Below are excerpts of the policy that was retrieved
on 6/8/2011 from the Towson University Faculty
Handbook, Approved 1991, (p. 7-23 to 7-29).
A field trip is defined as “a group experience
related to a class, a University-recognized
organization, or a department-sponsored activity
outside of the university setting under the direct
supervision of a University representative.” (p.
7-24) Within the Department of Occupational Therapy
& Occupational Science, the term “field trip” also
can refer to any class/course related community
Guidelines for field trips:
A. Academic Issues
The academic content of a field trip required as
part of or offered in association with a
credit-bearing course shall be the responsibility of
the sponsoring department.
Faculty members whose courses require participation
in field trips must state this requirement at the
beginning of the semester (preferably in the course
syllabus). Faculty members should attempt to
schedule required field trips so that they impact on
attendance in classes as little as possible. If a
planned field trip causes a student to miss classes
other than in the course in which the field trip
occurs, the faculty member cannot require the
student to attend the field trip and miss the other
classes or the field trip must be the decision of
the student. The faculty member in the course in
which the field trip occurs can require an
alternative activity, such as a project or paper,
involving approximately the same time commitment.
Faculty are expected to remain on-site for the
duration of the field trip in case of unexpected
B. Transportation Issues
Refer to the full university policy to review the
procedures for using university vehicles and
transportation of students. Faculty are not to
transport students in their personal vehicles.
University vehicles may be requested to transport
groups of students.
C. Liability Issues
1. The State Self Insurance Trust Fund provides
insurance coverage for faculty/staff who are acting
in the scope of their employment (in the State of
Maryland) who may be sued for injuries that occur on
field trips. The obligation of faculty/staff who
supervise field trips is to exercise reasonable care
in light of foreseeable risks to students.
Faculty/staff have no duty to insure the “health,
safety, and welfare” of students. Faculty/staff,
however, are obligated to disclose risks to students
prior to a field trip, and to exercise reasonable
care during a field trip.
2. Faculty/staff are only legally responsible for
risks for which they have knowledge or direct
control. The State Torts Claims Act covers
faculty/staff in instances where there is no malice
or gross negligence. Willful acts are not covered by
3. There is no “insurance,” per se, on state
vehicles. Fleet coverage on state vehicles is
provided by the State Self Insurance Trust Fund. The
State Treasurer has purchased insurance to cover
university employees who operate state vehicles out
of state. The state requires that faculty/staff who
rent cars or vans for field trips must purchase the
insurance provided by the vehicle rental company.
All students who participate in a field trip should
sign a liability waiver (“release”) (see attached)
prior to the field trip. The liability waiver must
be signed by the parent or guardian of any student
who is under 18 years of age. A liability waiver and
health statement has been prepared by the University
Counsel and is included in this section. Neither of
these documents needs to be notarized.