Learning Assistance Center
Policy on Classroom Attendance Accommodations
Recognizing that some faculty have established strictly enforced policies regarding the number of absences that will be allowed before a student faces sanctions, and some student with disabilities have medically-related conditions of an episodic nature or other established reasons that their disability may make it difficult for them to fulfill the typical attendance requirements, the Learning Assistance Center has established the following procedure for considering/granting requests for leniency in such classroom attendance policies:
1) Students with disabilities must request consideration of this accommodation from the Learning Assistance Center by completing the Accommodation Request Form at the beginning of each semester in which the accommodation is requested; the determination of the curricular impact and appropriateness of such request will be considered for each class individually. Documentation must be provided that indicates both why the student may need to miss classes and to what extent. While it is understood that the student cannot always predict accurately the number or percent of absences anticipated, the student is asked to provide some indication of the scope of the request.
2) The staff in The Learning Assistance Center will evaluate the request and the documentation provided to determine whether the student has provided justifiable disability-based reasons for requesting consideration in attendance requirements. Documentation will be held in the Learning Assistance Center and will be considered confidential. If it is determined that the reasons provided do not constitute a need for accommodation in this regard, the student will be notified of this decision.
3) If it is determined that the request is justified, then faculty from each class in which the student is enrolled for that semester will be contacted by the Assistant Director, Learning Assistance Center, Disability Services to request information on any established attendance policies for the class and the importance of attendance/participation to the curricular integrity and learning process. Class attendance for traditionally offered classes is considered a significant aspect of participatory learning. All requests for extension or leniency in attendance requirements will be evaluated carefully, with due consideration given to the following information to be offered by faculty:
a. Is there regular classroom interaction between the instructor and students and among the students themselves?
b. Do student contributions in class constitute a significant component of the learning process?
c. Does the fundamental nature of the course rely upon student participation as an essential method of learning?
d. To what degree does a student's failure to attend class constitute a significant loss of the educational experience of other students in the class?
e. What does the course description and syllabus say regarding attendance?
f. What is the method by which the final course grade is calculated?
4) If it is determined that it is not possible to consider leniency regarding attendance policies for a given course, the student will be so informed and will be given the opportunity to discuss other accommodation options; if the accommodation is deemed appropriate, both the student and the faculty member will be provided with a letter explaining both the established boundaries of the accommodation and the responsibilities of both faculty and student in carrying out this accommodation.
a) Students are responsible for contacting the faculty member as soon as possible when a disability-related absence will occur/has occurred and, as necessary, informing the faculty member as to when the student will return to class. If the student is unable to reach the faculty member directly, the student or someone acting on his/her behalf may contact the Learning Assistance Center. Information will then be relayed to the faculty member through the LAC.
b) This accommodation potentially provides relief from requirements for physical attendance in classes. The student is responsible for any material covered or work done during such disability-necessitated absences; neither extension of deadlines for assignments due, nor arrangements for making up tests and exams missed during such absence are NOT included in this assigned accommodation and must be negotiated individually with faculty as the need arises.
c) If, at any time, the faculty member believes that the student's absences from class threatens the academic integrity of the curriculum or the accomplishment of learning objectives, the faculty member should contact the Learning Assistance Center AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. After consulting with the faculty member, LAC staff will contact the student to review available options.