July 13, 2020

Guidelines for Students Participating in Off-Campus Experiences

Dear Goucher Community,

As we continue to make plans for our return to campus in the fall, we want to reiterate that students will have the ability to leave campus and interact with the community around us for jobs, internships, and community-based learning opportunities. To help keep our entire community safer, we ask that all students adhere to the following guidelines when participating in any off-campus experiential learning experience.

  • Do not report to a site if you are feeling sick, think you may have been exposed to COVID-19, or have recently traveled through a “hot spot” area experiencing high volumes of COVID-19.
  • Notify your site supervisor immediately if you test positive for COVID-19.
  • Inquire about any type of documentation needed from your site in the event of your absence, whether due to self-isolation or a required quarantine (based on a positive case or exposure to a positive case).
  • If you are a residential student, notify your employer or site supervisor about the increased possibility of needing to self-isolate or quarantine on-campus if your residence hall experiences students who test positive for COVID-19.
    • Understand the site’s policies related to required quarantine due to contact tracking efforts
  • Become familiar with your site’s policies regarding masking and social distancing. Please explicitly follow the guidelines established by your site and do your best to minimize your own exposure for returning to campus. Be aware that according to Maryland Department of Health, “all Marylanders should continue wearing masks in indoor public areas, retail stores, and on public transportation.”
  • Understand your site’s policies regarding cleaning and sanitization, and make sure there is adequate soap/hand sanitizer and cleaning products. Organizations should have established sanitization protocol to minimize the risk of spreading COVID-19. Follow the organization’s procedures and practice proper hand hygiene, and clean surfaces/items you come into contact with.
  • Inquire about the site’s procedures for monitoring the health and safety of its employees/volunteers.
  • Contact the staff listed below if your site is not following CDC guidelines regarding masking and social distancing or anything that makes you uncomfortable so we can discuss your best course of action.
  • Sample questions to ask your employer or site supervisor are included at bottom.

Off-campus Employment

  • While virtual/remote part-time jobs are highly encouraged, in-person off-campus jobs will be permitted. The Career Education Office requests that you ensure the employer/organization has established health and safety policies and all of the above guidelines are followed.
  • Consider avoiding employment in high risk environments including bars, restaurants, or medical facilities. Here are some guidelines on high risk employment: OSHA Worker Exposure for COVID-19 Guidelines.
  • Ask your employer about their policy around transitioning in-person work to remote work, as well as paid time off, in cases where employees might have symptoms, potential exposure, or a confirmed positive case. Also consider if the Governor issues another “stay-at-home" order, what is the protocol for employees?
  • Career Education is available, by virtual appointment, to help discuss your search for part-time jobs or answer questions related to your part-time job.


  • The Interim Internship Policy which states all internships for academic credit be remote/virtual remains in effect throughout the duration of the Coronavirus pandemic.
  • If Maryland stays in Phase 2 (or moves to Phase 3) of the Reopening Plan, you may request an exemption to this policy. Details of this request are in the above-linked policy, which includes an "explanation why a remote version of the internship is not practical or viable.” If a request is approved, you will be required to sign a waiver.
  • If you are not comfortable with an employer’s requirement to intern in-person, please contact the CEO, who can offer guidance to internship site supervisors about how to manage a remote internship.
  • Students who do not wish to receive academic credit for their internship are also advised to pursue remote/virtual opportunities, but you may choose to independently intern in-person at an off-campus organization. Career Education requests that you ensure the organization has established health and safety policies and all of the above guidelines are followed.
  • Career Education is available, by virtual appointment, to discuss your internship search or answer questions related to internships.

Community-Based Learning

  • All college-sponsored experiences will be remote/virtual until we can guarantee the health and safety of our students and community partners. These opportunities, and how to get involved, will be shared at the start of the fall semester.
  • You may choose to independently volunteer with an off-campus organization. The Community-Based Learning office asks that you make an appointment with one of us to let us know where you are volunteering, and to ensure that the organization has established health and safety policies for volunteers.
  • Consider avoiding in-person volunteer work in high-risk environments, such as hospitals/clinics, shelters, and schools.
  • While the state and region begin reopening schools, organizations, and potential volunteer sites, we ask that students, faculty, and staff remain mindful of the limited capacity organizations will have to host volunteers. Many organizations have radically restructured under economic distress, and others have had to reorganize their focus to accommodate the public health needs of their constituents. Response times to inquiries regarding volunteering may be delayed.
  • Goucher College will not provide transportation or reimburse transportation costs to any students who are volunteering independent of a college-sponsored experience.
  • Community-Based Learning is available, by virtual appointment, to discuss possible experiences, provide support for preparing to volunteer, or help process/reflect on your community-based experience.

Global Education

  • International study which includes traveling is suspended until it is a safe and viable option for students.
  • The Office of Global Education is continuing to monitor CDC, WHO and national health agencies to determine when international travel is a viable option for students.
  • We look forward to sponsoring more innovative study abroad programs and global experiences as soon as we can guarantee the health and safety of our students abroad.
  • Global Education is available, by virtual appointment, to discuss possible study abroad experiences or answer questions.

Contact the following staff to discuss any questions or concerns you have regarding participating in off-campus experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please contact the staff members below for appointments:

Sample Questions to Ask your Employer/Site Supervisor

  • What are the site’s policies regarding cleaning and sanitization?
    • Will there be expectations for me to participate in cleaning or sanitizing?
    • Will supplies for cleaning and sanitization be provided?
  • What are the site’s policies regarding masking and social distancing?
    • Will I be expected to provide my own face covering/mask?
    • Are there expectations of the kind of face covering/mask I wear?
  • What are the site’s procedures for monitoring the health and safety of its staff?
    • Where can I find this information?
  • What is the procedure if someone at the organization is diagnosed with COVID-19?
  • What is the procedure if I am diagnosed with COVID-19?
  • What documentation will I be required to present if I need to be absent for an extended period of time, whether due to self-isolation (from personal case of COVID), or request to quarantine (based on exposure or campus directive)?
    • If you are a residential student, it is advised that you alert your employer/site supervisor that your living environment puts you at a higher risk for self-isolation or quarantine, due to the density of students sharing common spaces.
  • How much potential exposure to the general public will I have in this role?
    • If a lot, what protections are in place for volunteers/employees?
  • If I have concerns about fellow employees/volunteers not complying with the health and safety regulations put forth, where do I report compliance issues?

Please continue to reference the Goucher College Return to Campus webpage for resources and the most up-to-date information. Thank you for safeguarding your health and those in our community. #Safeoffcampus

Be well.