Faculty-led programs attract many students in part because of the extra security and peace-of-mind that group travel and instructor oversight provide. Other than participants’ overall health, their safety should be the faculty leader’s highest priority.
All participant accommodations must be located in areas that the faculty leader, Education Abroad and a possible third-party collaborator deem safe, secure, and reliable. To the extent possible, the faculty leader should utilize lodging with interior rather than exterior doors.
Clery Act and Reporting Obligations
The Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (known as the Clery Act) is a federal law requiring United States colleges and universities who receive federal funding to share information about crime on campus, as well as efforts to improve campus safety. In certain circumstances, the Clery Act extends to property outside the United States that is owned or controlled by the university, used in direct support to the university’s educational purposes, or frequently used by students. Faculty or staff members traveling with students for longer than one night should be trained as Campus Security Authorities (CSAs) before their departure.
Campus Security Authorities are required to complete the Campus Security Authority training online, and are expected to report Clery Reportable Crimes through the Campus Security Authority Reporting form found on the K-State Report It webpage as soon as possible, and no later than 24 hours to the extent possible after receiving crime information. To facilitate Kansas State University’s compliance, faculty leaders must complete Clery Training no later than thirty (30) days prior to their study tour's departure. Individuals may access the training module at https://www.k-state.edu/report/clery/.
Additionally, CSAs may have reporting obligations in addition to the reporting obligations resulting from their status as a CSA. Before their departure, all leaders must disclose to Education Abroad the names of accommodations, local addresses, contact information, dates of arrival(s) and departure(s), and names of participants residing in each location on their tours. Faculty leaders must report emergencies, near-misses, threats, or other incidents to Education Abroad and appropriate authorities. Further clarification regarding CSA reporting and additional reporting obligations may be found within the university Clery Act Designation and Reporting Policy (PPM 3110). For more information regarding the Clery Act, please contact the Clery Act Federal Compliance Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Activities and Excursions
Faculty leaders should select program activities and excursions such that all participants, regardless of ability or other status, can participate. Activities and excursions should also make positive academic or cultural contributions to the program.
Education Abroad requires that all program participants have international health insurance for the duration of the study tour. The insurance policy does have exclusions, so faculty leaders should be familiar with the coverage and exclusions when planning excursions. For those activities and excursions not covered under the international health insurance policy, participants must complete the Activities, Excursions, and Transportation Waiver.
Education Abroad strongly encourages all faculty and assistant leaders to possess a working and accessible cell phone throughout the duration of the study tour. The leaders should provide participants with their cell phone numbers and encourage students to call at any time, day or night, for assistance in the event of an emergency. The leaders must also share their phone number and contact information with Education Abroad.
We also encourage all participants to possess working and accessible cell phones and share their numbers or contact information with the faculty leader. In non-emergency circumstances, parents, friends, or emergency contacts should contact a participant through his or her phone or e-mail.
Exceptions can be made for programs conducted in rural areas or countries where GSM or CDMA cell coverage is not available. Education Abroad urges faculty who are interested in conducting programs in countries where cell coverage is not available to carefully explore the possibility of obtaining a satellite phone or working with a third party program provider that can provide a satellite phone.
Orientations: Pre-Departure and On-Site
The faculty leader should plan both pre-departure and on-site orientations for program participants. At these orientations the faculty leader should provide communications and accessibility information for local authorities and medical facilities. The faculty leader and third-party collaborator should provide instructions regarding protocols for rare events like political crises, terrorist events, natural disasters, or other emergency.
The faculty leader should also discuss with participants the relevant cultural issues that may affect their safety, including but not limited to language use, non-verbal communications, traffic patterns, drug laws, local dress codes, or sexual behaviors. In general, faculty leaders should advise students to be cautious, careful, and to use common sense at all times. Faculty leaders should review the Student Code of Conduct with participants make them aware of laws specific to the host country.
