business Office may the trip be promoted.

611.2.2 Preparing for the Domestic Study-Travel Experience

Prior to embarking on a domestic study-travel experience, the faculty sponsor(s) should see that the following have been completed:

  • The faculty sponsor should consider whether at least one faculty member or responsible adult chaperone in addition to the sponsoring faculty member should accompany the group. This second responsible adult would need to be prepared to stay with a student who becomes seriously ill or injured while the group continues its travels. It will often be helpful if one of the adults assuming responsibilities is male and the other is female, but this is not required.
  • The list of trip participants and their emergency contact information has been gathered on the McPherson College Travel Form and submitted along with the final itinerary to the Academic Affairs office at least a week before travel begins.
  • The faculty sponsor has verified through the administrative assistant in the VPAA’s office that each trip participant has a signed Release of Liability Waiver on file in the Academic Affairs office. Most students will sign the waiver during check-in at the beginning of the academic year. If the student’s waiver is not on file, the student will have to complete one in order to travel with the group.
  • Copies of the above forms, plus a final itinerary, are submitted to the Academic Affairs office at least a week before travel begins. If students will be receiving academic credit for the experience, a copy of the syllabus should be included.

For detailed suggestions and guidelines for planning domestic study-travel experience, faculty should consult Appendix __, Planning Effective Study-Travel Experiences. Questions or concerns regarding travel liability should be directed to the chief financial officer.

611.2.3 Travel Guidelines

In case of a significant illness or injury to a trip participant, the faculty sponsor should seek appropriate medical care for the participant at a health care facility. The emergency contact provided by the student should be informed as soon as possible as well as the college’s chief financial officer and/or chief academic officer. Should the situation demand, one of the faculty members or accompanying chaperones should be prepared to stay on location with the affected traveler while the group moves on in keeping with its itinerary.

All institutional policies, including the policies regarding alcohol, drugs, and harassment, remain in place on domestic trips. Students who violate the college’s code of conduct should be confronted by the faculty sponsor. In case of non-compliance, the professor has the right to return the student to campus. Upon return to campus, the sponsor may use discretion in determining whether to report the misconduct to Student Services for further action.

611.2.4 Rental Vehicle Policy

The faculty member or employee renting a vehicle must be an approved college driver as explained in Administrative Policy ADM 315. Faculty sponsors of domestic travel do not need to purchase the Collision Damage Waiver offered by the rental agency. Vehicles are limited to 15-passenger vans, minivans, compact to full-size cars. In cases when students are driving, refer the “Student Driving (Undergraduate and Graduate Students)” section in ADM 315.

Every accident, with or without injuries or property damage, needs to be reported immediately to the local police, the rental agency, and to the college’s CFO.

Faculty wishing to charter a bus for a domestic travel-study experience should consult Bus Chartering Procedures in Administrative Policy ADM 315.

FAC 611.3 Local Study-Travel Experiences

Local travel includes those class field trips ranging from an hour or two to a full day away from campus. Any organized trip taken with students for the purpose of class or co-curricular activities or events that returns students to campus without an overnight stop is considered “local travel.”

611.3.1 Preparing for Local Study-Travel Experiences

Class field trips and other local travel experiences do not require permission of the CFO or CAO, but faculty planning such trips should consider the college’s activities calendar to avoid setting a date that creates conflicts for students. If at all possible, faculty should include the date of field experiences in the course syllabus.

If students participating in the field experience will miss other classes that day, the faculty member should notify the faculty at large of the event and the students that will be participating at least 48 hours prior to students’ absences. Students are responsible for making appropriate arrangements with their other professors, recognizing that the field experience may or may not be an excused absence by that instructor.

The faculty sponsor should verify through the administrative assistant in the VPAA’s office that each trip participant has a signed Release of Liability Waiver on file in the Academic Affairs office. Most students will sign the waiver during check-in at the beginning of the academic year. If the student’s waiver is not on file, the student will have to complete one in order to travel with the group.

At least 48 hours before the local travel begins, the faculty sponsor should submit a description of the event, the anticipated departure and return times, and a list of trip participants to the Academic Affairs office.

611.3.2 Transportation for Local Study-Travel Experiences

Transportation for local travel typically consists of one of three options: the use of college-owned or rented vehicles, the use of employee-owned vehicles, and/or the use of student-vehicles.

  • College-Owned or Rented Vehicles. The college typically owns or leases a number of vans capable of carrying 15-25 passengers. These college vehicles are reserved primarily for transporting student-athletes to away contests, but they are often available for class or organization field trips. Depending upon staffing and organization of duties, the scheduling of these vehicles is managed either by the Athletic Director’s office or by Facilities Management. When planning a field trip for a large number of students, check on the availability of these vehicles first. Departments can expect to be charged for expenses associated with the use of college-owned or rented vehicles. If they are booked, Facilities Management can assist with renting a vehicle appropriate for the size of your group.Only McPherson College faculty, staff, students or volunteers who have an acceptable Motor Vehicle Record, the appropriate license for the vehicle to be used, and who have been approved by Facilities Management can operate a college-owned or rented vehicle. Those who want to be approved as drivers must have undergone a MVR check through the Human Resources office while at McPherson College and driving instruction through Facilities Management. In cases when students are driving, refer the “Student Driving (Undergraduate and Graduate Students)” section in ADM 315.
  • Employee-Owned Vehicles. Faculty who have cleared a Moving Vehicle Record check through the Human Resources office may use their personal vehicles to transport students. In case of an injury accident, the employee’s personal liability coverage is primary. The college’s insurance does provide extended liability beyond the employee’s coverage, but not for property damage.
  • Student-owned Vehicles. Under the law, students who drive themselves and others on college-sponsored field trips are considered commuters. A student’s personal insurance is primary for both liability and collision. The college’s insurance provides no extended coverage for student drivers. Students driving their own vehicles to a field experience or event do not have to undergo a MVR check. The liability waiver that students sign at the beginning of the year will ask students to confirm their awareness that their insurance is primary in an instance where they are using their personal automobile for college-sponsored travel.

611.3.3 Local Travel Guidelines

In case of illness or injury to a participant on a field experience, the faculty sponsor should take appropriate measures, including seeking medical care, as needed. If the situation is serious, the sponsor should inform the college’s chief financial officer and/or chief academic officer as soon as possible.

All institutional policies, including the policies regarding alcohol, drugs, and harassment, remain in place on local trips. Students who violate the college’s code of conduct should be confronted by the faculty sponsor. The sponsor may use discretion in determining whether to report the misconduct to Student Services for further action.