Academic Catalog 2020-2021

Slippery Rock University

Attendance Policy

The faculty, staff, and other resources of the University are furnished for the education of students who attend the University. A class schedule is provided for students and faculty so that a reasonably orderly arrangement for instruction is facilitated. Class attendance is important for the benefit of students. Traditionally, attendance policies for individual classes have been determined by the instructor and communicated to the class at the first meeting and through the syllabus. The University believes that class attendance, preparation, and participation are integral components of student success. It is unusual for students to be successful in a class without attending, preparing, and participating regularly.

Therefore, the faculty and administration strongly encourage students to attend every class session, to spend at least two hours in review and preparation for each hour in class, and to participate fully in all aspects of the class.

Given that, it is the policy of the University to encourage class attendance, all instructors should organize and conduct their courses with this policy in mind. Students should attend every class for which they are scheduled and should be held responsible for all work covered in the courses taken. In each case, the instructor should decide when the class absence affects a student’s scholastic attainment. Students whose absences cause them, in the judgment of the instructor, to become deficient scholastically, may run the risk of receiving a failing grade or receiving a lower grade than the students might have earned had they been in regular attendance.

Instructors should provide, within reason, an opportunity to make up work for students who miss class for curricular and extracurricular activities such as class or club field trips, choir trips, and athletic contests, etc.). However, if the instructor considers such scheduled trips to be hurting a student’s scholastic performance, the instructor should discuss the matter with the students, and if need be with the person responsible for the conflicting activity.  

If an instructor requires an out-of-class activity that conflicts with a regularly scheduled class, students should discuss this matter with the instructor requiring the out-of-class activity.  In these cases the students are to attend the regularly scheduled class and should be given the opportunity by the instructor requiring the out-of-class activity to make up the missed work or to be given an alternate assignment in lieu of the missed out-of-class assignment.

Instructors also should provide, within reason, an opportunity to make up work for students who miss classes for other legitimate but unavoidable reasons. Legitimate, unavoidable reasons are those such as illness, injury, death within the family, other family emergency, military service, or religious observance. When a class, exam, presentation, or assignment will be missed due to an unavoidable absence, the students should contact the instructor as soon as the unavoidable absence is known to discuss ways to make up the work.

An instructor might not consider an unavoidable absence legitimate if the student does not contact the instructor before the evaluative event. Students will be held responsible for using only legitimate, unavoidable reasons for requesting a make-up in the event of a missed class or evaluative event. Faculty may request documentation related to the absence from the student. Requests for missing class, exams, presentations, or assignments due to reasons that are based on false claims may be considered violations of the policy on Academic Integrity.