Experiential Education Employer/Community Partner Resource Guides

State of Michigan

A number of resources have been published by the State of Michigan offering guidance related to re-opening of businesses during the Coronavirus pandemic.

This general Information covers topics relating to business reopening procedures, access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), unemployment information and industry specific best practices … details can be found at: Employer Coronavirus Resources

Detailed guidance offered by the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) regarding workplace safety for employers and employees (including student workers) can be found at: Workplace Safety General Resources

Employees (including student workers)

Video:  MIOSHA Employee Guidelines                       Handout: Employee Workplace Guidelines

Employers (including Community Partners)

Video:  MIOSHA Employer Guidelines                        Handout: Employer Workplace Guidelines

Grand Valley State University

The university provides information (that is constantly updated) on its response to the Coronavirus Pandemic. Details can be found at: https://www.gvsu.edu/coronavirus/

Other helpful resources include:

Click and explore the following resources below to learn about best practices with hosting virtual internships:

Sources: Yale Office of Career Strategy, Handshake, Cooperative Education & Internship Association

Some considerations for employers when looking to adjust an internship or Co-Op due to COVID-19

  • Be proactive with your communication to the student and your GVSU contacts
  • GVSU will be flexible in working with you and the student to accommodate any changes to the internship and still maintain the integrity of the learning experience.
  • Let us work with you to find creative solutions and alternative projects/experiences.
  • A substitute student consulting project may be an option.  For more information see: Connecting Businesses with Students

Office of Community Engagement – Community based learning is a highly effective pedagogical approach to a student’s education (often referred to as high impact learning). It is essentially a partnership between a student (or a whole class) under the supervision of a GVSU faculty where the academic theory learnt in the classroom is complemented through the application of real-world experience with support from our community partners. For more information, please contact Mr. Travus Burton at 616 331 2400 (community@gvsu.edu) or visit our Office of Community Engagement at:  https://www.gvsu.edu/community/

Community Based Learning (CBL) Agreement Form 


Frequently Asked Questions

In order to assist our employers and community partners during these challenging times, we have compiled a set of frequently asked questions (FAQs’) to help address a number of common enquiries made regarding your support of our students in their internships, co-ops and community-based learning experiences.

Answers to the CDC section of the FAQs’ has been taken from the Federal Government Center for Disease Control Guidelines see: CDC Guidance for Businesses

Center for Disease Control (CDC) General Employee Health Related Questions

A. Employees who have symptoms when they arrive at work or become sick during the day should immediately be separated from other employees, customers, and visitors and sent home. Employees who develop symptoms outside of work should notify their supervisor and stay home.

Sick employees should follow CDC-recommended steps. Employees should not return to work until they have met the criteria to discontinue home isolation and have consulted with a healthcare provider and state or local health department.

Employers should not require sick employees to provide a COVID-19 test result or healthcare provider’s note to validate their illness, qualify for sick leave, or return to work. Healthcare provider offices and medical facilities may be extremely busy and not able to provide such documentation in a timely manner.

A. In most cases, you do not need to shut down your facility. But do close off any areas used for prolonged periods of time by the sick person:

  • Wait 24 hours before cleaning and disinfecting to minimize potential for other employees being exposed to respiratory droplets. If waiting 24 hours is not feasible, wait as long as possible.
  • During this waiting period, open outside doors and windows to increase air circulation in these areas.

Follow the CDC cleaning and disinfection recommendations:

  • Clean dirty surfaces with soap and water before disinfecting them.
  • To disinfect surfaces, use products that meet EPA criteria for use against SARS- COVID-2 the virus that causes COVID-19, and are appropriate for the surface.
  • Always wear gloves and gowns appropriate for the chemicals being used when you are cleaning and disinfecting.
  • You may need to wear additional personal protective equipment (PPE) depending on the setting and disinfectant product you are using.

In addition to cleaning and disinfecting, employers should determine which employees may have been exposed to the virus and need to take additional precautions:

Sick employees should follow CDC-recommended steps. Employees should not return to work until they have met the criteria to discontinue home isolation and have consulted with a healthcare provider and state or local health department.

