Class Attendance

Class Attendance

Students are individually responsible for class attendance, but instructors may impose attendance requirements appropriate to any course. Instructors shall explain to students at the beginning of each course their expectations and grading policies with regard to attendance at class meetings. Instructors are also required by the College to keep an accurate record of each student's attendance, which will be available to the student, the faculty advisor, and the officers of the College. In addition, instructors will report at the end of each term the number of class sessions missed by each student. Instructors are also asked to report to the Assistant Dean the names of those students who are absent from class excessively, including those who are absent three consecutive times. 

General Absences

  1. Excessive absences, that is, missing more than one-third of a term's total class meetings in one or more classes, are grounds for immediate suspension from the College.
  2. Each instructor sets his/her own guidelines about absences. It is common courtesy to inform the instructor when a student knows he/she will miss a class and to ask for the assignment ahead of the absence. The instructor will not provide a private class or a makeup test. (Makeup tests can be arranged if you are sick. See absences related to illness.)
  3. Prompt attendance at all classes is expected. The penalty for tardiness is left to the discretion of the instructor.
  4. The faculty imposes no extraordinary penalties for absences from classes that meet immediately prior to or following College vacations or recesses. However, students are reminded that these class periods are integral parts of the term and are thus no less suitable for tests and other work than are other class periods throughout the term.
  5. No student may, because of participation in College-sponsored activities, miss more than an hour of class time for each hour of academic credit assigned to a course (for example, three hours of class time in a three-hour course). In four-hour laboratory courses, students may miss three hours of class time and one laboratory session. Students participating in two intercollegiate sports in the same term may miss one additional class meeting, but not an additional laboratory session. This policy applies only to participation in varsity sports, and does not include non-traditional seasons. In the first two weeks of the term, the Athletic Director should send written notification to the Associate Dean and instructors of a student’s two-sport participation and the travel dates for all away contests in both sports. To be excused from any additional class meetings, a two-sport athlete may petition the Associate Dean, through the Athletic Director, at least one week in advance of the proposed absence. The Associate Dean will survey the student’s instructors to determine if the proposed absence could cause the student’s academic standing in any class to fall to a “marginal” or “unsatisfactory” level, in which case the student would not be allowed to miss any additional class. The Associate Dean may allow for the additional absence when the student’s academic standing is satisfactory and when any in-class assignment or exam can be made up. This absence policy for the two-sport athlete will also be applied in the event that an athletic team or individual qualifies for post-season competition (SAA, NCAA, or an approved sanctioned event). When a faculty or staff member sponsors an activity that will keep a student out of class, that activity must be approved in advance by the Associate Dean. If the activity is approved as officially excused, the Associate Dean’s Office will send the faculty a list of excused participants, but it is still the student’s responsibility to inform the instructor and make appropriate arrangements. An excuse is granted only if the student makes up lost work, obtains assignments for the next class meeting (and completes them), and/or turns in any work that was due on the missed class day. In addition, if the student misses an in-class assignment or exam, then the absence is not excused,  unless the professor agrees to arrange for a make-up. Instructors will not provide a private class following the absence. Participation in activities not sanctioned by the Associate Dean will be assessed by the instructor, who may excuse the absence if the situation warrants it.
  6. The College recognizes the profound impact of grief in the life of our students. Those students who have experienced the death of a loved one must contact the Associate Dean immediately for an excused absence to attend funeral services. The Associate Dean will notify the appropriate College faculty and staff as requested by the student. Students remain responsible for making up any work missed during this time.
  7. When a student misses class to observe a religious holiday, the student must notify both his or her instructors and the Associate Dean well in advance. The Associate Dean, in consultation with the College Chaplain, will determine if the absence merits an official College excuse. As is the case with all excused absences, the student must arrange with the professor to make up any work or assignments missed as a result of an excused religious observance.

Absences Related to Illness

Students missing more than one-third of a term's total class meetings in one or more classes for medical reasons may be required to take a medical withdrawal from the College.

In the event that a student misses class due to illness and will not miss a graded assignment or lab, it is the responsibility of that student to notify faculty prior to the missed class. If the student misses a class due to illness and will be missing an exam, other graded assignment, or lab, that student should contact the faculty member prior to the missed class and should seek medical attention prior to the missed class in order to obtain a medical excuse.

The following conditions qualify for a medical excuse.

  1. Hospital admission as shown through appropriate documentation from the hospital.
  2. Ill at home with a written excuse from the primary care physician’s office. Confirmation of an illness by the parent may be accepted by the Associate Dean in extenuating circumstances.
  3. Evaluated at Parsons Student Health Center prior to the missed class and diagnosed with an illness severe enough to be confined to bed. Medical excuse notification will be sent to appropriate faculty members with the student’s written permission. A medical excuse is not appropriate for minor illnesses and will not be granted retroactively.

In the rare event that a student should need to be excused from a final exam due to illness, the College physician or physician assistant will communicate directly with the Associate Dean of the College before an exam can be rescheduled or an “incomplete” granted. 

If a student is leaving campus to go home because of illness, Parsons Student Health Center should be informed prior to departure. Information regarding medical withdrawal can be found under the Leave of Absence/Withdrawal from the College section of this catalog.