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Policy Details

3 -01.2

Administrative policy regarding class attendance and class absence

(A)       Purpose. Regular attendance in class is expected of all students at all levels at the university. While classes are conducted on the premise that regular attendance is expected, the university recognizes certain activities, events, and circumstances as legitimate reasons for absence from class. This policy provides for accommodations in accordance with federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination, including, but not limited to, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C.§794, and its implementing regulation, 34 C.F.R. Part 104; Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. §12131 et seq., and its implementing regulations, 28 C.F.R. Part 35; as well as university policy 5-16. This policy describes the procedures for requesting and responding to legitimate absences.

(B)       Class attendance. The individual instructor has both the responsibility and the prerogative for managing student attendance. The instructor's policy regarding attendance for each course should be written in the course syllabus and communicated to students during the first week of the term. The policy may take alternate forms within the bounds of appropriate instructional techniques.

(C)      Class absence. Legitimate reasons for an “excused” absence include, but are not limited to, illness and injury, disability-related concerns, military service, death in the immediate family, religious observance, academic field trips, and participation in an approved concert or athletic event, and direct participation in university disciplinary hearings. 

(D)      Academic requirement. Even though any absence can potentially interfere with the planned development of a course, and the student bears the responsibility for fulfilling all course requirements in a timely and responsible manner, instructors will, without prejudice, provide students returning to class after a legitimate absence with appropriate assistance and counsel about completing missed assignments and class material. Neither academic departments nor individual faculty members are required to waive essential or fundamental academic requirements of a course to accommodate student absences. However, each circumstance will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.       

(E)       Informal resolution should first be attempted between individual instructors and students in the event of any attendance-related concerns. If informal resolution is unsuccessful, the following offices, with respect to that office’s purview, can provide assistance and guidance on attendance concerns, and instruction on filing a grievance: student ombuds, student accessibility services (SAS), or equal opportunity & affirmative action.

(F)       Student responsibilities: In addition to this policy, students are responsible for following the procedures and policies of the respective offices from which they are seeking assistance, e.g. student accessibility services, the student ombuds, etc.  In all instances of absences, students shall be responsible for all material covered in class during their absence. Students are responsible for completing any makeup work resulting from their absence. In no case is an excuse from class to be interpreted as a release from class responsibility.

(G)      General procedures and responsibilities for requesting and determining legitimate class absence:

(1)       Instructors shall:

(a)       Inform student about assignments to be made during the absences, and make alternative suggestions for acquisition of the material missed.

(b)       Provide reasonable opportunity for a makeup examination and/or assignment if a legitimate absence occurs on an examination day and/or a day when an assignment is due. In the extraordinary circumstance where it is not feasible to offer a makeup examination and/or assignment, some acceptable alternative must be provided.

(c)       Resolve conflicts arising from a legitimate absence as provided in this rule through appropriate administrative channels.

(2)       Students shall:

(a)       Follow the documentation procedures set forth below.

(b)       Notify their instructors as soon as possible of class absences. 

(H)      Procedures and responsibilities for requesting an absence due to attendance at a sponsored activity. For the purposes of this policy, “sponsor” refers to the organizer of the activity or event.      

(1)       Sponsors shall:

(a)       Provide a list to each participant of all approved events that might involve student absences from classes. The list should be given to the participants at or before the first scheduled class, activity, or field trip of the semester, or before the end of the second week of the semester, whichever occurs first. In cases where the date and time of the scheduled activity is not known within this time frame, approval to schedule an event which will result in student absences must be secured from the administrative officer directly above the sponsoring unit; e.g., college dean, director of athletics, etc.                  

(b)       Provide each participating student with a signed "class absence authorization form" for each of the student's affected classes at the time the list of events is distributed.

(c)       Coordinate resolution of conflicts with instructors.  

(2)       Instructors shall:

(a)       Refer to (G)(1).

(3)       Students shall:

(a)       Provide the sponsor of the activity with a list of classes which conflict with the proposed activity or field trip. This list should be presented at or before the first scheduled class or activity meeting that causes the conflict.

(b)       Present a "class absence authorization form" to instructors in all affected courses and return the signed "class absence authorization form(s)" to the sponsor of the activity before the end of the second week of the semester. In the event the absence was due to illness or injury, verification from the health center or other medical officer should be presented to the instructor.

(I)        Procedures and responsibilities for requesting an absence due to a disability. Under no circumstances are students solely responsible for the resolution of such conflicts arising from disability-related absences.

(1)       Instructors shall:

(a)       Communicate and collaborate with student accessibility services (SAS) in the event of a student’s attendance accommodation due to a disability.

(b)       Refer to (G)(1).

(2)       Students shall:

(a)       Consult with student accessibility services (SAS) if frequent or prolonged absences are anticipated due to a disability.

(b)       In consultation with student accessibility services (SAS), and in accordance with their attendance policy modification, provide their instructors, each semester, with a SAS-issued accommodation document, which may be presented to the instructor in lieu of verification from a medical provider. 

(c)       Contact their instructor as close to the beginning of the semester as possible to discuss the attendance modification accommodation.

(J)       Procedures and responsibilities for absence due to medical illness/injury.

(1)       Instructors shall:

(a)       Refer to (G)(1).

(2)       Students shall:

(a)       Provide verification from their medical provider.

(b)       Refer to (G)(2).

(K)       Procedures and responsibilities for requesting an absence due to religious observation.       

(1)       Instructors shall:

(a)       Refer to (G)(1)

(2)       Students shall:

(a)       Notify the instructor as close to the start of the semester as possible of any scheduled classes that conflict with observed religious holidays.

(L)       Procedures and responsibilities for requesting an absence to perform military service.

(1)       Instructors shall:

(a)       Refer to (G)(1)

(2)       Students shall:

(a)       Notify the instructor as close to the start of the semester, or as soon as possible, of any scheduled classes that conflict with military leave.

(b)       Consult the office of the university registrar in the event a prolonged absence is anticipated.  

 

Effective: January 13, 2014  

Prior Effective Dates: 11/4/1977, 9/13/1979, 10/26/1979, 2/14/1983, 1/30/1985, 7/10/1985, 9/7/1988, 1/29/1992, 9/19/2005, 6/01/2007  

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