Programs for Minors - UTDSP5015
It is the policy of The University of Texas at Dallas ("University") to provide oversight and training - or to approve or verify oversight and training - for anyone involved with University-sanctioned programs, activities, camps and events for minors ("PACE for Minors") as defined by Texas Education Code, Chapter 51, Section 51.976 and this policy. This oversight and training - or approval or verification of oversight and training - applies whether the University-sanctioned PACE for Minors activity is operated by a University department or Student Organization on University premises or at other locations or by an External Third-Party Group, authorized by the UT Dallas President, whose activity occurs on University premises. Student Organizations may sponsor and/or host a PACE for Minors only if the PACE for Minors is held on-campus, does not involve overnight accommodations and the University sponsor for the Student Organization functions as the PACE Director and is present and actively involved during the entire PACE for Minors event.
The University reserves the right to condition, restrict, or deny access to University facilities by minors at its discretion. All Minor Participants, including those participating in a PACE for Minors, will be subject to all University regulations and may be asked to leave the campus or program if unable or unwilling to comply. Minor Participants shall never be left unsupervised while in the care of a PACE for Minors program. Individuals not considered a PACE for Minors Designated Individual as defined by this policy (e.g. parent/guardian) must never have unsupervised access to PACE for Minors participants.
This policy applies to University employees, students, affiliates, volunteers, contractors and visitors who are Designated Individuals as defined by this policy and to all PACE for Minors, sponsored and external, held on University property, as well as University-sanctioned PACE for Minors held at other locations.
This policy does not apply to (1) University academic programs in which the only minors participating are students enrolled at the University; (2) University or approved third-party events (e.g. fairs, festivals, athletic events, artistic events) that are open to the general public and people of all age groups, but at which children may be present or participate; (3) University or approved third-party programs or events at which children are expected to be accompanied and supervised at all times by their parent(s), legal guardian(s), teacher or official chaperone; (4) University programs or events in which the only minor participants who participate are University employees; or (5) research programs approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB).
The primary purpose of this policy is to promote the safety of Minor Participants while participating in a PACE for Minors covered by the policy. In addition, the policy serves to protect University employees, students, contractors, volunteers, affiliates and visitors from false allegations of abuse and supports compliance with federal and state law as well as University and UT System rules and regulations.
Minor Participant: An individual under the age of 18 who is participating in a sanctioned PACE for Minors on University premises or another location. For purposes of this policy, this definition does not include University-enrolled students or employees under the age of 18.
PACE for Minors: Any sanctioned program, activity, camp, or event (including internships and mentorships) held on University premises or another location in which individuals under the age of 18 participate. UTS 192 Policy, Youth Protection, requires youth programs to be sponsored by or affiliated with an institution’s college, school, unit or department, unless specifically authorized by the UT Dallas President on a per-program basis. The sponsoring or affiliated college, school, unit or department will be responsible for all aspects of the program, activity, camp or event. Exclusions are identified under Scope.
PACE for Minors Director/Coordinator: The person who owns, operates, or supervises a sanctioned PACE for Minors as defined by this policy.
Designated Individual(s): Any person involved with a PACE for Minors who works directly with Minor Participants. Examples of Designated Individuals include but are not limited to University employees, students, independent contractors, volunteers, affiliates, coaches, camp counselors and visitors.
Student Organization: A student group registered with the UT Dallas Student Organization Center.
Programs for Minors Official: The University employee responsible for compliance oversight of any sanctioned PACE for Minors.
External Third-Party Group: A group that is not under the organizational umbrella of the University and operates a sanctioned PACE for Minors on University property through a contractual agreement. UTS 192 Policy, Youth Protection, requires all third-party events to be authorized on a per-program basis by the UT Dallas President.
Each PACE for Minors must comply with all terms, conditions, regulations and laws of the University, UT System, and federal, state and local governments. In addition to the following requirements, the Programs for Minors Official may require additional documentation depending on the type of program, related activities and level of risk involved.
