At Lebanon Valley College, the academic program is the centerpiece of the student’s experience. Regular attendance and participation in all courses is essential to academic success.
Students are expected to attend all scheduled class sessions for the full class time and, for courses meeting partially or fully online, to participate in all activities throughout the course. It is the student’s responsibility to attend class and to be accountable for all work missed in the event of being absent from class. Faculty are not obligated in any way whatsoever to make special arrangements for any student who is absent from class.
Specific class attendance policies are determined by individual faculty members. These may include regulations regarding tardiness. Faculty members have the right to reduce a student’s final course grade based on their attendance. Each faculty member’s attendance policy—and the consequences students face when exceeding the allotted number of absences—must be clearly stated in the course syllabus and explained to students on the first day of class. Academic departments may also have an attendance policy, particularly one regarding practicums, student teaching, or clinical experiences.
For courses that meet in an accelerated format (fewer than 15 weeks), regular attendance and participation from the onset of the course is especially important. Initial participation is required for a student to remain enrolled in an accelerated course. Initial attendance and participation is defined as physical attendance (for face-to-face and hybrid courses) or submitting academically inclined work within the first week of the course. Examples of academically inclined work include:
- Submitting a graded assignment
- Completing a graded discussion post, quiz, or activity
- Attending a synchronous session
Students who fail to attend or participate in the first week of an accelerated class will be contacted to determine their intentions. If they fail to participate in the second class (or, for online courses, during the second week), they will be dropped from the course without a notation on their transcript.
An excused absence from a course session that meets face-to-face is defined as an absence for which a student is not penalized. It is possible, but not guaranteed, for a student to be excused from class when participating in an authorized College activity, such as field trips, athletic competitions, performances, and departmental or College events. The faculty member of the academic class from which the student will be absent has discretionary authority to grant or not grant the excusal. In general, student attendance at academic classes has priority over other College functions.
When faculty require attendance at class sessions or events outside of students’ regularly scheduled academic classes, the faculty member must provide alternative methods of fulfilling the assignment for students who are legitimately unable to participate.
Faculty planning class trips or other activities resulting in student absences from classes in other courses must provide each participating student, as far in advance as possible, with a written request for excusal, which students are then expected to present to their other instructors. The request must detail the nature of the event, date(s), times, names of participating students, and signatures of the instructor(s). The instructor must also notify the registrar. Sponsors of co-curricular events (aside from semester-long sports events), must follow this process as well.
Sports rosters are issued team by team at the beginning of each semester, with the names of participating students, the dates of the athletic contests, and requested excusal times listed on each roster. Unscheduled games will be announced through the Athletic Department. Students are responsible for requesting class excusals for any athletic events. Athletic practices do not warrant a request for class excusal.
In all cases, when a student is absent from class—whether the absence is excused or not—the student remains responsible for all and any work missed. When requests for excused absences are granted, the faculty member may stipulate when and in what manner the missed work must be completed by the student.
If attendance requirements conflict, the associate dean of academic success and registrar will mediate.
A long-term absence from a class may severely impact a student’s ability to complete a course successfully.
Notifications. If a student will be absent for more than one calendar week during the 15–week semester or accelerated courses, they should notify the assistant dean for student success and retention, who will facilitate communication among key personnel at the College. A graduate student missing more than 20% of an accelerated course should notify the program director. The student should also contact their faculty. Assuming it is possible, the student should indicate the dates they will be absent to the faculty and the assistant dean for student success and retention or program director, as appropriate.
Administrative Withdrawal. A long-term absence from a class or classes may result in administrative withdrawal from the course or the College. In a traditional 15–week semester, a student will be administratively withdrawn with a grade of “W” after three calendar weeks provided the deadline to withdraw has not passed.
Departmental policies, particularly those about a clinical or practicum experience, take precedence over the College’s generalized policy on long-term absences. Students should consult the Student Handbook for their academic programs to familiarize themselves with the department’s attendance policy.
Concussion Return-To-Learn Policy
The College currently offers “provisional or temporary” accommodations for individuals who have been diagnosed with a concussion. Such accommodations are assessed by the Center for Accessibility Resources in collaboration with medical professionals (i.e., athletic trainers, physical therapists, and physicians) and are based on supporting documentation and recommendations.
The College’s Attendance Policy holds that regular attendance at all courses is essential to academic success, and it is the student’s responsibility to attend class and to be accountable for all work missed in the event of being absent from class. Specific class attendance policies are determined by individual faculty members.
When deemed necessary, adjustments and accommodations are outlined in a letter from the Center for Accessibility Resources as “Temporary Academic Accommodations” and students are responsible for communicating the necessary accommodations to individual professors. Temporary accommodations may be provided for both physical and cognitive rest. The student is responsible for any work missed, and arrangements for make-up work must be made in cooperation with course professors. During this process, students are encouraged to speak with each professor to determine course specific requirements that may be postponed or excused (i.e., postponed exams, extra time for project/assignment completion, reduced reading assignments). Students are also responsible for meeting with the director of accessibility resources every week during the usage of temporary accommodations.
When the concussed student experiences prolonged cognitive difficulties and symptoms beyond the second week post-injury, the student should consider implications that may hinder the successful completion of coursework. Students are encouraged to meet with their academic advisor and the assistant dean for student success and retention to consider options if coursework missed becomes too onerous to make up.