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.
Instructors determine their course policies (including attendance and participation) as long as the policies do not conflict with the policies of the university and departmental directives. 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 may be delivered in a manner that provides flexibility for student participation, including in-class, online synchronous, and asynchronous online sessions. Students may be provided different options for course participation based on their scheduling needs. Instructors may or may not require prior approval or notification of how a student plans to attend each week and prepare for both in-class and online instruction for all weeks of the class. 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.
Resident students and student athletes are expected to attend classes in person unless university activities preclude it or the instructor elects an approved alternative delivery mode. Students who are absent due to university-sanctioned events must be permitted alternative attendance and/or participation options consistent with asynchronous attendance/participation. Students are responsible for all work expected to keep instructors informed of their expected absences. Main campus students may request exemption from in-person attendance on a course-by-course basis. A university-sanctioned event or activity is one in which a student formally represents the university to external constituencies in athletic or academic activities.
- 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.
- Monitor class absences throughout the term.
- Obtain all materials covered in each course during absences and make-up of any work required by the instructor.
- 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.
- Provide appropriate documentation so that each instructor can make an informed decision as to whether or not the absence is excusable.
- 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.
- Follow up on all notices from the instructor or Registrar regarding course enrollment to correct registration.
- Submit documentation to the Registrar in instances of prolonged absences (several consecutive days) due to illness, injury, or other emergency.
- Set reasonable expectations for class attendance based on class content, organization, methodology, and size.
- Outline attendance policies in course syllabi and announce in class, particularly at the beginning of each term.
- Maintain class attendance records as appropriate for the faculty’s attendance policy, if required. Records should be accessible and current in the Learning Management System for students to review their progress.
- Report inactive students to the Office of the Registrar. Students who do not participate in scheduled activities throughout the course may be considered inactive through their failure to attend classes, submit assignments, or other means as defined by the instructor.
- 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.
- 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.