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Academic Information

Class Attendance

Students are expected to attend classes regularly. Classroom attendance is often one of the most necessary and important means of learning and, in many classes, is essential to the educational objectives of the course.

Faculty members must include their guidelines for assigning grades in the syllabus. The syllabus must make clear whether any portion of the grade is based on attendance and/or participation. It is the students' responsibility to make themselves aware of each faculty member's guidelines by carefully reading the syllabus.
(PS 04-05)

Faculty members may drop students who fail to attend class during the first week of the semester. However, students should not presume that they will be dropped by the faculty member. Students who have registered for a class, but never attended, should verify whether or not they are officially enrolled. It is the student's responsibility to withdraw officially from the class.

Students may have a valid reason to miss a class. When any of the following reasons directly conflict with class meeting times, students are responsible for informing faculty members of the reason for the absence and for arranging to make up missed assignments, tests, quizzes, and class work insofar as this is possible. Excused absences include, but are not limited to:

  • 1. Illness or injury to the student
  • 2. Death, injury, or serious illness of an immediate family member or the like
  • 3. Religious reasons (California Education Code section 89320)
  • 4. Jury duty or government obligation
  • 5. University sanctioned or approved activities (examples include: artistic performances, forensics presentations, participation in research conferences, intercollegiate athletic activities, student government, required class field trips, etc.)

Faculty members are not obligated to consider other absences as excused. Faculty members may require students to provide documentation for excused absences.

There are numerous classes offered on campus where attendance is crucial since student participation is essential. Absence from these courses may impact the work and participation of other students. Students who anticipate extended or multiple absences during a particular semester should consult with their advisor and the faculty member before enrolling in any class to determine whether it will be possible to complete the requirements for the course. Students who realize after enrollment that they will have extended or multiple absences should consult with the faculty member to see whether it will be possible to complete the course requirements.

The earliest possible notification is preferred. In some circumstances, it may be possible for the student to notify the faculty member of anticipated absences (e.g. for religious reasons or for scheduled athletic events) during the first week of enrollment. Advance notification (minimally one week in advance) is required for the following absences:

  • 1. Jury duty and other government obligation
  • 2. Religious reasons
  • 3. University sanctioned or approved activities

The California Education Code (section 89320) requires "each state university, in administering any test or examination, to permit any student who is eligible to undergo the test or examination to do so, without penalty, at a time when that activity would not violate the student's religious creed. This requirement shall not apply in the event that administering the test or examination at an alternate time would impose an undue hardship which could not reasonably have been avoided. In any court proceeding in which the existence of an undue hardship which could not reasonably have been avoided is an issue, the burden of proof shall be upon the institution."

It is the responsibility of the student to make advance notification, contact the faculty member to make arrangements to make up any academic work that may be missed, submit assignments on time, and to make arrangements regarding activities, tests, quizzes, or exams that may be scheduled during the absences.
If a student does not notify the faculty member one week in advance of the date of absences for these reasons (jury duty, governmental service, religious observances, or University sanctioned activities), the instructor is not required to adjust the class schedule or to allow for make up activities, tests, or exams. Students shall not, however, be penalized for excused absences when circumstances make it impossible to provide advance notice (e.g. student is engaged in a University sanctioned event such as a performance, tournament, or playoff which cannot be anticipated).

A student who expects to be absent from the University for any valid reason, and who has found it difficult to inform the instructor, should notify the academic department office. The department office shall notify the student's instructors of the nature and duration of the absence. It remains the responsibility of the student to arrange with instructors to make up any academic work missed.

In circumstances where an actual assignment, some specific class work, an activity, a quiz, or an exam cannot reasonably be made up, it is the instructor's option to assign alternative work. (PS 01-01)