Attendance and Participation

Full-time main campus students are required to take hybrid classes and must physically attend one live, in-person, active-learning classroom session every week for each hybrid course in which they are enrolled. Full-time undergraduate students are required to take at least 3 hybrid courses (9 credit hours) each fall and spring semester; additional courses can be online or hybrid. Full-time graduate students are required to take at least 2 hybrid courses (6 credit hours) each fall and spring semester; additional courses can be online or hybrid. 

Domestic students are permitted to take all hybrid courses in one session and all online courses in the alternate session. Whereas F-1 visa holders are not permitted to exclusively opt for online classes only in any seven-week session.

Regular class attendance and participation are vital for a student's academic success. Whereas attendance is typically defined by statuses identifying a student’s presence in a class, participation typically includes the assessment of activity within that course. In some cases, the methodology, subject matter, learning environment, or other factors may require attendance. Depending on the course delivery and format, participation may also take on different forms. Assessment of attendance and participation may vary between courses and include course forums, group work, interactive lectures, or other prescriptive assignments designed to measure engagement and help drive student success. Attendance and participation may be used by instructors to determine a portion of a student's grade for a particular course, which must be explained in detail in the syllabus.

As a general rule, students are expected to attend scheduled sessions in the courses for which they are registered, participate fully in the learning process, demonstrate respectful behavior while interacting with instructors and peers, and complete all course requirements. Students should recognize the advantages of regular engagement, accept it as a personal responsibility, and apprise themselves of the consequences of poor performance in either of these areas.

Academic Attendance

Faculty are required to take attendance through the entirety of the course they are teaching and must record student attendance in the LMS. Faculty are required to have all class attendance updated in the LMS by the close of business on Monday for the previous week and daily for module courses. Attendance must be accurate.

Faculty will take attendance during class for main campus students. Attendance for online students will be documented by confirming academic engagement in a weekly discussion board forum. Attendance requirements for online students seek to provide flexibility for students while maintaining academic rigor, integrity, and parity with other students. In the event of any confusion or conflicts about the interpretation of rules pertaining to online attendance, the norms of equivalence and parity are to be used to provide a resolution.

The university sees the following absences as excused and immediately available for make-up work: (a) participation in university activities at the request of university authorities, (b) illness or injury and the student is unable to attend class, (c) funerals, (d) selected school-sponsored class trips or projects that meet divisional or degree requirements, (e) compelling verifiable circumstances beyond the control of the student, (f) other situations the Academic Council Committee collectively deems as having merit or basis, and (g) all other course make-up work policies included in the course syllabus. Absences that do not fall into one of the aforementioned categories are unexcused.

Faculty will notify students of each absence using the automated attendance notification in the LMS. Faculty must also report all F1 student absences to the DSO Office using the automated attendance notification in the LMS because absences can affect a student’s status. F1 students are required to provide documentation to the DSO Office for all absences.


Students will receive a 4% reduction in the final grade for each unexcused absence beyond the following:

  • 1 unexcused absence in a class that meets 1 time a week for a session
  • 2 unexcused absences in a class that meets 1 time a week for a semester

Students will receive a 6% reduction in the final grade for each unexcused absence beyond the following:

  • 1 unexcused absence in a 5 day module class 

Tardy, Early Departure, and/or Partial Attendance (Main campus only)

When a student is late to an in-person class two times and/or departs early two times, this will count as one absence. The absence may be excused or unexcused depending on the circumstances.

Students who miss more than 25% of a single class meeting will be counted absent for the entire class. Percentages per single class meeting are as follows:

  • 20 minutes of a 75-minute class
  • 2 hours in an 8-hour class

Course Abandonment

Course abandonment occurs when a student stops attending and is inactive in (1) a seven-week course for 2 consecutive weeks; (2) a 15-week course for 3 consecutive weeks; (3) or two consecutive days in a module course AND there has been no communication from the student to the instructor during that time. Simply logging into a course is not evidence of academic activity. Course abandonment will result in the student being withdrawn from the course. For F1 students, course abandonment (Unauthorized Withdrawal) will result in termination of their SEVIS record.

*Comprehensive exams are exempt from course abandonment due to the course being 0 credit hours. 

Course Delivery Methods 

Courses should be delivered in a way that provides equitable treatment of students regardless of the selected mode of attendance or participation. No student should be at a greater advantage/disadvantage than students who elect an alternative mode of instruction.

Course delivery methods utilized are:

  • Directed Study – Individual study of a course needed to satisfy a requirement; must be approved before being scheduled.
  • Hybrid – At least one day of regularly scheduled in-person instruction or examination per week with additional online asynchronous and/or other self-directed work. The in-person class should be interactive and engaging and not a reiteration of the prerecorded content. Additional online asynchronous and/or other self-directed work should be equivalent in time to the amount of an in-person class and cannot require student presence. The mix of delivery modes will depend on an instructor’s teaching strategies and course learning objectives. Hybrid classes are not counted as online classes for immigration purposes.  
  • Online – All online asynchronous instruction with no scheduled class sessions. Follows a week-by-week schedule and has assigned due dates. Does not require in-person attendance for classes, exams, or other purposes. Engagement occurs at any time through active participation by a student in an instructional activity related to the student’s course of study.

Courses with specific requirements, such as internships, field experiences, and practicums, may not be hybrid.

Faculty may have specific requirements and can determine their course policies as long as the policies do not conflict with the university’s policies, departmental directives, and Federal regulations. Faculty should inform students of their requirements in the syllabus and orally at the beginning of each term.

Students should refer to the course syllabus for the course’s grade weighting table and course-specific policies regarding the grade percentages attributable to each component in a course, which may include attendance and participation. It is the student’s responsibility to be familiar with these policies and to keep track of their own attendance and comply with the rules.

Student Responsibilities

  1. Familiarize themselves with each instructor’s course syllabus, course requirements, and online course room layout. Each faculty member will have different expectations. It is the responsibility of the student to understand the expectations for each class/professor.
  2. Regularly monitor class absences throughout the term.
  3. Obtain all materials covered in each course during absences and make-up any work required by the instructor.
  4. Inform each instructor as far in advance as possible when conflicts or absences can be anticipated (e.g., athletic travel, work, medical procedures, religious observances, etc.) by email, phone, or other means deemed appropriate by the instructor.
  5. Provide appropriate information to the instructor so an informed decision can be made as to whether the absence is excused or unexcused. F1 students also need to submit documentation to the DSO Office for all absences. What is acceptable and excusable by the instructor may differ from the DSO Office and students should contact the DSO Office with questions.
  6. Submit documentation to the instructor and Registrar in instances of prolonged absences due to illness, injury, or other emergency.

Instructor Responsibilities

  1. Outline attendance policies in course syllabi and announce in class at the beginning of each term.
  2. Set reasonable expectations for class based on class content, organization, methodology, and size.
  3. Maintain accurate class attendance records updated in the LMS by the close of business on Monday for the previous week and daily for module courses. Automatically notify students of each absence through the LMS. Records should be accessible and current in the LMS for students to review their progress. 
  4. Report all F-1 student absences to the DSO Office using the automated attendance notification in the LMS. 
  5. Report course abandonments to the Registrar.
  6. State within the syllabus any required activities outside of class hours that are used for graded participation. If the required activity falls on a specific date/time, the instructor must provide an alternative assignment, unless the activity is foundational to the course. If the activity can be completed over the course of the term and is not limited to a specific date/time, no alternative assignment is required.