- Registration/Application – All PACE for Minors must be registered with the Programs for Minors Official. Those who fail to register their PACE for Minors may be denied permission to continue operation at UT Dallas. PACE for Minors applications shall be submitted to the Director of Programs for Minors in accordance with the guidelines and procedures set forth by that office. The PACE for Minors Director/Coordinator will be responsible for submitting the application and all appropriate documentation, including but not limited to the following:
- Communication Plan that includes established protocols for contacting Minor Participants' parents/legal guardians in the event of an emergency,
- Emergency Plan that addresses release and indemnification, fire safety and severe weather protocols, how medical emergencies will be handled and a protocol for responding to a minor not present and accounted for,
- Supervision Plan that addresses staff-to-participant ratios and procedures for pick-up and drop-off of participants. Adult supervision requirements must be consistent with the American Camp Association staff ratio standards:
Age of Minor Participants Number of Adult Staff Overnight Minor Participants Day Only Minor Participants 5 years or younger 1 5 6 6-8 years 1 6 8 9-14 years 1 8 10 15-18 years 1 10 12
- Prohibited Conduct of Designated Individuals: Designated Individuals for a PACE for Minors must not engage in any behavior that could cause harm or be misinterpreted as possibly causing harm to Minor Participants. Prohibited Conduct for Designated Individuals includes, but is not limited to:No one-on-one contact with Minor Participants is permitted outside the presence of another Designated Individual.
- Do not meet with Minor Participants outside of established times for PACE for Minors activities.
- Do not touch Minor Participants in a manner that a reasonable person could interpret as inappropriate.
- Do not engage in any abusive conduct of any kind toward, or in the presence of, a Minor Participant, including but not limited to verbal abuse, striking, hitting, punching, poking, spanking, or restraining.
- Do not shower, bathe, or undress with or in the presence of a Minor Participant.
- Do not be alone in a vehicle with a Minor Participant at any time.
- Do not have direct electronic contact with a Minor Participant without another Designated Individual included in the communication.
- Do not make sexual materials in any form available to a Minor Participant, or assist them in any way in gaining access to such materials.
- Operational Plan that identifies the approved location and planned activities for the PACE for Minors.
- Insurance Coverage – As required by the UTS 192 Policy Youth Protection, all PACE for Minors must carry accident and liability insurance, appropriate for the type of program, with coverage at least equivalent to the Camp Insurance Program offered by the U.T. System Office of Risk Management. Any purchase of insurance must also comply with the requirements of Regents’ Rule 80601. Criminal Background Check (CBC) – PACE for Minors Directors/Coordinators must ensure all Designated Individuals undergo a CBC conducted each year of the program. The CBC must be conducted in accordance with UTS 124 Policy, Criminal Background Checks, and UTDBP3000 Policy, Criminal Background Checks. The CBC results must be considered satisfactory according to policy standards and be completed prior to the start of the PACE for Minors. External Third-Party Group PACE for Minors must provide documentation that a CBC was completed for all Designated Individuals affiliated with their PACE for Minors prior to the start date of the program and that the results of the CBCs performed satisfactorily meet or exceed the standards as set forth in UTS124 and UTDBP3000 for all Designated Individuals.
- Campus Program for Minors Training – PACE Directors/Coordinators are responsible for ensuring training requirements have been met and verified by the Programs for Minors Official prior to allowing a Designated Individual to participate at a PACE for Minors.
- Child Protection Training – Provides a clear understanding of how to recognize, reduce, prevent and report suspected abuse and child molestation. The training is approved by the Texas Department of State Health Services. Designated Individuals must complete the training one time, every two years.
- Designated Individual Training - UT Dallas specific training providing guidance on Designated Individual responsibilities and expectations. Designated Individuals must complete this training on an annual basis.
- Code of Conduct – All Designated iIdividuals, University employees, students, parents/legal guardians, independent contractors, volunteers, affiliates, and visitors are expected to model appropriate professional behavior at all times in their interactions with or in the presence of minors.
- Incident Reporting – All emergencies or suspected crimes should be reported immediately by calling 911, followed by a report to the Programs for Minors Official. All non-emergency incidents must also be reported to the Programs for Minors Official in accordance with the procedures established by that office.
Texas Education Code, Chapter 51, Section 51.976
Texas Administrative Code, Title 25, Part 1, Chapter 265, Subchapter N, Rule § 265.403
Texas Department of State Health Services
UT System Policy UTS192 Youth Protection
UT System Policy UTS124 Criminal Background Check
UT Dallas Policy UTDPB3000 Criminal Background Check
UT Dallas Volunteers Policy (in development)
UT Dallas Risk Insurance for Camps and Clinics Involving Minors UTDBP3012
UT Dallas Minors in Laboratories Policy (in development)
- Issued: 2016-06-02
- Revised: 2017-03-09
- Revised: 2018-09-26
- Revised: 2021-06-09