Internships, Service Learning, Student Teaching
When the university places students in off campus environments for the purpose of academic requirements, internships, student teaching, student coaching, practicum's, service learning, community based learning, etc. we need to address the issues of:
- Student injury
- Student injury to others
- Student property damage
- Student damage to property of others
- Student's role and responsibilities during the assignment
- University's role and responsibilities (including the faculty member involved)
- Host entity's role and responsibilities (including the person or persons supervising the student)
- Safety of the “work” site overall
These issues should be addressed between the host entity and the student consistent with the host entity policies and procedures related to volunteers for their organization.
Sample Forms and Procedures
There is a CSU document that while focused towards "Service Learning" programs, does a good job of addressing the issues and providing sample forms and procedures that may be useful for student teaching, internships, and other assignments by the University.
In a situation where the university requires an internship or field work and the student locates an entity to host the activity and the university's only role is in evaluating the activity of the student through reports or projects or presentations, the need for formal relationship with the host entity and the student may be reduced.
When the University assigns a student to an activity under the direction and control of another entity:
- There needs to be an inspection of the work and surrounding environment by the University.
- There needs to be a written agreement between the University, the entity and the student.
Agreements between the University and a host entity must be reviewed by and can only be signed by University authorized contracting officers in the Procurement Services Office. (Often, these agreements can be negotiated on an annual or multi year basis and provide for multiple student placements.)
Host Entity Insurance Requirements
It is always the preference of the University that the host entity which is in control of the working environment, directing and supervising the student actions, and benefits from the student’s efforts:
- Provide workers' compensation coverage for the student
- Provide liability coverage for the actions of the student
In certain professions, student membership in professional organizations may provide access to appropriate professional liability coverage, which may be required by the host entity or by the University for participation in the assignment.
There may be additional requirements for background checks, finger printing, criminal history and driving record check, basic skills and competencies, personal protective equipment, medical screening, inoculations, tools and materials for participation. Whenever possible, these requirements should be addressed between the host entity and the student consistent with the host entity policies and procedures related to volunteers and/or employees for their organization.
University Insurance Requirements if Host Entity Unwilling to Provide Insurance
Entities willing to host internships, student teachers, service learners, etc. may take the point of view that they are providing a service to the University (and the student) and may not wish to provide coverage for injuries to the student or for the responsibility for actions of the student.
When the host entity is not willing to provide coverage for the student working for their benefit, in their environment, and under their direction and the assignment is of critical value to the University's academic program, the University may choose to provide either workers' comp and/or liability coverage for the student through the written agreement with the entity (and the student). In these placements, the faculty member, department and college take on additional responsibilities related to the supervision of the student, including: accident reporting and incident reporting to the University.
The College is responsible for the first $250,000 of any claim filed against a student and/or the university if the University has accepted the responsibility to provide liability insurance for the assigned, required student activity for the host institution. The University (centrally) is currently responsible for the cost of workers' compensation claims by the student if the University has accepted the responsibility to provide workers' compensation coverage.