The Senate Higher Education Committee has approved a bill that would require colleges to report the safety records of their study-abroad programs.
The measure would require schools to provide details on deaths, accidents and illnesses of students participating in sanctioned study-abroad programs.
Elizabeth Brenner, whose son Thomas Plotkin died in a 2011 hiking accident while on a program in India, told senators she had no idea how dangerous the program was.
Thomas Plotkin,of Minnetonka, was a Univesity of Iowa student who traveled to India with the National Outdoor Leadership School. He fell more than 250 feet into the Goriganga River.
"Three days after Thomas disappeared, I learned he was his school's 12th death," Brenner said. "I never imagined I was sending my child on 'secret' study abroad."
The requirements would also apply to third-party programs approved by the colleges.
Brenner, said many families are unaware of the dangers, and that the stories of student deaths are eerily similar.
"Sudden, catastrophic death: falls, drownings, vehicular accidents, untreated health problems, altitude sickness, murder and more," she said.
Under the bill, campuses would also have to report whether their programs complied with health and safety standards. The requirements would also apply to third-party programs approved by the colleges.