Attendance and Punctuality Policy

Rationale and general rules: In general, regular attendance is necessary for a student to receive the full benefits of a Carolina University education. Therefore, absences should be taken seriously and are discouraged. In the interpretation of this policy, regard is to be had to a student’s good faith and honesty, and the need to promote uniformity, consistency, and academic rigor in all courses. This policy and rules herein supersede all other policies or rules on matters relating to attendance. In the event of any actual or potential conflict with any item relating to attendance contained in any other policy, guideline, or manual, this policy and the rules herein will prevail.

Students who live on campus or locally are required to attend classes in person. International students who are in the United States on student visas are required to attend classes on campus. Remote students have the choice to utilize the online integrated synchronous classroom, or the online asynchronous classroom.  It is understood that additional attendance rules may be stipulated for laboratory sessions in courses that include lab work. Students must comply with the additional attendance requirements specified in the syllabus for such courses. As a general matter, there are to be no penalties or more onerous requirements based on the mode of delivery and all modes are intended to provide the same high-quality educational experience for students. To the extent practicable, faculty will strive to provide an equivalent workload and learning opportunities for all students irrespective of mode of study.


Student Absence Management
Subject to the provisions of this policy, students will attend a course in-person, online synchronously, or online asynchronously, depending on availability of the course and delivery mode offered each session. Each student is required to complete a form indicating their modality of study at the beginning of each course. Students are not allowed to change modality after the expiry of the specified period during the session except with prior approval from the Registrar for good cause.

Carolina University faculty will assess student participation in each course including by way of assigning grade points. Faculty will take attendance during class for on-campus and synchronous online students. It is expected that online synchronous students will turn on their cameras and be present on-camera for the entire duration of the class in order to be marked as present for the class. The record of attendance will serve to meet participation requirements absent additional requirements for engagement including by way of presentations, quizzes, group work, etc. Faculty will adhere to the published grading scale for attendance and participation communicated in the course syllabus.

Attendance requirements for asynchronous students seek to provide flexibility for students whilst maintaining academic rigor, integrity, and parity with other students. To that end, it must be noted that the asynchronous modality is not intended to be lesser than the synchronous delivery of Carolina University courses whether in the classroom or online across any marker of quality. Students are expected to complete equivalent amounts of work for each credit hour as those who take the course on-campus. Accordingly, attendance requirements have been established to duplicate the workload and learning expectations of on-campus education albeit with temporal and geographic flexibility, as far as practicable.

In the event of any confusion or conflicts about the interpretation of particular rules pertaining to asynchronous attendance, the norms of equivalence and parity are to be used to provide a resolution.

Faculty will use online proctoring to monitor attendance for asynchronous participation. Students are expected to comply with published university IT requirements and adhere to rules about online proctoring as applicable to each course.

Students should refer to the course’s grade weighting table and course-specific policies for details about the amount of grade percentage attributable to each component in a course.

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.

A course syllabus may stipulate that students have to submit notes based on content delivered by faculty in lectures or recorded videos, or assigned reading materials, for the purposes of assessing engagement or participation. In extremely rare circumstances, for documented good cause, a professor may allow an asynchronous student to submit notes in lieu of proctored viewing of a missed lecture. The ordinary rules about cheating, integrity, and plagiarism apply to the submission of such notes. In all such circumstances, it is not acceptable for a student to copy the notes of another student or for a student to share his/her notes with others to help them meet the attendance requirements for asynchronous learning. Compliance with the attendance rules in relation to all matters including the taking/submission of notes has to be observed in letter and spirit. Any student who colludes with other students in violating the letter and spirit of these requirements will be subjected to disciplinary measures. Non-submission of notes within specified deadlines, submissions that violate integrity policies, and any attempt at misleading, manipulating, or interfering with proctoring technology will result in the student being marked as absent in addition to being assessed for disciplinary sanctions.

In courses that are scheduled over the length of a normal 7-week session, students will receive a two-percentage reduction in the final grade for every absence beyond a grace allowance of 5% of the total number of class hours in the course.

If a student is absent for more than 20% of the classes in a course but remains otherwise actively engaged and participating in weekly academic activities in the course, the student will not be administratively dropped from the course. Provided that in such cases, the student may not be awarded a grade above a B+ in the course. 

Provided further that if a student is absent for more than 20% of the classes in a course and does not remain actively engaged and participating in weekly academic activities, the student may be dropped from the course effective the last day of academic engagement.

The Registrar may allow a student to remain in the course if the student provides satisfactory evidence to justify an absence within one week of the absence. In such cases, the Registrar and the Instructor have the authority to impose any grade penalties that are appropriate to the circumstances.


Tardy, Early Departure, and/or Partial Attendance
Students are expected to be punctual to classes and attend the entirety of the class in order to be counted as present for a class. Instructors may deem a student to be absent for the entire class if a student is absent for a significant portion of the class at their sole discretion. Online synchronous students are expected to turn on their cameras and be present on-camera for the entire duration of the class if they wish to be marked as present.

