Service Learning Network

Partner Agreement and Affiliation Documents

Contract/Affiliation Agreements:

When negotiating these service learning partnership arrangements, faculty/staff coordinators should consult University Counsel (331-2067).  Consultation with University Counsel will be helpful in establishing the depth of agreement that is needed.  In all situations where students will be working with supervisors that are not instructors of record (ie. Internship, fieldwork, clinical, co-op etc.) an agreement must be completed.  In order to help ensure beneficial experiences for faculty, staff, students and our external partners it is imperative to identify responsibilities, educational objectives and policies/processes that will guide the experiences.

Contracting Authority:

The GVSU Board of Trustees has granted contracting authority to the President, who has delegated authority to the Provost. The Provost has delegated authority to the Deans of each academic unit for the purpose of executing Affiliation Agreements. All Affiliation Agreements must be signed and approved by each Program Coordinator’s respective Dean, unless the Provost and Dean have otherwise delegated that authority in writing. (please note that budget authority and signature authority for contracts are not the same thing).  Internship Agreements may be signed by the Program Coordinator if delegated that authority by the Dean. 

If you are negotiating an affiliation agreement on behalf of your students, your agreement should include at minimum the following:

  • Identification of the parties, GVSU, your program and the company/business/clinical site where your student will be interning.
  • The length of the agreement, ability to terminate and the renewal terms if any. If you send students to the same site year after year, a three to five year duration with an option to re-new is not unusual.
  • Identification of the purpose of the arrangement and the respective responsibilities of the university and the placement site.
  • Identification of who is responsible for the curricular content of the program.
  • Expectation if progress or performance reports are to be provided by the placement site.
  • Confidentiality provisions.
  • Ability of placement site to remove a student during the semester.
  • Independent contractor status of the students and any faculty supervisors.
  • FERPA provision.
  • ADA provision.

If you are not directly involved in the oversight of the placement but you do require your students to get some type of internship experience as part of your class, you should still have some type of written agreement with the placement and it should include at minimum the following:

  • Identification of the parties, your program,  the name of the student and the placement site.
  • Contact information for the placement site (name, phone number, address).
  • Academic component requirements.

In both situations you may be asked to provide more or less information.  Please note that you are responsible for ensuring any placement site is ADA compliant and that your students are adequately supervised while on site.

*             Medical facilities generally prefer to use their own forms. Questions related to those form agreements should be directed to the Office of University Counsel, 1-2067

Reference: Risk Reduction Task Force, Grand Valley State University College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. (2011). Identifying and managing risk associated with experiential learning.  Unpublished manuscript, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Grand Valley State University, Allendale, Michigan.

Page last modified August 27, 2011