Prior to the study tour, Education Abroad will provide faculty leaders with the Faculty Led Programs Emergency Response and Preparedness Handbook. The handbook includes information regarding important contact information, KSU insurance information, and guidance on responding to specific emergencies that may occur abroad. Faculty leaders are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the content in the handbook prior to commencing the study tour.
Under ideal circumstances, all programs would have at least two leaders, preferably of different genders. This extra level of oversight will help ensure that all students remain safe in the event of an emergency that requires division of the group. Program costs often do not make it financially reasonable to include multiple leaders, however, so single faculty leaders should take extra precautions to plan for emergency situations.
The faculty leader is the primary contact for the program participants at all times for the duration of the study tour. For this reason, if only one Kansas State University representative is accompanying the group, it is essential that he or she not travel independently of the group overnight and should always remain within communication contact with the participants and Education Abroad.
Most faculty leaders are familiar and knowledgeable about the country in which the program is located. The same is not necessarily true, however, of a program’s assistant leader. The faculty leader therefore must delegate to the assistant leader only those tasks that he or she is capable of executing. If the program collaborates with a third-party provider, the faculty leader may rely on that provider to help ensure the safety of program participants.
Faculty leaders and assistant leaders are also expected to maintain collegiality with one another, as consistent in the University Handbook Section C46.1, which states "faculty and other unclassified employees are expected to have cooperative interactions with colleagues, show civility and respect to others with whom they work and interact, show respect for the opinions of others in the exchange of ideas, and demonstrate a willingness to follow appropriate directives from supervisors."
Education Abroad recommends that faculty leaders identify a specific location or meeting place as a rally point should the group become separated in an emergency. The faculty leader must share these details with the participants.
Transportation and Driving Abroad
All participant transportation (international, U.S., and host-country) must be via means that the faculty leader, Education Abroad, and a possible third-party collaborator deem safe, secure, and reliable. To select transportation the faculty leader should consider recommendations from Education Abroad, veteran faculty leaders, local contacts, or other universities offering similar programs.
As a general practice, we strongly discourage any and all faculty, staff, and students from driving vehicles outside of the United States while participating in any Kansas State University-sponsored program. Instead, all participants should utilize public transportation whenever possible, and faculty leaders should hire local drivers for all non-public transportation needs.
That said, in some situations or locations of the world, it may be necessary or safer for the faculty leader or assistant leader to drive students and non-student participants. Faculty or staff who wish to obtain a vehicle and drive students abroad should obtain safety information on driving in the host countries. Education Abroad may help provide this information with the assistance of the Association for Safe International Road Travel (ASIRT). (Please note that the program must cover the cost of such a report.)
Education Abroad will consider the information provided and determine whether the requested transportation modes are permissible. In no case may a student drive other students while participating on a Kansas State faculty-led program abroad. Students who participate in programs wherein the faculty leader or other staff member drive must sign and return the Activities, Excursions, and Transportation Waiver to Education Abroad prior to the program's departure.
Student Code of Conduct
All students must abide by Kansas State University’s Student Code of Conduct. Any violation or other disruption that a student causes may result in disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal from the program. In accordance with prescribed procedures in the Student Code of Conduct, the Office of Student Life, or other applicable personnel may initiate further disciplinary measures when practical and feasible under the circumstances, including but not limited to upon the student’s return to the United States or a Kansas State University campus. Before the student is dismissed from the program, the faculty leader should consult with Education Abroad, which may involve other offices on campus as needed.
U.S. Department of State and CDC Travel Warnings & Advisories
K-State's International Travel and Activities policy (PPM 3120) generally disfavors employees or students from participating in university-sponsored international travel to any location categorized a Level 3 or Level 4 by the U.S. State Department or CDC. There is an exemption process for faculty or staff who are interested in proposing a program to a country with an elevated travel advisory or warning. This process for exemption is managed by the Education Abroad Office in collaboration with the KSU Office of Risk & Compliance. Please contact Education Abroad for more information on how to request such an exemption.