Field Trip Policy

What is a Winthrop University Field Trip?

A field trip is an off-campus educational/instructional experience provided by Winthrop University faculty/staff to their students which normally involves travel for the group. A trip to an art museum for art students could be considered a Winthrop University field trip, but a social gathering or trip without educational purpose would not normally be considered a field trip.

Planning the Trip

There are a number of steps you may need to consider in planning your field trip:

  1. Identify any special requirements for participation on the trip—special skills, fitness, Certification—as well as any hazards or dangers on the trip or at the site that might affect the health and safety of the participants.
  2. Obtain departmental approval where appropriate.
  3. Ask students to advise you of any special disabilities, problems, or needs that may need to be accommodated.
  4. Obtain signed parental permission forms for any minor students participating.
    See the Assumption of Risk, Release, and Indemnification Form (pdf - 12 kb)
    See the Field Trip Form (pdf - 36 kb)
    These forms should be retained in the department files.
  5. Consider the need for special clothing or equipment that may be needed because of weather or other conditions.
  6. Determine transportation needs—reservation of vehicles, drivers, need for site supervision.
  7. Plan for emergencies—theft, illness, vehicle emergency, weather delays, student misconduct, or threats to the safety of others.


Arrange for Motor Pool vehicles, rental vehicles, or charter bus transportation well in advance. Determine the route, stops, timetables, and assign drivers. You will need a system for communicating and performing student counts.

Communication and Site Orientation

Communicate information to students in advance about schedules, departure locations, route, rest and meal stops, lodging, emergency procedures, protocol for problems, and rules of conduct.

Duty to Warn, Protect, and Supervise

Familiarize students with the site and their surroundings. Winthrop University faculty/staff have a duty to warn their students of any known hazards at the field trip site. University employees must exercise reasonable care to protect and supervise students while they are participating in a field trip conducted by the university.

Compliance with University Policies

Faculty, staff, and students must comply with university policies while on field trips just as they would on campus.

The instructional activities and setting during class time should conform with the university's policies including those concerning alcohol and drug use, vehicle use, student misconduct, smoking, principles of academic freedom, and policy on sexual harassment.

Faculty, staff, and students should reference these university polices in their Faculty, Staff, and Student Handbooks. Information on these policies may be addressed with your supervisor or department head.