Attendance and Participation

Regular class attendance and participation are vital for a student's academic success. These may be used by instructors to determine a portion of a student's grade for a particular course. 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. 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

Academic attendance is defined as active engagement in instructional activities related to the student's course of study as directed by the course instructor. A select instructional activity (or activities) will be used to track and document attendance weekly in the Learning Management System. Activities or assignments selected to document attendance shall be consistent for in-person and remote students. Attendance expectations will be expressed in the clearest and most explicit terms in the course syllabus by identifying what instructional activity will be used to document attendance each week.

Assignment based attendance encourages academic engagement and counts in-person and remote attendance equally. Instructional activities include but are not limited to:

  • Submitting an academic assignment
  • Posting in a course discussion board
  • Taking an assessment or an exam
  • Participating in an interactive tutorial, webinar, or other interactive computer-assisted instruction
  • Participating in a study group, group project, or an online discussion that is assigned by the course instructor
  • Interacting with the course instructor about academic matters

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

Course Abandonment

Course abandonment is defined as the failure to attend: (1) a seven week course for 2 consecutive weeks; (2) a 15 week course for 3 consecutive weeks; (3) or one day in a module course. 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. 

Hyflex Attendance Model

Hyflex attendance is defined as multiple modes of learning simultaneously available in one class: in-person, online synchronous, and online asynchronous. Instructors prepare for both in-class and online instruction for all instructional weeks.

Courses are delivered in a hyflex manner that provides ultimate flexibility for student attendance and participation, as well as the ability to seamlessly transition between the learning environments. For each class meeting, students choose how to participate. Students shall not be penalized for utilizing hyflex attendance and participation.

Course Delivery Methods 

Course delivery methods utilized are:

  • Directed Study – Individual study of a course needed to satisfy a requirement; must be approved before being scheduled.
  • In-class – In-person instruction with scheduled class sessions. Traditional classroom environment.
  • Online synchronous – All online instruction with scheduled class sessions that occur in real-time. Follows a week-by-week schedule and has assigned due dates. Does not require in-person attendance for classes, exams, or other purposes.  
  • Online asynchronous – All online 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..
  • Hybrid – Reduced number of in-person class sessions with additional online synchronous, online asynchronous, and/or other self-directed activities. Additional online meetings, asynchronous work, or self-directed activities should be equivalent in time to the amount of in-person class time. At least one day of regularly scheduled instruction or examination occurs in-person per week. The mix of delivery modes will depend on an instructor’s teaching strategies and course learning objectives. Hybrid classes are not counted as an online class for immigration purposes.  

Most courses offered are hybrid, which provides flexibility regarding where a course is held. Main campus instructors (or a remote instructor’s classroom assistant) will meet in-person with students on the days the courses are scheduled on campus. On hybrid days, instructors engage with students using another delivery method. Instructors cannot require student engagement on the hybrid day because students may have other classes scheduled at the same time.

*F1 students are expected to attend class in-person at least one time per week when scheduled and regularly report to the DSO Office on campus for verification. F1 students cannot take a hybrid class in a fully virtual setting unless an in-class exemption is approved by the DSO Office.  

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

Instructors determine their course policies (including attendance and participation) as long as the policies do not conflict with the policies of the university, departmental directives, and Federal regulations. Instructors should stress the importance of these responsibilities to students, set appropriate class attendance policies for their classes, and inform students of their requirements in syllabi and orally at the beginning of each term. 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. Instructors may outline additional and more specific standards in the course syllabus, especially when attendance and/or participation are part of the grading criteria for the course.

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.

Students are responsible for all work and are expected to keep instructors informed of their expected absences. A university-sanctioned event or activity is one in which a student formally represents the university to external constituencies in athletic or academic activities.

Student Responsibilities

  1. Familiarize themselves with each instructor’s attendance policy as described in the course syllabus. 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 of 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 team events, work, medical procedures, religious observances, etc.) by e-mail, phone, or other means deemed appropriate by the instructor.
  5. Provide appropriate documentation so that each instructor can make an informed decision as to whether or not the absence is excusable. 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. Request deadline extensions to make-up work missed because of class absences, if needed. The decision to assist the student with make-up work, including tests, outside of what was done in class, rests with the instructor.
  7. Follow up on all notices from the instructor or Registrar regarding course enrollment to correct registration.
  8. Submit documentation to the Registrar in instances of prolonged absences (several consecutive days) due to illness, injury, or other emergency.

Instructor Responsibilities

  1. Set reasonable expectations for class attendance based on class content, organization, methodology, and size.
  2. Outline attendance policies in course syllabi and announce in class, particularly at the beginning of each term.
  3. Maintain class attendance records as appropriate for the faculty’s attendance policy. Records should be accessible and current in the Learning Management System for students to review their progress.
  4. Report course abandonments to the Office of the Registrar.
  5. Provide students with any instructor-initiated attendance policies. Penalties for unsatisfactory attendance are at the discretion of the professor. Possible penalties include lowering the overall course grade, including a grade of F, or, in extreme circumstances, dropping the student from the course.
  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.