Student Travel Crisis Management Plan
When traveling with students on college sponsored or organized trips, Madison College employees legally and morally take on the responsibility of ensuring that the health and safety of students and participants is given utmost priority. It is important, parents, family, and other loved ones separated from students traveling, know that adequate policies and procedures are in place to provide the safest possible environments for student participants. Despite every precaution, however, accidents and catastrophic events can happen anywhere. The guidelines in this plan are designed to provide a solid foundation of safety measures and to provide a standardized protocol for communication and action should emergency situations arise.
Prior to departure the faculty or staff responsible for leading student trips are required to submit a copy of the following forms to the Student Life Office plus take a copy of the forms and Crisis Management Plan on the trip:
- Code of Conduct
- Emergency Information
- Emergency Resource Card
- Participant List
- Waiver of Liability
For critical emergency situations, contact the local police, medical, or other assistance needed to protect the health and safety of yourself and program participants first. Once all participants are safe, to the extent possible, then contact Madison College staff as indicated.
Crisis Management Decision Making
- Convene all Madison College personnel at the location of the incident. Do not wait until a crisis has escalated and do not try to handle the situation yourself.
- Gather information as accurately and timely as possible. Not every detail will be available, but gather enough to determine the magnitude of the issue. Define the boundaries of confidentiality.
- Decide whether or not to escalate the issue. Ideally there is a pre-determined threshold for launching into crisis-mode, but if not, there are some triggers that universally require escalating into crisis response. Generally, if the threat has, or could lead to significant harm to the student(s), club or college itself, it is worth escalating.
- Engage external partners. If the incident warrants external partners such as the police, Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Safety Transportation Board or other regulatory agency, reach out to identify a point of contact and open the lines of communication. These Madison College representatives should be contacted: Director of Student Life, Clubs Coordinator, and Public Safety.
- Follow appropriate/additional steps based on situation.
- Record and learn. Once the situation resumes to normal, be sure to gather the team involved for an after-action discussion. Every incident is an opportunity to practice the response process and identify areas that need improvement.
These steps were adapted from Decision Making in Times of Crisis, Strawser, 2017, and 7 Steps of Crisis Management, 2014.