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Field Study Policy

FIELD STUDY POLICY
The Domestic and International Field Study Policy covers domestic travel beyond 1,400 miles of campus and international travel outside the continental U.S.  This policy also applies to college enacted initiatives with domestic field sites, or other international destinations.  Student Affairs outings are exempt from this policy. Students are responsible for all of the courses in which they are enrolled, including attendance requirements and course work, while participating in any type of field study initiative. 


DEFINITIONS
Field Study is defined as any independent academic/professional experience or academic research trip that is an ungraded and non-credit bearing element of a course or Department initiative for current students or alumni.  The Field Study is linked to student projects or student coursework initiated or recommended by instructors, Directors, or Chairs. Field Study also includes Otis College related collaborations with outside institutions that are ungraded and non-credit bearing and that involve domestic or international travel beyond the conditions of local and regional field trip policy. Contact Matthew Penkala at mpenkala@otis.eduto discuss field study at least a month before it takes place.

 

For the purposes of this policy, there are three types of field study:

  • Domestic Field Study– Domestic travel exceeding the Field Trip parameters that is not a Travel Study course. 
  • International Field Study – Otis College Collaboration– International travel initiated by instructor, Director, or Department Chair in collaboration with an outside institution. 
  • International Field Study– International travel initiated by instructor, Director, or Department Chair. 
     

Travel Study courses, which involve international travel or domestic travel beyond the parameters of a field study or field trip, have associated learning outcomes, are graded, and are covered under travel study policies. See For Faculty Leading Programs. Please contact the Travel and External Study Coordinator at travelstudy@otis.eduor (310) 665-6994 for more information about Travel Study courses. 


POLICY
In order to ensure that field study falls within the scope of the College’s mission and that student safety issues are fully addressed, field study must be requested a month in advance and be fully documented through the on-time submission of forms and required steps listed below.  All field study must be initiated and coordinated by the responsible Otis College instructor, Director, or Department Chair initiating the Field Study. Student or alumnus participants must adhere to field study guidelines. Leader responsibilities and guidelines for students are described below.

FORMS AND SUBMISSION DATES
All original Domestic Field Study related documents should be submitted to the responsible Department for safekeeping and held in digital or analog form for three years. 

STUDENT RESPONSIBILITIES
Students/Alumnus are responsible for working with the responsible instructor, Director, or Chair to fulfill the following Field Study requirements as they relate to specific type of Field Study in which they participate:  

Domestic Field Study
Students are required to provide names, addresses, cellphone numbers, travel itinerary plans (flight info/driving route info), accommodations info, emergency contact info, completion of Off-Campus Program and General Release Form to the instructor. This information will then be provided to Travel and External Study. Instructors, with the assistance of the Travel and External Study office, will provide students with Field Study related preparation manuals specific to the field study destination. Students are responsible for arranging all related flights and travel accommodations. 

Domestic Field Study Student Information Form (submit/fill-in 48 hours in advance of departure to responsible department)

Domestic Field Study General Release, Emergency Contact, and Insurance form  (submit/fill-in 48 hours in advance of departure to responsible department)


International Field Study – Otis College Collaboration
Students are required to create a travel account at travelstudy.otis.edu related to specific International Field Study Otis College Collaboration trips. Students must also secure GeoBlue travel insurance through the college, as well as register with the outside institution if applicable. Fees for travel account and travel insurance, as well as flights, accommodations, and field study registration fees (if related to and arranged by Otis College or outside institution) will be charged to student accounts. These fees are expected to be paid before departure. Instructors, with the assistance of the Travel and External Study office, will provide students with Field Study related preparation manuals specific to the field study destination. If flights and accommodations are arranged by student, this travel information must be uploaded to their travel account 2 weeks prior to departure date. Faculty are required to provide Field Study related information (description, dates, related costs, etc.) to Travel and External Study within 30 days of field study departure date. 


