Faculty Policy Series #48

Attendance Taking

Attending classes is likely to improve academic performance as well as to enhance the quality of the learning experience. Being in the classroom offers opportunities to gain detailed faculty responses to student questions, to hear a wider range of perspectives, to develop public speaking and interpersonal skills, to network with their peers, and to engage in group exercises carefully designed to promote a deeper understanding of the subject matter. Moreover, establishing positive habits while in the University setting, such as regular attendance, can carry over into students’ behavior upon graduation and contribute to them having successful careers. The University recognizes the importance of instilling behaviors in students that will promote long-term personal and professional success.

Whether or how to use attendance as part of a student’s grade is entirely at the discretion of the faculty member. Faculty members counting absences in determining a student’s final earned grade should clearly state their policy in detail on the course syllabus and announce the policy during the first week of the course.

I. Attendance Taking Records

A. Faculty are expected to fill out the Last Date of Attendance (LDA) rosters supplied by the Academic Records Office. Submitting rosters in a timely manner assists the Center for University Advisement in identifying students at academic risk as well as ensures that our University remains compliant with Federal regulations by returning the appropriate amount of financial aid funds to the government within the required time allowance.

B. Faculty teaching courses where 50% or more of the students enrolled are in their first year are encouraged to take and record attendance on a regular basis as a way to assist University advisement services in identifying and helping students experiencing academic and other difficulties.

C. Faculty are encouraged to reach out to students with excessive absences as well as to contact the Center for University Advisement.

II. Excused Absences
The decision whether or not to excuse absences is entirely at the discretion of the faculty member. A faculty member granting excused absences shall determine the type and acceptability of documentation required. Students requesting an excused absence  must provide documentation to the faculty member in a timely manner. It is recommended that faculty member provide excused absences for documented occasional instances of the following:

  • An illness or injury that physically prevents the student from attending the class. In particular, in some cases, a student who has certain registered disabilities may qualify for consideration for excused absences. This accommodation is most frequently granted for students who have a documented chronic health problem that occasionally causes them to be absent from class;

  • A religious observance that requires the student to refrain from attending class;

  • Participation in a recital, debate, post-season athletic tournament or other activity authorized by a University official;

  • Medical emergency or death of an immediate family member; and

  • A proceeding that the student is legally obligated to attend.

Faculty should make reasonable attempts to give students opportunities to make up work missed as a result of an excused absence. Students who are deemed eligible for excused absences are responsible for completing all coursework. How the coursework will be completed is at the discretion of the faculty.

III. Absence from Examinations

Individual faculty members determine policies regarding missed quizzes and exams. If a student is unable to take a regularly scheduled final examination because of circumstances beyond his or her control, the student must obtain permission from the instructor to take a postponed examination. Faculty are not required to provide make-up opportunities for students absent from regularly scheduled classes. The guidelines for governing the documentation of excused absences described in Section II above are also applicable here.


FPS #48
(rev. 2007)