Northwest Nazarene University expects students to complete all course requirements and achieve course-related student learning outcomes, including class attendance either in person or online, as appropriate. A strong positive correlation exists between class attendance and academic performance (Credé, Roch, and Kieszczynka, 2010). Students are responsible to create, with help from their advisors, academic schedules that coordinate with their other activities to minimize class absences.
Instructors are responsible to establish the class attendance and absence policy for their courses. If the instructor determines that attendance will directly affect students’ grades, accurate attendance records must be kept and made available to the students. Students are responsible to notify the instructor of inaccuracies before the end of the semester. If a student’s total number of absences for a course exceeds the maximum limit established in the course syllabus, the instructor is encouraged to work with the student on an individual basis to find a reasonable, mutually acceptable resolution of conflicts and difficulties brought about by the student’s absences in the course (particularly when absences are the result of a student’s participation in University-sponsored activities). In some circumstances, withdrawal from the course or non-participation in the University-sponsored activity may be necessary.
Student Responsibilities for Class Absences
- Students are responsible for course content and class work even if there are legitimate reasons for their absence(s).
- Students must provide a list of scheduled absences to each instructor during the first week of class.
- Students must notify each instructor in writing as soon as possible if they are unable to attend class due to illness, emergency, or unplanned university activity.
- Students are responsible to submit required class work, acquire information for classes missed, and make up missed assessment activities (assignments, quizzes, exams, etc.) as mutually determined by the instructor and student.
- Students are responsible for providing appropriate documentation for class absences when requested or needed (e.g., illness, jury duty, etc.).
- Where attendance and participation are required for practicums and internships (particularly as required for licensure or accreditation), students may be required to schedule additional time to compensate for the time missed (which may require additional student fees).
Instructor Responsibilities for Class Absences
- Instructors’ class attendance and absence policies must be stated in their course syllabi.
- Instructors must indicate on all course syllabi the date and explanation of any assessed activity for which it is not feasible to replicate the original activity nor an alternate activity if the student is absent. The explanation must include how the student’s grade will be affected should the student miss that assessed activity.
- In cases where University-approved activities conflict with exam dates, instructors should make reasonable arrangements for either proctored, make-up, or early exams.
- Instructors are strongly encouraged to allow students to make up missed course work for absences due to participation in University-sponsored activities, illness, or emergency situations. (Appropriate documentation may be required.)
- Instructors are encouraged to use professional discretion in allowing students to make up any missed assessed activity if notification and arrangements are not made in advance. However, instructors are not obligated to provide the student with an opportunity to complete either that assessed activity or an alternate activity.
University Activities Sponsor Responsibilities
- Non-Athletic sponsored activities that require students to be absent from class must be communicated to the Office of Academic Affairs with the student name, dates, and times of absence. The VPAA is authorized to cancel any proposed activity.
- The Athletic Commission approves athletic team schedules, and the Faculty Athletics Representative reviews travel schedules.
- Sponsors are required to provide a list of scheduled absences in advance to allow students the ability to communicate their absences to instructors in the first week of class.
- In situations where absences are not preplanned, sponsors are required to inform students, instructor, and the appropriate administrator (VPAA and/or Athletic Director) as soon as possible.
- Communication between instructors and sponsors is essential for student success. If questions occur regarding class absence, the instructor is encouraged to communicate with the University sponsor.
- University personnel responsible for activities requiring absence from classes must be willing to proctor exams for students as necessary and provide opportunities for students to complete class work, homework, assessed activities, and exams while away from campus.
- University personnel responsible for activities requiring absence from classes are expected to monitor the academic progress of participating students according to the Eligibility to Compete and/or Perform Policy. Students who are not performing at satisfactory academic levels may be strongly encouraged to attend classes rather than participate in the activity.
Student appeals related to the Class Attendance and Absence Policy will follow the current Academic Appeal Policy, located in the appropriate NNU Catalog.
Credé, M., Roch, S., and Kieszczynka, U. (2010). Class Attendance in College: A Meta-Analytic Review of the Relationship of Class Attendance with Grades and Student Characteristics. Review of Educational Research, 80(2), 272-295.