Off Campus Learning

In accordance with State of Ohio guidelines, face-to-face co-op, internships and service learning may take place. Additionally, students employed by UC faculty or other researchers may participate in face-to-face work at the discretion of the Principal Investigator.

Co-op

If your co-op position is affected, students are required to inform their co-op faculty advisor through email and the Co-op Status Change Notification Form.

Face-to-face experiential learning during Spring Semester 2021 remains optional. Students are not obligated to participate in face-to-face experiential learning even though it is now permitted. For students in mandatory co-op programs, the COVID-19 EEP options are acceptable alternatives and will count toward the co-op requirement. Students can relocate for face-to-face experiential learning; however, this policy is subject to change based on evolving public health status.

Many companies and partners across the globe continue to ask employees to work remotely, thus many students have the opportunity to complete co-op and other experiential learning requirements remotely (without physically being onsite at the employer’s or partner’s location). Career Education has opened the UC Remote Work Lab and Learning Center, located on the 3rd floor of University Square, in order to provide students who are working remotely for co-op employers an alternative location to conduct and perform that work. (Students must sign up in advance to use the space and can see the Remote Work Lab and Learning Center web page for more information.)  

Additional COVID-19 updates are available on the Career Education website.

Clinical placements and licensures

Programs should assess student placement needs against the established rubric and submit findings to the dean of the college for approval. Please note, you must duplicate the online form before editing or submitting.

To pursue student placements, the following must hold true:

  • Programs must meet accreditation requirements through direct patient/client contact.
  • Direct patient/client contact will occur only with proper use of personal protective equipment (PPE), as indicated by UC or CDC requirements. Programs are responsible for ensuring students have the PPE they need. Students may receive PPE through their clinical site and in other cases, the college may need to provide supplies. Colleges may contact Alex Maus (alex.maus@uchealth.com) for assistance in obtaining PPE.
  • All students will be aware of and adhere to established UC and/or the students’ placement sites’ COVID-19 policies and procedures.
  • Students must have the ability to defer face-to-face coursework and programming if they choose. In some cases, this may result in delayed graduation or licensure. 
  • Students will not knowingly have face-to-face contact with a COVID-19 positive patient/client (someone who has tested positive for COVID-19).

Education/licensure field experiences

The appropriate dean of the college or vice provost must approve proposed field experiences for placement outside of the healthcare field (e.g., educator licensure). Plans should consider the following.

  • Students must complete UC COVID-19 training or similar training approved by college.
  • Accreditation requirements mandate experiential learning.
  • Standards of practice across the country are consistent with proposed placement.
  • Programs explored simulated or online field experiences and are not always possible.
  • No direct contact with individuals who tested positive COVID-19.
  • Students must have the ability to defer if they choose. In some cases, this may result in delayed graduation or licensure.
  • The students are already interns (e.g., employees of the site).
  • Students must adhere to any illness-screening policies of UC or the field experience site prior to entry to site.
  • Students must have access to any PPE required by placement sites. Programs are responsible for ensuring students have the PPE they need. Students may receive PPE through their clinical site and in other cases, the college may need to provide supplies. Colleges may contact Alex Maus (alex.maus@uchealth.com) for assistance in obtaining PPE.
  • Program directors and faculty will ensure students adhere to the University Health Services recommendations about reporting known exposure and test results.

Community engagement

Community Engagement is a broad category that includes volunteerism, as well as activities related to student development and course completion, such as clinical work, service learning, capstone projects, internships, etc. 

As such, community engagement lies within the very foundation of the mission of the university. Having students, faculty and staff engage in meaningful ways throughout the community plays an important role in establishing the university as a member of the community. As needed, engagement opportunities will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis to consider the priority of the opportunity, as well as the ability to practice established safety protocols. The university will develop a standard agreement to ensure that campus members, as well as the community we engage with, abide by accepted safety protocols. 

Service learning

The Center for Community Engagement (CCE) and the Office of Service Learning are working collaboratively to identify a variety of service-related initiatives that can be completed online. In addition, these offices are working closely with community partners to determine which agencies can still safely host in-person service opportunities for students and will communicate those through the traditional Weekly Service Update. All in-person service learning requires the approval of the Dean, cannot be a requirement for a course, and should not occur in hot zones. Finally, the CCE is exploring continuation of the partnership with Cincinnati Public Schools that would offer its popular and highly impactful Bearcat Buddies tutoring program online.

Hot zones

Placement of students in hot zones is permitted in certain situations. Hot zones are described as areas where the virus can be easily transmitted and affected persons may be particularly vulnerable. For our purposes, this primarily refers to nursing homes, prisons and clinical laboratory placements.

Program/course directors or college placement officers will verify safety with health officials local to the proposed placement site. In Ohio, check site safety on the Ohio Department of Health website. For out-of-state placements, reference this AARP tool as a first step. The dean of the college must approve all sites. Contact Vice Provost Chris Lewis (lewisct@uc.edu) with questions.