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EL Guidelines for Fall and Spring 2020-2021

Summary of University of Dayton Experiential Learning (EL) Guidelines for Fall and Spring 2020-2021

The default for experiential learning (EL) for Fall 2020/Spring 2021 will be virtual/online modalities rather than in-person activities and gatherings. EL activities which traditionally take place off-campus and in the Dayton area (community-engaged learning, service-learning, volunteer work done by individual students and student organizations, etc.) should transition to virtual alternatives or be postponed until further notice. EL programs that are required for degree completion or licensure must be managed and approved through the appropriate dean’s office.


Exceptions include EL programs that consist of off-campus paid employment positions sought out by students independently (practicums, co-operative education, non-credit internships, etc.). In these cases it is expected that employers will communicate, in writing, COVID-19 health and safety protocols to students at the outset of their employment. 


Students working or engaged in off-campus EL activities are encouraged to communicate to their roommates in their community living agreement so that roommates have an understanding that roommates will be involved in an EL opportunity. 


Limited Exceptions for off-campus EL: In rare cases, a small number of exceptions may be granted for in-person, off-campus EL involving strictly limited numbers of students, and for which there is no online alternative. Faculty and staff seeking permission to lead an in-person EL activity off-campus which does not fulfill a degree or licensure requirement will need to obtain the support of their department chair and/or dean. They should request this support as soon as possible giving a description of the EL activity/program. Before the activity can be approved, they will need to provide COVID-19 health and safety protocols for participants, AND documentation that any external partner has appropriate COVID-19 health and safety protocols. Proposals for exceptions are subject to review by the Path Forward Executive Task Force and the Director of Experiential Learning and waivers may be required for participants. Requests for exceptions will need to be submitted on the Risk Review Form.

On-Campus Gatherings

All on-campus gatherings, including EL which takes place as part of the university curriculum in classrooms, studios, and laboratories, must adhere to general university recommendations for health and safety protocols and to the guidelines for gatherings and events. Please note that, even if you already reserved space, many, if not all, requests for space in Fall 2020/Spring 2021 will need to be canceled or amended in order to meet safety guidelines. If you determine an in-person gathering is crucial, get approval from your department/program/center, and complete the required form in 1850 starting August 1 2020.


For on-campus laboratories, studio spaces, and classrooms where EL activities take place (art & design projects, music rehearsals, etc.): Any space or activity where participants cannot wear face coverings and adhere to social distancing guidelines, or that involves other added risks (e.g., use of shared equipment), must have a safety protocol that is provided to participants in writing and filed with the appropriate department and dean’s office. Faculty and staff conducting on-campus EL activities are required to consult their department chair/dean to discuss the specific details of their activities as soon as possible, prior to the start of the semester. Laboratories (in the natural sciences, engineering, etc.) and EL activities taking place in studio and classroom spaces will be subject to review by Environmental Health & Safety, ( to ensure they are abiding by general guidelines set forth by the on campus classroom spaces committee.  Written plans can be submitted to or through a Google Form provided in the Guide for Research and Teaching Continuity in Laboratories, Studios and Workshops under COVID-19.  


All experiential learning abroad (outside the US) is postponed until further notice, with the exception of some travel that is being reviewed by the Path Forward Executive Task Force. Faculty, staff, and students should consult information on travel guidelines and the travel review process included in the Path Forward Travel Plan prior to making travel plans.