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Academic Field Trip Guidelines

These guidelines are offered to supplement any existing College or Department procedures.  To ensure the safety and well-being of all participants, the following guidelines are recommended.

  1. Trip Leader's Check List- This is a handy quick check for both the field trip leader and the University department office administrator.

  2. Create a complete itinerary, identifying such items as educational objectives, assignments, activities, dates, times, locations, transportation, etc.
  3. All field trips should be designated as a mandatory course requirement. Student Travel Accident Insurance (under CSURMA), which can provide medical expense benefits to an injured student, is only in effect if the field trip is a mandatory course requirement.
  4. Consider providing adequate supervision for the number of students.
  5. Consider possible ADA accommodations including inclusive activities that can be pursued if students can not be fully accommodated. 
  6. Advise students to bring sufficient personal prescription medications for the trip.
  7. Review environmental conditions such as the weather at the time of the trip, special clothing and equipment, cell phones, first aid supplies, personal protective equipment, such as sunscreen, rain gear, etc.
  8. Document any unusual risks or dangers that might be expected on the trip and mitigation steps on a Risk Assessment form. These should include anticipated strenuous activities, dangerous animals, poisonous plants, local area crime potential, etc. 
  9. Develop protocols and contacts for emergency situations.
  10. Review CSUSB’s conduct activities such as “no drug and alcohol” rules, after-hours activities, and overnight sleeping arrangements at the site.
  11. Provide necessary training if safety equipment will be used.
  12. Ensure all field trip participants complete and submit the Release of Liability waiver prior to the trip.
  13. Complete Academic Field Trip Participants List of all persons participating in the field trip including emergency contact information. Guests are not allowed on academic field trips.
  14. Send a copy of the Participants List form to the University Police Department.
  15. File forms in the academic department office so they can be easily accessed for at least three (3) years. 
  16. Make a physical copy of the paperwork to take along on the trip.  


Assure that students understand the transportation arrangements and that all designated vehicle drivers follow the Field Trip Driving Requirements.  The  Department Chair is responsible for reviewing the necessary forms and ensuring the files can be easily retrieved.

Once authorized, staff or faculty driving on a field trip or carrying out any State business must possess:

  1. A valid California drivers license
  2. A current Defensive Driver Training certificate
  3. A good driving record

Please note that personal liability insurance is primary coverage when driving a privately owned vehicle.  No alcoholic beverages or controlled substances shall be transported in a State or private vehicle (on State business) at ANY TIME. 

For further information regarding State or private vehicle use, authorized drivers, and related information, please refer to the Office of Insurance and Risk Management (ORIM) web pages or The CSU website on the “Use of University and Private Vehicles Policy Guidelines”.

Medical Coverage for Accident/Injury

  1. Student Participants:  In the event of an accident injury during a field trip, the student’s personal health care plan provides for primary medical coverage payment. If the student’s health care benefits become exhausted, the CSU Student Travel Accident Insurance helps pay for additional related injury expenses up to the maximum benefit.  Enrolled students without a private health plan may seek basic medical attention from the campus Student Health Center [link to health center].

    Please note that the CSU Student Travel Accident Insurance policy covers accidental injury only.  The policy DOES NOT provide coverage for any illness or disease unless an accident is the direct cause of the illness. All students are encouraged to purchase personal Accident and Health Insurance from the California State University, Student Health Insurance Program (CSUSHI).

  2. Employee Participant’s:  If you are an employee with California State University, San Bernardino participating in a field trip (i.e. staff, faculty, student working on a field trip as a student assistant, college work-study student, or approved student volunteer*, etc.) you may be eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits that may assist to pay for medical expenses related to your injury accident. Contact the Human Resource Representative at California State University, San Bernardino for further information.
  3. Non-Employee and Non-Student Participants:   The participation of non-employee or non-student individuals on an academic field trip is strongly discouraged because of increased liability.

    *Non-academic staff and student volunteers are official only when registered via the CSUSB Volunteer Identification Form which is processed by the Human Resources Department, Sierra Hall, Room 110.