Attendance Modification as an Academic Adjustment

For students approved for a modified attendance policy, a document outlining the policy and procedures will be attached to their Letter of Academic Adjustment (Accommodation). The attendance modification academic adjustment is most frequently granted for a student who has a documented chronic health problem which occasionally causes him/her to be absent from class.

The students are directed to contact you in advance to discuss this academic adjustment and work with you to fill out an attendance modification agreement form. The intent of this academic adjustment is to establish a plan of action prior to attendance becoming an issue. Faculty set their own attendance policies; the academic adjustment is simply a request for some flexibility in the policy. The amount of flexibility will depend on the nature of the class and whether class participation is a factor in the final grade. Students who are eligible for this academic adjustment are responsible for completing all coursework. This academic adjustment is not a "blank check" which allows students to miss a large number of classes for any given course. A student with excessive absences in a class should consult with the instructor about dropping/withdrawing the course or receiving an incomplete grade when appropriate.

Based on Office of Civil Rights Cases in 1994, the following six factors should be used in considering if attendance is an essential element of a course and when you are working with the student to complete the modified attendance agreement:

  • Are there classroom interactions between the instructor and the students and among students?
  • Do student contributions constitute a significant component of the learning process?
  • Does the functional nature of the course rely on student participation as an essential method for learning?
  • To what degree does a student's failure to attend constitute a significant loss to the educational experience of the other students in the course?
  • What does the course description and syllabus say?
  • What are classroom practices and policies regarding attendance?