Students are expected to attend every scheduled meeting of all courses in which they are enrolled and to be present for the full class period. Students are responsible for checking their registration at the beginning of the semester to ensure that their registration information is accurate. After add/drop week, students are not permitted to attend any courses for which they are not registered. Registration, not attendance, is the primary factor in assessing tuition and fee charges.
For online courses or the online elements of hybrid courses, satisfactory completion is defined as presence and participation in synchronous class meetings and completion of asynchronous online activities. Specific guidelines for online course attendance (ex: whether video must be turned on during synchronous sessions, what constitutes satisfactory participation in asynchronous activities, etc.) is at the discretion of the instructor and will be communicated to students in the course syllabus.
Absenteeism and tardiness, regardless of cause, are a threat to academic achievement. Recognizing that perfect attendance is not always possible, the University addresses the issue of absences as follows: During the first week of a semester the instructor will provide, as part of the class syllabus, a written statement of the attendance policy for that class. The statement will explain the consequences for absences as well as a policy on excused absences (including impact on due dates), and will be made available to each student properly enrolled in the class. Different sections of the same course offered in the same semester should have consistent attendance policies.
A student who is absent from a class is responsible, nevertheless, for all material covered during the class period. The student is also subject to consequences as described by the instructor in the syllabus, if a test, quiz, recitation, homework assignment, or any other activity falls on the day of absence.
A student who must miss a scheduled class meeting, including an exam or in-class graded assignment, may be granted an excused absence at the discretion of the instructor. An excused absence usually entitles the student to make up any required activity that took place in-class or online on the day of the absence. The student is still responsible, however, for any material covered during the class period that was missed.
General Excused Absences
Grounds could include health emergencies (both physical and mental health emergencies), illness, accident, serious emergency, or other officially mandated short-term absences including court appearances or military training. Whenever possible, requests for excused absences should be made by the student at least 24 hours in advance; moreover, they should be infrequent as well as reasonable in terms of the grounds, necessity, and duration. These requests should be sent to the faculty member directly. If documentation is requested by the faculty member, documentation supporting a student request for an excused absence should be submitted directly to the Academic Success Center. After verifying the student’s documentation, the Academic Success Center will communicate the request to the faculty member(s), who retains the discretion to grant the excused absence.
Requests for excused absences that relate to a documented disability will be governed by Student Accessibility Services (SAS) policies, including the SAS attendance accommodation policies, and notification of a student’s eligibility for reasonable accommodations will be coordinated by SAS. Documentation received by the Academic Success Center related to a disability accommodation will be forwarded to SAS.
Requests for excused absences for medical reasons (but unrelated to an SAS accommodation) will be reviewed by the Student Health Center. Medical documentation relating to an excused absence that is not related to a disability accommodation should be sent by the student to the Health Center directly.
Absences for Religious Holidays
The University’s mission welcomes people of all faiths and worldviews, so it is important for instructors to understand that some religious observances may require absences from class or from participation in a class activity. For example, Jewish holidays, like Yom Kippur, are often celebrated by refraining from work, and many Muslims keep a daytime fast during the month of Ramadan. The University will inform instructors prior to each semester of upcoming religious holidays to aid in planning course syllabi. Students who will be prevented from attending class or fully participating in class due to observance of a religious holiday or event should discuss their needs with their instructors as early in the semester as is possible. If possible, faculty members are to grant excused absences for these students. However, students should be aware that last-minute requests are usually inappropriate. At least one week prior to each event (unless the event occurs within the first week of the semester) the student will present to the faculty member a written request for an excused absence and, if the absence is allowed, make final arrangements for any work that will be missed. If a faculty member finds it impossible to grant an excused absence, the student will be bound by the statements on attendance as found in the syllabus for the class.
Absences for Extracurricular Activities
Students who anticipate missing a class because of extracurricular events officially sponsored by the University have the responsibility to consult the syllabus for the class and identify any possible conflicts between required course activities and their extracurricular events. The student should obtain, from the coordinator of the activity, an official letter of participation and present it, along with a schedule of events for the semester, to the faculty instructor, identifying the dates of conflict, if possible, and requesting excused absences. If possible, faculty members are to grant excused absences for these students. However, students should be aware that last-minute requests are usually inappropriate. At least one week prior to each event the student will present to the faculty member a written request for an excused absence and, if the absence is allowed, make final arrangements for any work that will be missed. If a faculty member finds it impossible to grant an excused absence, the student will be bound by the statements on attendance as found in the syllabus for the class.
If an excused absence is not granted by the course instructor, the student may make an appeal to the chair or program director of the course, who will then attempt to resolve the difficulty with the student. If this does not lead to resolution, the Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences or the Boler College of Business normally will rule in the matter.