January 18, 2013 Topic #2 Faculty Led Trips

Faculty-led Trips (Course-based) Faculty-led Trips (Other)

Faculty-led Trips (Course-based)

Good afternoon,

For the second thematic email—student travel approval

I wanted to provide what will hopefully be clarifications for streamlining your student travel experiences for the spring semester.  As I have discussed in several department chair and faculty meetings during the fall, we have worked to provide a more simplistic and supportive student travel approval  process.  My most sincere appreciation to all of you who offered insight and suggestions and to Jen Ferrell, Jim Draper, Paul Striffolino and Sue Castriotta for the support to make this happen.  My particular appreciation to Sue Castriotta for the creation of the attached process flow charts and tips for streamlining (with embedded links) below.

The goals for our work were to :

  1. Provide a clear and simple  process to complete authorization and tracking paperwork.
  2. Provide training and education for request approvers to avoid creating unnecessary limitation for important experiences and high impact practices (a first training program was completed for academic affairs division approvers prior to the winter break)
  3. Provide faculty and instructional staff with a less repetitive process for approvals when trips occur more than one time in a single class.

During the spring semester I welcome your feedback on this effort to ease the process.  I will also continue to welcome suggestions for continued improvements so that we will maintain our focus on high impact practices while limiting your personal liability and the liability for the institution associated with off campus experiences.  Areas of continued work will include:

  1. Travel approval streamlining for academic programs with multiple experiences across multiple courses
  2. Document completion by students at time of admission to the college to support a dramatically streamlined process
  3. Other…. 

Tips for streamlining the required student travel process for courses that include frequent travel

  • Submit pre-approval form well in advance of the first expected off campus experience.
  • This is for awareness of upcoming trips for the semester.  Be sure to meet with Dean and/or Dean’s Administrative Assistant to discuss any needs requiring funding (ex. vans, admission fees, etc.) or scheduling so that arrangements can be made ahead of time.  Using the waiver form, a faculty member could submit a single pre-approval for multiple trips in the same course.
  • Bring the completed Student Travel Supplement (or have it as well filled in as possible) to the meeting.  This will help with the planning.  All information could be collected once for multiple trips in the same course, see below.

Note, Have students complete the following paperwork within the first week of class to support your streamlined approval:

  • Waiver form
  • On the back side of the pre-approval form (under Exhibit A) where the activity(s) are described, list all the destinations to be visited during the course of the semester.  If there is no set list or students will have the choice from several options, list all options or descriptions of the options (ex. forests within a 20 mile radius)
  • Medical form
  • As the faculty member of record it is suggested that you keep copies of these forms in case you have a student with a medical condition that may be aggravated through participation in the proposed activities (ex. allergies)
  • Student personal vehicle use form
  • If the students are not driving personal vehicles, but riding in a faculty member’s personal vehicle, a Faculty/Staff personal vehicle use formis required to be completed.
  • If the trip will be utilizing rented vehicles, only the faculty member and students who can document completion of the College’s Defensive Driving course are able to drive.  To confirm a student’s completion of Defensive Driving training, contact Jane Ellsworth (358-2242, jellswor@keene.edu).
  • Participant list
  • Gather the information necessary to complete the participant list including student names and cell phone numbers.

Suggestions to manage this process during the semester and to limit redundancy in your work:

  • There are two keys to making this effort successful for you and your students that balance both risk and liability:
  • Prior to departing for a scheduled trip, confirm with the Dean’s office the list of participants (which may be different than the originally submitted list) AND the specific itinerary for that day.
  • If, at the time of departure, something changes (someone is absent, a change in destination, etc.), either email or call the Dean’s administrative assistant highlighting the changes.

Thank you,


Melinda D. Treadwell, Ph.D.

Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Keene State College

229 Main Street

Keene, NH  03435

(tel) 603-358-2112