Policy Statement - 17-17 Attendance Policy (Supersedes 01-01)

Policy Statement
October 17, 2017


(This policy supersedes Policy Statement 01-01.)

This policy statement was recommended by the Academic Senate on September 21, 2017 and approved by the President on October 16, 2017.

1.0 Introduction

Students are expected to attend classes. Class attendance and participation are necessary and important components of learning that affect all students in the class and are essential to achieving a course’s educational objectives.

2.0 Faculty Guidelines on Attendance and Participation

Faculty members must include their guidelines for assigning grades in the syllabus (as required by Policy Statement 12-03, Final Course Grades, Grading Procedures, and Final Assignments). 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.

Faculty members may drop students for unexcused absences as defined below during the first two instructional weeks of the semester (or comparable time in special sessions). 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 through the MyCSULB Student Center whether or not they are officially enrolled. It is the student’s responsibility to officially withdraw from the class.

3.0 Excused Absences

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:

  • Illness, injury to the student, or medical conditions, including those related to pregnancy
  • Death, injury, or serious illness of an immediate family member. An immediate family member is defined as a close relative, or a person residing in the immediate household of the student.
  • Religious reasons (California Education Code section 89320)
  • Jury duty, military service, or other government obligation
  • University-sanctioned or -approved activities (examples include but are not limited to artistic performances, participation in scholarly conferences and presentations, intercollegiate athletic activities, student government, required class field trips, etc.)

Faculty members are not obligated to consider other absences as excused.

4.0 Notification and Verification

The earliest possible notification is preferred for all excused absences. 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 and verification may be requested for the following absences:

  • Jury duty, military service, or other government obligation
  • Religious reasons
  • 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, military service, other government obligations, religious reasons, or University-sanctioned activities), the instructor is not required to adjust the class schedule or to allow for make up activities, tests, or exams. However, students shall not be penalized for excused absences when circumstances make it impossible to provide advance notice (e.g., illness, injuries, engagement in a University-sanctioned event such as a performance, tournament, or playoff that cannot be anticipated).

Students who expect to be absent from the University for any valid reason, and who have found it difficult to inform their instructors, 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.

Students should consult with the faculty member about whether verification is necessary for excused absences. Faculty members may only require students to provide verification for repeated or successive absences (three or more instructional hours), or absences on the days of tests, presentations, and other graded activities. If verification is required, students should provide it to the faculty member within one week of the date of the last prior absence.

5.0 Extended or Multiple Absences

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.

6.0 Alternative Assignments

In circumstances where a specific assignment, activity, quiz, or exam cannot reasonably be made up, it is the instructor’s option to assign alternative work.

EFFECTIVE: Immediately