International Field Study
Students are required to create a travel account at travelstudy.otis.edu related to the specific International Field Study trip established by the instructor. Students must also secure GeoBlue travel insurance through the college. Fees for travel accounts and travel insurance will be charged to students’ accounts and are expected to be paid before departure. Instructors, with the assistance of the Travel and External Study office, will provide students with Field Study related preparation manuals specific to the field study destination. If flights and accommodations are arranged by student, this information must be uploaded to their travel account 2 weeks prior to departure date. Faculty are required to provide Field Study related information (description, dates, related costs, etc.) to Travel and External Study within 30 days of field study departure date. 

ORGANIZER RESPONSIBILITIES
The responsibilities of the organizer of the field study will vary by location and activity but may include the following:

  1. Organizer: Either the responsible instructor, Director, or Department Chair is required to provide a Field Study preparation manual to all participating students/alumnus in a Domestic or International field study collaboration. The Domestic and International Field Study preparation manual must be updated and returned to the Travel and External Study office a month prior to departure. For international field study, additional information is requested from the organizer to be posted on the Travel Study site before students can create a travel account. Please provide: a field study description, dates, location(s), associated costs (if beyond travel account and insurance costs), and field study itinerary. 

  2. Institution/location research: Whenever practical, the institution or location of the field study should be evaluated in advance by the instructor, Director, or Department Chair (or an appropriate College official) to evaluate and, through planning, to minimize potential risks. The site evaluation/research can be bypassed if the instructor, Director, or Chair can demonstrate and document sufficient knowledge of the field study location/institution. This could be accomplished by reviewing online, published materials, or contacting the site to discuss the visit.

  3. Students with Disabilities, & Title IX: Any student who is participating in a field study may potentially need special accommodations.  Such students should speak as soon as possible with Dr. Carol Branch, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, Title IX Coordinator, for information and assistance. Students addressing sexual harassment/sexual violence concerns should seek assistance from our Title IX Coordinator. Contact information is cbranch@otis.edu or (310) 846-2554.

  4. Student Preparation: Students must be properly prepared for travel before departure. The instructor, Director, or Chair must convene students in order to:
    - Review preparation manual for international field study including safety procedures and emergency information.
    - Ensure that students know when and where they are to meet upon arrival and throughout the field study if itinerary based.
    - Review the detailed day-to-day instructional agenda, which should include a general itinerary associated with the field study. One copy of the itinerary should be sent to the Department responsible for the field study.
    - Inform participants of field study of related costs, including travel study account, insurance, and payment deadlines.
    - Discuss with the students the nature of the activities during the field study, including any inherent hazards, strenuous activity, or unusual activity that might take place. 
    - Collect Emergency Contact Forms from students.

  5. Emergency Guidelines:
    - Accompanying and present instructors, Directors, or Chairs, should keep the Otis College Safety emergency contact information and numbers with them at all times.  http://www.otis.edu/emergency-information
    - When traveling with students/alumnus, instructors, Directors, or Chairs are required to carry emergency contact information and the authorization for emergency medical treatment (language in the Waiver of Liability) for each participant.
    - Carry an active and charged cell phone for the duration of the trip
    - Be the contact person for students, Otis College staff, and parents. 
    - Monitor domestic and international travel conditions. 
    - Monitor and manage student behavior issues.
    - In case of a Domestic Field Study accident: Immediately phone 911 in all cases involving serious injury or death, multiple injuries, or extensive property damage. Your first priority is to care for any injured individuals.
    - In case of an International Field Study accident: Immediately phone local emergency responders in all cases involving serious injury or death, multiple injuries, or extensive property damage. Your first priority is to care for any injured individuals

 

GUIDELINES FOR STUDENTS

  1. Students participating in field study are expected to adhere to the same standards of behavior as published in The Hoot and in the Travel Study Behavior Code of Conduct. Any violation of the regulations or local, state, or federal laws may result in disciplinary action or sanctions by the College.

  2. Students, who choose to travel to the site of a field study early, or remain at the site after the planned activity is completed, or who separate from the group, do so at their own risk.

  3. Students are responsible for carrying their own personal medication while on a field study.


RELATED POLICIES

Course Catalog/Student Handbook(The Hoot- Registration and Records)

Emergency Information

Incident report involving a studentIncident report involving an employee(Human Resources)