As a general guideline, students who miss more than 25 percent of a single class meeting (25% of a lecture for asynchronous learners) should expect to be counted absent for the entire class.


Online Asynchronous Course Check-In and Participation 
•    Students who attend asynchronously must use online proctoring to document their attendance to posted lectures and other relevant coursework.  
•    Online students must check-in to courses, regularly engage with the study materials, continue with assigned work or officially withdraw.  Failure to check-in will result in administrative withdrawal from the course.
•    Ongoing participation will be based on the student watching proctored classes and fulfilling the weekly requirements of a course. Students who withdraw after the check-in period may receive a grade of “WP” or “WF.”
•    Students who check-in to a course and fail to maintain ongoing regular participation but do not officially withdraw will receive a grade of “F.”


Absences for External Events and Athletics 
The Executive VP for Academic Affairs or delegate may provide approval for students who are required to attend external events such as conferences, competitions, or athletic programs and deem those absences to be excused. The student bears the burden of establishing the necessity of such approval in all such circumstances and is required to provide supporting documentation.

Student athletes may be excused for documented travel days provided approval has been secured by the athletics department. 

Applications and supporting documentation for such approvals must be submitted to the Registrar’s Office prior to the occurrence of the event. 


Inclement Weather
Weather-related closures are communicated to all students and faculty by the University.

Absences due to inclement weather closing or delays are not counted toward the maximum total number of absences.


Make-Up Work
The university considers the following absences as automatically approved (excused) for make-up work:

1.         Absences that occur because a student is taking part in a CU-sponsored or approved event noted above:
Prior to any planned absences, students should contact each of their professors to inform them of the absence and request permission.
Students must complete all work assigned on days missed, according to the specifications of the professor. Students should make every effort to complete assignments early, if possible.
2.        Illnesses – with documented medical evidence.
3.        Funerals – with evidence.
4.        Selected school-sponsored class trips or projects that are relevant to meeting degree requirements.
5.        Other situations authorized by the Executive VP for Academic Affairs.

All other course make-up work policies will be included in the course syllabus.


Professor’s Responsibility
Professors must take roll every class period and make the attendance record promptly available to the students via the student portal.

Each professor’s requirements on make-up work for absences (not covered above) and tardiness are included in the syllabus.

Professors are required to specify attendance and participation requirements in their syllabi for students of all modalities.

•    Professors are required to ensure that asynchronous students regularly and substantively engage with the course.
•    In particular, professors should ensure that asynchronous students receive equivalent teaching and learning opportunities as on-campus or online synchronous students.
•    Professors are required to enable online proctoring technology approved by the university in all courses where asynchronous enrollment is allowed.


Student’s Responsibility
Students are expected to inform professors prior to a scheduled absence and understand work may be made up at the professor’s discretion to ensure full credit.

Upon an unexpected absence from class, the student should contact the professor immediately to discuss make-up work and submit such work in a timely manner.

Students should keep track of their own absences in each class and resolve any discrepancies with the professor’s posted record of attendance as soon as possible.

Students should not wait until the end of the session to deal with concerns about absences.

It is the student’s responsibility to comply with attendance and participation requirements honestly. Any creative compliance that seeks to falsely convey attendance or participation or misleads faculty about actual participation is not honest. Similarly, student behavior that violates the intent and spirit of the attendance and participation requirements is deemed to be dishonest.

A student has the responsibility to not assist or aid other students in violating attendance and participation requirements and to report such violations when he or she acquires such knowledge.

A student has the responsibility to comply with instructions about proctoring software and other requirements to ensure compliance with attendance rules.

Online synchronous students have the responsibility to turn on their cameras during class sessions to enable faculty to record their attendance and participation. A student shall not refuse to comply with instructions to turn on the camera and is expected to behave on-camera as s/he would in the physical classroom.

Carolina University students understand that attending an online class is not a private act. Therefore, students are expected to behave respectfully and with appropriate decorum and conduct themselves in a professional manner for the entire class. An instructor's reasonable instructions shall be controlling with regard to what constitutes appropriate behavior in a class.

Inappropriate behavior by a student in an online class will invite disciplinary action including by way of suspension and expulsion from the university.


Attendance Appeals
Appeals concerning a professor’s decision about unexcused absences or make-up work are to be directed in writing to the Registrar’s Office no later than the expiry of 7 days after the end of a session. Late appeals will be denied unless there are exceptional mitigating circumstances. The appeal will be decided by the Executive VP for Academic Affairs or delegate after considering the totality of circumstances and any mitigating factors. Students must complete the appeal form and provide any supporting evidence that is likely to assist in the appeal process. The burden of proof is upon the student in such appeals. The decision of the Executive VP for Academic Affairs is final.