Clery Compliance for Study Abroad and Field Study Programs

Under the Clery Act, the college is required to collect and publish statistics on crimes occurring on campus, and on "non-campus property."

Non-Campus Property is defined in the Act as:

  • Property not considered part of the core campus "owned or controlled" by the college, and supports or is used for educational purposes. For property rented, leased, or otherwise controlled for varying amounts of time, the college must obtain statistics for crimes occurring on that property for the time frame that the college controls it; if the college owns it, the college must obtain statistics for crimes that occur there any time.
  • Controlled or owned space may be an entire building or geographic area, or a part thereof such as a classroom, row of hotel rooms, a ship or vessel, or any other space that is "owned or controlled" by the institution as described above.

Written Agreements

  • For the purposes of non-campus property, an agreement is defined as a rental or lease document or other written form of agreement covering the college's use of academic and/or residential space. The agreement need not be a formal one; even an email college suffices.
  • If the written agreement covers a program and not the physical space, the college does not have to report statistics.

 Students Educated Overseas Taught and Housed by a Third Party or Institution

  • If the agreement is with another institution or third party, you may not have Clery requirements. For example, you have an agreement with another college/university to allow our students to enroll at their institution, but the agreement does not require that institution to provide specific rooms, etc., the college does not have Clery requirements. (Title IX requirements may, however, apply.)
  • Example 1: If the college owns classroom and housing space in London, you are required to report incidents in that space. You are not required to report incidents on the program that occur in public places (restaurants, bars, public transportation) or when students are away on independent weekend travel.
  • Example 2: If the college rents classroom space in Paris, you are required to report incidents that occur in that space. However, depending on your contract, it is possible that you will only report incidents that occur within the specific hours, days or months included in your contract.

Additionally, depending on the contract, your reporting may be further limited to those incidents occurring in the specific rooms and required passageways to those rooms. You many not need to report incidents that occur on the other floors or sections of the building.

Private Home Stays
  • Normally home stays do not invoke Clery requirements unless the college has some kind of agreement directly with the provider of the homestay (such as agreement to provide certain services for our student, and particularly if there is a separate entrance for the space, such as an in-law apartment).
  • Arrangements with another institution or company would not necessarily cause Clery to be applicable for the homestays that may be arranged by that third party.
 
Side Trips
  • Side trips organized by the attending students or by host families which are not covered by an agreement by the college and are not officially organized by the college do not have Clery reporting requirements.
  • However, as in other areas, there could potentially be Title IX implications. 
  • Best practice would also suggest that if the college becomes aware of a crime that occurred during such a trip, it may be beneficial to advise students involved in the particular program when possible.
 
Field Trips

Not all student trips need be reported. For trips to be reportable, student trips must meet certain requirements:

  • The college has control over the trip or program accommodation and any related academic space used in conjunction with the trip AND
  • The trip happens "repeatedly" (annually, to the same location) OR the occurrence is of "long duration" (more than one night as defined by the Department of Education).

In addition, the controlled space must be used in direct support of, or in relation to, the institution’s educational purposes and frequented by students. Some examples of a written agreement include renting hotel rooms, leasing apartments, leasing space in a student housing facility or academic space on another campus and even an e-mail agreement for use of space free of charge. Hostels are not normally reportable unless the written agreement gives the College control over the space within the accommodation.

This definition would cover trips such as those below, provided the College has an agreement for academic/residential space and the trip is part of the college's educational purpose:

  • Athletics long-term travel
  • Performing & visual arts long-term travel

Non-Campus Property Matrix

To determine if your site is Clery reportable, please check this Non-Campus Property Matrix.

Research Vessels

Similar to other study abroad or field study, the college must disclose statistics for the ship or the the areas controlled by the college while students are on board (i.e., arranged by and overseen by our faculty, or the college has a written agreement regarding student housing & participation in the program).
Other Field Study Locations
If the college owns or controls the property (i.e., has an agreement for use of the property/facilities for education and housing purposes), statistics must be obtained and reported. This may include:
 

Note that some crimes may be relevant based on Title IX requirements but may not initiate Clery requirements. Refer to the college's information on Title IX for abroad and field study programs.

Timely Notifications

Study abroad and field study coordinators should note that in addition to obtaining crime statistics, the college is responsible for providing timely notification of incidents made known to the college which threaten the safety of students studying at an abroad or field location. This notification need not be issued to the entire community, but can be issued only to students studying in that same program.  

The role of study abroad and field study coordinators:

  • notify Campus Police of the exact location and addresses for abroad and field study programs; be prepared to provide sufficient details about the college's control over those spaces that will determine if the space is covered by Clery Act requirements.
  • assure students report any crimes occurring on non-campus property (residential and academic areas controlled by the college)
  • obtain sufficient information on what happened, where, and when
  • report the crime to Campus Police who will review it for potential inclusion in Clery crime statistics (the most significant factor is where the crime occurred)
  • assure that students studying at an abroad or field study location are made aware of crimes that are reported to you or location coordinators

Documentation and Maintenance of Files
The college is required to maintain documentation of Clery records for a period of seven (7) years. This includes correspondence with Campus Security Authorities relating to incidents occurring in non-campus property. Campus Security Authorities should maintain a copy of all records shared with the campus Clery Compliance Coordinator, including any criminal incidents determined ultimately not to meet Clery definitions.
 
Questions?
If you have any questions relating to study abroad or field study, please contact Jeanne Tripp (jtripp@mtholyoke.edu or x2305). 

Resources:

NAFSA The Clery Act and Education Abroad
NACUA Notes: The Clery Act and Overseas/Distance Study: New Developments and Compliance Guidance 
The Handbook for Campus Safety & Security Reporting, 2016 Edition