Off-Campus Service Learning - Transporting Students
Transporting Students Off Campus for Service Learning Opportunities
Field trips and service work performed off campus can allow students to have a chance to engage with the wider community. The greater Atlanta area is rich with opportunities for service learning work—now, it’s just a matter of getting your students there!
If you are leaving campus, all students should sign and return Georgia Tech’s official “Waiver of Liability, Assumption of Risk and Indemnity Agreement” form, found here. The trip organizer should keep the signed forms on file for the duration of the semester.
Walkable off-campus destinations: A number of places close to campus offer interesting field trip opportunities. Feel free to consult with SLS for some recommendations!
MARTA: The MARTA stations closest to campus are North Avenue and Midtown. (The Georgia Tech Trolley goes directly to Midtown Station.) MARTA fare is $2.50 one-way and must be loaded onto a Breeze Card, which itself costs $2. In other words, a round-trip journey for a student who does not already have a Breeze Card costs $7. MARTA also offers a variety of bus routes, which may also be convenient. For more details and to plan your trip, see http://www.itsmarta.com/default.aspx.
Be sure to allow extra time in case of delays! MARTA card machines are sometimes out of order and the trains themselves can occasionally be delayed.
Make sure that students know 1) where they may have to transfer and 2) what their final station is.
Private transportation: If you are working with a small class or dividing your classes into small groups, consider the feasibility of private transportation.
Car pools can be arranged, though keep in mind that many students, especially first-year students, do not have cars and insurance coverage may not be sufficient for transporting others.
Ride-sharing services such as Uber, Lyft, or Curb are available and students can easily coordinate amongst themselves.
The Campus Recreation Center (CRC) rents 7, 12, and 15 passenger vans for $35/day. To be eligible to drive a campus van, you must complete two online certification courses and have a clean driving record. Details can be found here: http://www.crc.gatech.edu/content/583/campus-recreation-vehicles-policies-procedures.
Charter Buses are available through Georgia Tech’s Parking and Transportation Services. The Stinger option, which holds 33 passengers, is $375 for a three-hour minimum trip. Buses can take several days to approve and, during the school year, are unavailable between the hours of 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM. At least two people are required to act as safety chaperones. The buses can travel within a 50-mile radius of the GT Parking and Transportation main office. For more information, see http://www.pts.gatech.edu/charter-bus-rental-services.
Students should be reminded to be aware of their surroundings and to practice good judgement before their out of classroom experience. For some students, this may be their first major experience away from Georgia Tech! Be sure to provide the following information:
Brief students on basic safety precautions before field trips.
Encourage students to travel in groups and to exchange their cell phone numbers with at least a few members of the class in case they are separated.
Provide students with a printed map and key phone numbers/addresses, including your own cell number.
Remind students to wear weather- and context-appropriate clothing and to leave device-stuffed backpacks at home.
Encourage students to fully charge their cell phones prior to departure.
Adapted from the Georgia Tech Writing and Communication Program Guide and the Marion L. Brittain Postdoctoral Fellows Handbook