5.36 Student Travel

A. Purpose

To establish travel protocols for students and sponsors to college-sanctioned activities and events occurring beyond the boundaries of college property.

B. Policy

The college will maintain a process for student travel that promotes safety, accessibility for all students, and is appropriately planned and coordinated.

C. Procedures


This policy applies to students currently enrolled at the college and covers both domestic or international travel activities requiring an overnight stay or at least 125 miles from any OTC campus or center location. Examples of these activities include, but are not limited to, academic activities, sponsored student organization meetings, grant-sponsored travel, or meetings where a student is representing the college or a college-sponsored student organization or club. All students’ travel, arranged by the college or otherwise, is subject to, 5.15 Standards of Student Conduct. In instances where the college is arranging and/or funding student travel, this policy outlines procedures for approval and expense reimbursement.

Obtaining Approval

Travel activity must be pre-approved using the Travel Authorization-Overnight Trip Form.

Travel sponsors and students are advised that the college’s administration may cancel an already-approved travel activity for any reason deemed necessary, including, but not limited to, disciplinary issues, inclement weather, travel advisories or warnings, emergencies, budgetary concerns, etc.

Additionally, the college will not approve a proposed international travel activity to countries where:

  • Current health and safety conditions pose unusual or significant risks to students;
  • The U.S. Department of State has issued a Travel Advisory or the college is unable to acquire travel insurance.
  • The World Health Organization or U.S. Centers for Disease Control have issued a Travel Advisory; or
  • The U.S. Department of Treasury, Office of Foreign Assets Control, has imposed Travel Restrictions.

Expense Reimbursement

If a travel activity involves expenses that the travel sponsor considers reimbursable by the college as described in 6.12 Direct Reimbursement for Permissible Expenditures. Those participating in the travel activity are responsible for all expenses they personally incur except those authorized by the college as reimbursable expenses.

Driver Authorization

All college employees that provide transportation for a travel activity must first be approved by the office of administrative services and added to the approved driver’s list and then must be authorized by the college to transport students. All college employees must have a valid driver’s license and proof of insurance when operating a vehicle on behalf of the college. Authorized drivers, driving on behalf of the college, whether driving their own vehicle, a college-rented vehicle, or college-owned vehicle, are required to abide by the following guidelines regarding the safe and legal operation of vehicles:

  • Drivers must abide by all relevant local, state, and federal laws while driving.
  • Under no circumstances will drivers be reimbursed for fines incurred for moving or parking violations.
  • Under no circumstances will drivers use a visually distracting device such as a cell phone or other electronic device while driving.
  • When operating college-owned vehicles, deviating from the directed itinerary may invalidate insurance coverage in the event an accident occurs. Personal side trips are not permitted.
  • In the event of an accident, regardless of the amount of damage or injury, the drivers must contact local law enforcement authorities and an accident report must be obtained. Drivers must immediately notify the college’s safety and security office and the dean of students or campus or center administrator.
  • Drivers are expected to be mindful of vehicle safety and to drive responsibly.


Accommodation plans for all participants, students, and employees, are required using the on the Travel Authorization-Overnight Trip Form. Plans are reviewed, and approval provided prior to reserving accommodations. Procedures for employee advance travel requests are described in 6.12 Direct Reimbursement for Permissible Expenditures.

Expectations for Travel Sponsors and Students

Travel sponsors are expected to:

1.       Serve as the trip chaperone and an agent of the institution.

2.       Avoid sharing accommodations with students during the trip.

3.       Communicate with students prior to departure to discuss the planned itinerary, behavioral expectations, transportation details, and any other topics and situations unique to the travel activity.

4.       Carry emergency contact information for all students participating in the travel activity.

5.       Always conduct themselves appropriately and professionally, in accordance 3.40 Employee Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures.

6.       Contact the appropriate college administrator in the event of an emergency as soon as reasonably possible.


Students participating in travel activities are expected to:

1.       Participate in pre-departure information sessions with the sponsoring department and/or travel sponsor and review any materials provided.

2.       Represent the college in a positive manner.

3.       Be held financially responsible for any damages, liability, or losses to personal property that result from their misconduct (e.g., damage to a hotel room).

4.       Abide by the standards of conduct located in the student handbook and all other college policies applicable to students during the travel activity. In addition to college policies, travelers are subject to all local, state, federal, and international laws to and from and in the location(s) where the travel is occurring.

5.       Abide by any code of conduct or similar guidelines set by the sponsoring organization for the duration of the event.

6.       Violations of college policies while participating in a travel activity may result in a student being sent back to their OTC location at their own cost and with no refund for any costs associated with the travel activity.

Student Complaints and Concerns

While participating in a travel activity, students may bring complaints or other concerns to the attention of the travel sponsor; the dean of students, Joyce Doebler doeblerj@otc.edu, or designated conduct officer; and in situations involving sexual misconduct, the college’s Title IX coordinator, Kevin Luebbering luebberk@otc.edu. Appropriate action will be taken to address and resolve complaints and concerns. Students should also contact local law enforcement in the location in which they are traveling if they have been a victim of a crime.

D. Definitions

Travel Activity is any college-sanctioned event requiring an overnight stay and/or travel of at least 125 miles from any OTC campus or center.

Travel Sponsor or Sponsoring Department/Organization are approved employees or offices of the college which organize and supervise student travel.

E. Authority

This policy and these procedures are maintained under the authority of the vice chancellor for student affairs.

F. Related Policies

3.26 Compensable Travel Time (Non-Exempt Employees)

3.40 Employee Code of Conduct and Disciplinary Procedures

3.42 Employee Use of College Resources and Space

4.06 Sexual Misconduct

5.15 Standards of Student Conduct

6.12 Direct Reimbursement for Permissible Expenditures

G. Implementation

Policy approved and adopted by the Board of Trustees on 04/10/2023.

Purpose, procedures, and definitions approved and adopted by the Cabinet on 03/21/2023. Set for review in 2025 or every two years.