If an employee is confirmed to have COVID-19, employers should inform fellow employees of their possible exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace but maintain confidentiality as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

A. Employees may have been exposed if they are a “close contact” of someone who infected, which is defined as being within approximately 6 feet (2 meters) of a person with COVID-19 for a prolonged period of time:

  • Potentially exposed employees who have symptoms of COVID-19 should self-isolate and follow CDC recommended steps.
  • Potentially exposed employees who do not have symptoms should remain at home or in a comparable setting and practice social distancing for 14 days.

All other employees should self-monitor for symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath. If they develop symptoms, they should notify their supervisor and stay home.

See Public Health Recommendations for Community-Related Exposure for more information.

To ensure continuity of operations of essential functions, CDC advises that critical infrastructure workers may be permitted to continue work following potential exposure to COVID-19, provided they remain symptom-free and additional precautions are taken to protect them and the community.

  • Critical infrastructure businesses have an obligation to limit, to the extent possible, the reintegration of in-person workers who have been exposed to COVID-19 but remain symptom-free in ways that best protect the health of the worker, their co-workers, and the general public.
  • An analysis of core job tasks and workforce availability at worksites can allow the employer to match core activities to other equally skilled and available in-person workers who have not been exposed.
  • A critical infrastructure worker who is symptom-free and returns to work should wear a face mask at all times while in the workplace for 14 days after last exposure. Employers can issue facemasks or can approve employees’ supplied cloth face coverings in the event of shortages.

See Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to a Person with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19 for more information.

A. If it has been less than 7 days since the sick employee used the facility, clean and disinfect all areas used by the sick employee following the CDC cleaning and disinfection recommendations.

If it has been 7 days or more since the sick employee used the facility, additional cleaning and disinfection is not necessary. Continue routinely cleaning and disinfecting all high-touch surfaces in the facility.

Other employees may have been exposed to the virus if they were in “close contact” (within approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) of the sick employee for a prolonged period of time.

Those who have symptoms should self-isolate and follow CDC recommended steps.

In most workplaces, those potentially exposed but with no symptoms should remain at home or in a comparable setting and practice social distancing for 14 days.

Critical infrastructure workers should follow Implementing Safety Practices for Critical Infrastructure Workers Who May Have Had Exposure to a Person with Suspected or Confirmed COVID-19. A critical infrastructure worker who is symptom-free and returns to work should wear a face mask at all times while in the workplace for 14 days after last exposure. Employers can issue facemasks or can approve employees’ supplied cloth face coverings in the event of shortages.

Employees not considered exposed should self-monitor for symptoms such as fever, cough, or shortness of breath. If they develop symptoms, they should notify their supervisor and stay home.

A. Sick employees should follow steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 if you are sick. Employees should not return to work until they meet the criteria to discontinue home isolation and have consulted with a healthcare provider and state or local health department.

Employers should not require sick employee to provide a negative COVID-19 test result or healthcare provider’s note to return to work. Employees with COVID-19 who have stayed home can stop home isolation and return to work when they have met one of the following sets of criteria:

  • Option 1: If, in consultation with a healthcare provider and local public health authorities knowledgeable about locally available testing resources, it is determined an employee will not have a test to determine if they are still contagious, the employee can leave home and return to work after these three conditions have been met:
    • The employee has had no fever for at least 72 hours (that is, 3 full days of no fever without the use medicine that reduces fevers)
      AND
    • respiratory symptoms have improved (for example, cough or shortness of breath have improved)
      AND
    • at least 10 days have passed since their symptoms first appeared
       
  • Option 2: If, in consultation with a healthcare provider and local public health authorities knowledgeable about locally available testing resources, it is determined the employee will be tested to determine if the employee is still contagious, the employee can leave home after these three conditions have been met:
    • The employee no longer has a fever (without the use of medicine that reduces fevers)
      AND
    • respiratory symptoms have improved (for example, cough or shortness of breath have improved)
      AND
    • they received two negative tests in a row, at least 24 hours apart. Their doctor should follow CDC guidelines.

Equipment & Work Environment

A.  As part of the workforce, especially students in health-related academic programs who are participating in an internship at a facility where weekly testing of all healthcare personnel is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (e.g. long-term care facilities), internship sites may require students to be tested for COVID-19.

