Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Why should I use Field Studies at SAIL?

A. Because we do all the logistical work, freeing you up to do what you do best: design and teach a course. Our staff knows and follows Mason’s policies and guidelines on issues surrounding liability, payments and fee collection, cash advances, vehicle rentals, etc. Our staff give you expert help in planning your trip; we know “what works” and how to gain the most from your experience.

Q. Are all center courses run over university breaks or can I add one or more experiential learning opportunities to a regular classroom class?

A. Yes, you can.  FS offers and supports two types of course models:

  • Stand-alone courses generally 1-2 weeks long. These are typically offered over the university's breaks such as winter, summer, and spring.
  • Field studies experiences that are embedded in semester-long classroom courses such a day or weekend trips throughout the semester. You can also choose to add an optional trip in the middle or end of a course (usually Spring Break or the first week of summer session).  

We can help you decide which model works best for your class and comfort level.

Q. I’m not outdoorsy and I don’t like camping. Can I still teach a field studies course?

A. Yes! Not all our classes involve camping and other strenuous outdoor activities. Many FS classes do not have the natural world as their primary focus and these classes are run differently. However, we do our best to keep costs as low as possible for students so while you may not be staying in a 4-star hotel or eating at top restaurants, we can promise indoor plumbing and other “modern conveniences.”

Q. I don’t teach in the physical sciences. Can the center still assist me?

A. Absolutely! No matter what your academic discipline or background, “learning by doing” is a terrific way to help students apply their theoretical classroom knowledge in a “real world” setting. We support courses in a variety of disciplines and subject matters including yours.