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University Faculty Senate Policy 42-27: Class Attendance

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. The fact that classes are scheduled is evidence that the faculty believes class instruction is important. Therefore, class attendance is important for the benefit of students.

Accordingly, it is the policy of the University that class attendance by students be encouraged and that all instructors organize and conduct their courses with this policy in mind. A student should attend every class for which the student is 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 constitutes a danger to the student's scholastic attainment and should make this fact known to the student at once. A student whose irregular attendance causes him or her, in the judgment of the instructor, to become deficient scholastically, may run the risk of receiving a failing grade or receiving a lower grade that the student might have secured had the student been in regular attendance.

Instructors should provide, within reason, 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, family emergency. If an evaluative event will be missed due to an unavoidable absence, the student 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. Requests for missing class or an evaluative event due to reasons that are based on false claims may be considered violations of the policy on Academic Integrity (Policy 49-20).

University Assistance for Absence from classes for Student Crisis or Emergencies:

The Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs (AVPSA) and the Family Support-Student Crisis Office provide student and family support during times of crisis and emergencies. The office contacts faculty to notify them of emergency related class absences and advocates for students when their academics have been interrupted due to personal crisis. Students are also offered referrals to appropriate campus and community offices and organizations for support and intervention.

If a student at Penn State, University Park campus is experiencing an illness or crisis that results in the inability to attend class, the student may want to contact the AVPSA/Family Support-Student Crisis Office.

In critical situations, The AVPSA/Family Support-Student Crisis Office will provide courtesy notification of the student's absence to their college department and/or instructors when the student notifies the office and makes a request.

When students call, they will be asked to provide their name, PSU identification number, birth date, campus or local address, academic major, and the reason for the absence. Typically, at some point in the process, verification of the student's emergency reason for their absence will be required.

Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs (AVPSA) Family Support-Student Crisis Office
135 Boucke Building
(814) 863-4926 (AVPSA)
(814) 863-2020 (Student and Family Emergency Help Line)