Off-Campus Experiential Learning Opportunities


Miami University offers a wide variety of experiential learning opportunities to its students (e.g. internships, fieldwork, clinical opportunities, student teaching opportunities, service learning, co-ops, etc.).  Because the well-being of our students is of great concern, we have developed the following guidelines and other documents to assist students and their instructors / faculty mentors make informed and wise decisions related to face-to-face off-campus experiential learning opportunities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please note: All students engaging in internships should register on the Center for Career Exploration & Student Success internship webpage at:

For off-campus experiential learning opportunities (paid or unpaid) which do not carry any academic credit:

Students should consult the Due Diligence Checklist and Warning Statement and work with the off-campus learning opportunity supervisor or employer to decide on an appropriate course of action.  The University is not a party to, and has no control over, a private employment or voluntary service or other experiential learning relationship. Students should, however, inquire about the possibility of engaging in remote project-based work rather than engaging in face-to-face experiences.

For off-campus experiential learning opportunities that are taken for academic credit (including when the student is enrolled in a 340 or X77 course for zero-credit):

Students should contact the off-campus learning opportunity site supervisor AND the instructor of the academic course (e.g., 340, X77, or other experiential course) to review and discuss the Due Diligence Checklist and Warning Statement, and consider available options, such as:

  1. Have the student engage with the off-campus host to determine if the host is amenable to assigning the student remote projects for some or all of the off-campus learning experience. In this situation, the faculty mentor/instructor should schedule regular virtual meetings with the student and utilize online document-sharing tools to provide support and enhance the learning of the student.

  2. If the experiential learning opportunity cannot be completed remotely, or if the student and/or off-campus host decides that the experiential learning opportunity should not be completed in a face-to-face manner, then the student should alert his or her course instructor or faculty mentor immediately and seek guidance.  There are several possibilities that can be explored, such as alternate learning activities that may substitute for the off-campus learning opportunity, requesting to withdraw from the course, and deferring the opportunity to a later semester or term. See Alternative Learning Options below. 

  3. If the student is about to graduate and therefore cannot defer the learning opportunity to a later term or semester, then the faculty member must offer the student alternative learning activities that align with the outcomes of the off-campus experience as much as possible. Note: In situations such as clinical, licensure or certification programs, creating alternative options may not be possible; and in some cases, it may be necessary for students in programs with licensure or certification requirements to extend their course of study if their off-campus fieldwork is disrupted. See Alternative Learning Options below.

  4. The student may choose to engage in the face-to-face off-campus learning opportunity after carefully considering the Due Diligence Checklist and Warning Statement, and after conferring thoughtfully with the off-campus host and faculty mentor/course instructor.

    All students engaging in face-to-face off-campus opportunities —other than licensure, clinical or certification programs --- should be aware that the University has the ability to create alternative options for students in lieu of in-person, off-campus opportunities
  5. All students engaging in face-to-face off-campus learning opportunities are expected to adhere to state and local COVID-19 directives, and CDC guidelines.  

Alternative Learning Options

Students choosing to not engage in off-campus experiential learning opportunities, or who become uncomfortable during an off-campus experiential learning opportunities,  should immediately speak with their course instructor/faculty mentor.  Please note that if the off-campus experiential learning opportunity is required for the major or degree program and the student cannot defer that experience to a later semester or term, the course instructor/faculty mentor is responsible for providing alternative learning opportunities to meet that requirement.

General Guidelines for Alternative Learning Activities

  • The hours for the alternative experience must align with the hours required for each credit hour received.

  • Experience (if it is an internship) may be paid or unpaid.

  • Experiences should include learning outcomes that are aligned with the program of study.

  • Examples of acceptable learning activities include: online trainings, projects, student competitions, credentialing (which may be classroom-structured or virtual/online), leadership development experiences, upskilling, project-based opportunities, undergraduate research projects, entrepreneurship projects, part-time employment, creative competitions and service learning. Other opportunities which faculty advisors deem acceptable are also permitted.

  • Multiple experiences can be joined together to fulfill requirements.

  • Students should have a mentor/supervisor with discipline-specific knowledge who can provide feedback on their activity(ies).

  • Reflection is a required critical component which must be utilized in the learning experience.

  • The experience must be approved by the instructor.

  • Students must identify and propose a final deliverable that adequately demonstrates their increased proficiency and learning.

Please note:  These guidelines will be reviewed regularly, and new guidance will be adjusted as needed.