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Course-Related Field Work during the COVID-19 Pandemic

 

Risk Management and Safety Requirements



Some types of fieldwork may be on campus, using Cal Poly as a "living laboratory," and some may be off-campus, either at a Cal Poly-owned site (e.g., the Cal Poly Pier and Swanton Pacific Ranch) or at a location not owned by Cal Poly. Off-campus fieldwork, i.e., field trips, may involve activities that increase risk of exposure to COVID-19 and other hazards, and thus will require a greater degree of oversight. 

A face-to-face safety plan is no longer required for either on- or off-campus fieldwork. In either case, all participants shall observe on-campus requirements for vaccination, testing, masking, daily screening, and hygiene; see the President's August 24 announcement and the Campus Requirements webpage for more details. The fieldwork leader is encouraged to check the Campus Pass to ensure that all student participants have a green pass indicating full compliance with campus requirements.

In the case of off-campus fieldwork, the oversight process will require review and approval of a two-part proposal by the department head/chair or dean/associate dean. Please see below for required documents.

For international fieldwork, students, staff, and faculty must comply with the International Center's international travel approval process described here.

If the location also requires vaccination, then the un-vaccinated would be unable to participate, unless testing is an acceptable alternative.

 

Required Documents


 

As required by the pre-existing field trip policy, the complete proposal for off-campus fieldwork will consist of the following required documents:

  • The Pre-Trip Site Evaluation Worksheet (available here)
  • The leader portion of the University Field Activities Notification (available here)

If the trip includes an overnight stay or requires travel cost reimbursement, campus business travel guidelines must be followed.  These can be found here

After approval of the pre-trip site evaluation worksheet by the department head/chair or the dean/associate dean, the document will be submitted by the designated college representative to a OneDrive folder opened for this purpose by Academic Programs and Planning (APP).

Before going on the field trip, each student must complete the following required documents and then submit them to the department as a single PDF:

  • The student portion of the University Field Activities Notification
  • The Release of Liability - COVID-19 (pdf) available here

Consistent with the pre-existing field trip policy, all required documents must be collected and maintained for three years by the college, using the APP OneDrive folder (see Table 1: Documents Required for In-Person Learning).

 

Field Trips Defined


 

EO 1062, the system policy on field trips, defines "field trips" as follows:

A field trip is a university course-related, off-campus activity led by a faculty or staff member and designed to serve educational purposes. A field trip would include the gathering of data for research (such as at a geological or archaeological site), museum visit, participation in a conference or competition, or visits to an event or place of interest. The duration of a field trip may be a class period or longer, and could extend over multiple days. This definition does not apply to activities or placements in the context of a teacher preparation program, intercollegiate sports, or service-learning placements, all of which are governed under separate policy.

The definition in the existing campus policy on field trips is a simplified restatement of the system definition. Both would suggest that on-campus fieldwork should not be restricted under a pandemic-related field trip policy.

 


TABLE 1: Required Documents for In-Person Learning


 

 

Faculty

fieldwork PROPOSAL

Student documents
LOCATION

Pre-Trip    

Evaluation

Worksheet  

University Field

Activities

Notification

University Field

Activities

Notification

COVID-19

Release of

Liability

INDOORS —

SLO CAMPUS

N/A N/A

N/A

N/A

OUTDOORS —

SLO CAMPUS

N/A N/A N/A N/A
SWANTON PACIFIC RANCH Required Required Required Required
CAL POLY PIER Required Required Required Required

OTHER OFF-CAMPUS CAL POLY PROPERTY

Required Required

Required

Required

OFFSITE

Required Required Required Required

 

Last updated October 27, 2021

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