Due Diligence

Everyone wants to make sure that all partners in the academic service learning experience are safe and secure. As a result, it is necessary to evaluate your project to anticipate problems. It is important to be thorough, check out the worksite and look for potential risks to students and community members. If a site or situation presents a problem or potential threat, perhaps a different project would be a better choice.

Here are several tips to keep in mind:

  • Consider having students work in pairs and trios. In general, it is good practice not to send students out alone. Students should go in pairs and trios to organizations where those receiving services may exhibit unpredictable and possibly dangerous behavior, such as schools, homeless shelters or soup kitchens.
  • Ensure adequate supervision from both the community partner and the faculty supervisor. It is important that a representative of the organization be present at all times to handle emergencies, provide guidance and to help students learn the necessary skills.
  • When student travel to off-campus locations is necessary, try to use university vehicles whenever possible. These vehicles are insured and well-maintained. If use of a university vehicle is not an option, use common sense when selecting students to drive.  
    • If students are driving university vehicles, they should be approved by Public Safety (906-227-2151). Prior to the travel, ask the student to go over to the Public Safety Office with their driver’s license. The officers there will check the student’s driving record and issue an NMU approved driver card.
  • If information is needed on NMU's insurance coverage, please contact James Bradley, risk and insurance manager, at 906-227-2745 or jbradley@nmu.edu.
  • If something unforeseen does occur, it is best to submit a university incident report.