A. If an internship site requires students to be tested for COVID-19 through testing conducted at the internship site, the internship site should be responsible for covering the cost of the testing. If the internship site requires the student to pay for the testing, students should be given the option to be allowed to have testing conducted at their site of choice. 

Currently, there are several free COVID-19 testing sites throughout Michigan that students have access to. There are stipulations at each of the free testing sites that may limit the number of times a student can be tested or tested without displaying COVID-19 symptoms.

COVID-19 No Cost Testing in Michigan

A. Yes, COVID-19 (no symptom) testing is available at the GVSU Family Health Center through the same day Convenience Clinic. Test results are usually available within 24-48 hours. However, test processing may take longer due to the nation’s current COVID-19 surge status. The cost of COVID-19 testing at the GVSU Family Health Center is $124.00. The GVSU Family Health Center will bill the student’s health insurance for COVID-19 testing, but coverage for COVID-19 testing varies per insurance provider and the student’s state of residence. Students should be advised to check with their insurance provider regarding coverage prior to being tested.

A. Employers/internship sites may request students provide a copy of their COVID-19 test results. Students have the right to refuse to release those results. If COVID-19 testing is provided and the cost covered by the internship site, students should be asked to voluntarily sign a waiver releasing their COVID-19 results to the employer/internship site.  

A. If a student does not want to come into work because they claim they feel unsafe or at risk please advise them to contact their GVSU academic internship coordinator. Furthermore, we also recommend that the employer supervisor connect with the GVSU internship coordinator to let them know of the situation (in case the student doesn’t do it).

A. Being strategic and adaptable are essential for organizations to ensure students continue to contribute during their internship while adhering to physical distancing practices. Organizations are encouraged to look at flexible work schedules or projects that can be completed by students working remotely, virtually, or online. 

Click and explore the following resources below to learn about best practices with hosting virtual internships:

If flexible work schedules or going remote is not an option, the internship site should contact the student’s GVSU academic internship coordinator to explore alternative options.

A. The student and their GVSU academic internship coordinator should be notified if a known COVID-19 exposure may have occurred during the student’s internship.

A. Yes, GVSU students are permitted to work in internships where physical distancing is not feasible as long as the students and internship site personnel adhere to wearing face masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A. It is the expectation that internship sites will provide any necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) for students at their site. If PPE is required for the student’s internship that cannot be provided by the internship site, please contact the student’s GVSU academic internship coordinator.

A.  Most students have access to basic technology (e.g. laptop, internet service). If feasible, industry partners are encouraged to supply any specific software that may be needed in order for students complete their virtual experience.  GVSU does make technology available to students to borrow on a limited basis. These consist of loaning laptops and phone chargers from the library for four hours at a time. 

Change in Project/Internship Scope

A. If the student is earning academic credit for their internship experience, please contact the faculty of record in their home unit.

A. The best place to begin is with our Career Services office. The staff there oversees Handshake, which provides employers with a platform to post jobs and internships for students to apply for and, when appropriate, leverage for credit bearing experiences. They can be contacted at https://www.gvsu.edu/careers/ or via the telephone at: 616 331 3311.

A. If the student can complete their work remotely, they can complete the work necessary to meet their internship experience. If the student is completing the internship for credit, the student and you can communicate directly with the faculty member overseeing the internship experience to assure all outcomes can be met.

A. This will be decided on a case by case basis (due to restrictions related to program accreditation). Please reach out to your GVSU faculty contact for more information. If completing the internship virtually is an option, click and explore the following resources below to learn about best practices with hosting virtual internships:

Sources: Yale Office of Career Strategy, Handshake, Cooperative Education & Internship Association

A. Once again, it is advisable to speak first with the faculty of record at GVSU to learn the most up to date guidance based on current conditions.

A. Yes, again this will be determined on a case by case basis (per accreditation standards for each program). Please reach out to your GVSU faculty contact for more information.

A. During the initial outbreak of COVID-19 students were allowed to file an unemployment claim. However, as the unemployment qualification rules regarding the pandemic evolve, it is best to check the Department of Labor website for the latest advice and information. See: https://www.dol.gov/coronavirus

A. Although specific to the student’s individual requirements, they will need to work with their faculty advisor/coordinator to determine if receiving partial or full credit is an option, and to consider other options to complete their requirements.