Programs Involving Minors on Campus :: Northern Virginia Community College

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Programs Involving Minors on Campus

Policy Number: 117

Categorized: General Policies

Responsible Office: Provosts

Subject: Policy and procedures governing non-enrolled minors in College sponsored programs

Related Policies: Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect, Children and Visitors on Campus

Forms: Assumption of Risk, Photo Release, Programs Involving Minors – Approval and Registration

Additional Information: Guidelines for Working with Minors, Program Rules and Regulations

Effective Date: 04/24/2018

Last Reviewed Date: 03/26/2019


1.0 Scope

This policy applies to all programs and activities on College property that involve non-enrolled minors and that are sponsored by the College or co-sponsored by the College and an external organization, including camps, clinics, workshops, conferences, and other educational activities.

This policy does not apply to College visits, to general public events where parents or guardians are invited and where they are expected to provide supervision of minors, or to events that are open to the general public and which minors attend at the sole discretion of their parents or guardians.

2.0 Policy Statement

Northern Virginia Community College is committed to maintaining a safe and supportive environment for all individuals in the College community, including minors. Programs involving minors shall be conducted in accord with the requirements of this policy.

3.0 Definitions

College Property: all buildings, facilities, and other property owned or controlled by the College, including but not limited to classrooms, administrative buildings, parking lots, athletics fields and facilities, and vehicles.

College sponsored program: a program that is directly related to the assigned responsibilities of the College department or division sponsoring the program, and for which a department or division of the College determines the content of the program, plans and organizes the logistics.

College Visit: a minor’s temporary presence on College property as part of a recruitment event or community outreach activity. Examples include visits by prospective students, clinics, and school field trips.

Co-sponsored program: a program jointly sponsored by a College department or division and an external organization.

Minor: an individual under the age of 18.

Program: an event or activity that provides educational/instructional, recreational, cultural or athletic activities primarily developed to serve minors, such as camps, STEM Day, etc.

Responsible Adult: parent, legal guardian or other person 18 years of age or older to whom the parent or guardian has given temporary responsibility for providing the care and management of a minor child

4.0 Procedures

4.1 Approval

All Programs Involving Minors must be reviewed and approved by the provost or vice president having supervisory authority over the Program, normally at least sixty (60) days prior to the first scheduled date of participation by minors. The Program must also be approved by the provost of the campus where it will take place, if different.

Factors to be considered before approving a Program include:

  1. Alignment of the Program with the College’s mission;
  2. Appropriate subject matter and fully planned activity itinerary;
  3. Appropriate staffing and supervision ratios, with special regard to avoiding one-on-one contact between Minors and Program/Activity Staff.

4.2 Registration

All Programs shall, at least ten (10) days prior to the first scheduled date of participation by minors, register such Program with the Office of Administrative Services/ Risk Management. Registration shall be on Form 125-392 and shall require, at a minimum:

  1. the name of the person in charge of the Program,
  2. the dates and locations where minors will be participating,
  3. the provost or vice president having supervisory authority over the Program,
  4. the general nature of the activities to be undertaken, and
  5. the administrative requirements associated with the Program, including whether waivers, permission slips, and medical emergency forms have been or will be obtained from the parents/guardians of participating minors.

4.3 Additional Requirements for Programs Involving Minors Working in Labs

While all programs involving minors are expected to complete the requirements outlined above, there are additional requirements that must be satisfied when minors will be working in labs at NOVA.

4.4 Forms

Minors and their parents or guardians must submit required College forms before minors are allowed to participate in a College sponsored program, including:

  1. assumption of risk signed by parent or legal guardian
  2. program rules and behavioral expectation
  3. medical information and emergency contact
  4. photo release

For programs that are co-sponsored by an external organization, that organization’s forms may be substituted for the College forms. However, the College assumption of risk form is always required, even if the external organization’s form covers assumption of risk.

4.5 Supervision and Interaction with Minors

Program staff are responsible for:

  1. supervising minors at all times while they are participating in the program
  2. following College guidelines for Interaction with Minors
  3. enforcing all program rules and behavioral expectations
  4. responding to emergencies
  5. completing incident reports, if required
  6. reporting child abuse or neglect as outlined in Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect Policy

4.6 Background Checks

Individuals who are responsible for the supervision or care of minors in College-sponsored or cosponsored Programs, or whose duties would require close contact with minors must successfully complete a criminal background check prior to working with minors, and every three years thereafter. The cost of the background investigation is the responsibility of the College sponsor. Background investigations are coordinated through the Office of Human Resources.

Individuals with unsatisfactory background check results may be excluded from participation in the Program at the College’s discretion.

4.7 Violations and Reporting

College employees who fail to supervise minors in College sponsored programs may be subject to disciplinary action in accord with DHRM and VCCS policies. College departments that fail to comply with this policy may be prohibited from sponsoring programs involving minors in the future.

All College employees, who in their official or professional capacity, have reason to suspect that a minor is an abused or neglected child, are required to report the matter as soon as possible, but not longer than 24 hours after having reason to suspect a reportable offense of child abuse or neglect. See Policy 406 Reporting Child Abuse and Neglect.

Accidents involving visitors, including minors, should be reported. The College employee at the scene should complete the Incident Report Form, (NVCC Form 125-088), at the time of the occurrence or as soon after the occurrence as possible. College police are to complete the form if no College employee is present.

5.0 Authority

Code of Virginia §63.2-100

DHRM 1.60 Standards of Conduct

VCCS Policy 3.14.6 Reporting Sexual Child Abuse or Neglect

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