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Academic Affairs / Provost

Administration 203
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: 660-543-4116

Class Attendance

Academic Policies and Procedures


Class Attendance

Date of Current Revision:  April 2016

Primary Responsible Officer:  Associate Vice Provost Student Engagement


Class Attendance.


This guide provides faculty with a detailed explanation of the absence policy for students.


In general, faculty should consider two principles related to attendance:

1. Students should work directly with their faculty on issues related to short or planned absences, absences due to influenza, tardiness, participation, and routine matters of classroom management. These situations should not require involvement or approval by other offices.

2. Students requiring unexpected or extended absences due to serious health, emergency, exceptional or legal circumstances should, if possible, stay in close contact with faculty. In these situations, faculty should expect additional communication, verification and documentation from other offices on campus.


Requirements for Monitoring Attendance


To be eligible to receive federal and state financial aid, students must have a documented record of attendance in the classes for which they enroll. Registration for classes is, in itself, not sufficient to prove attendance. A student who receives or otherwise benefits from federal or state financial aid, but has no documented record of attendance in the class(es) for which (s)he is enrolled, is not eligible to have received/benefited from the aid, and will be required to repay all the federal and state assistance credited to his/her UCMO account for the semester Likewise, failure on the part of faculty to perform due diligence with regard to verifying student attendance obligates the University to repay all financial assistance that has been distributed to those students who never attended classes but were not identified as absent until the end of the semester. Therefore, it is essential that faculty participate in the Enrollment Validation Policy (, maintain accurate and up to date attendance data, and monitor students who are officially enrolled in their class utilizing Banner.


Enrollment Validation


The Enrollment Validation Policy requires faculty members to report those students who do not attend the first day of class and have not notified the instructor of their intention to attend in Banner. The Enrollment Validation Policy applies to most classes regardless of mode of delivery, i.e., face-to-face, online, hybrid, and second half semester courses. Please note that this policy is also enforced during the summer semester. Students who are reported as absent by the established deadline will receive a warning e-mail and will have an opportunity to preserve their class status by following procedures online. If the student does not take any action, they will be dropped from the course with a full refund and notified via email that they have been dropped.




Class participation and attendance are essential for student success. The University has no provisions whereby a student can enroll and receive credit at the University of Central Missouri without having attended and/or participated in class. This principle applies to all courses for which credit is awarded regardless of mode of delivery.


Students are expected to attend all lectures, seminars, laboratories and field work for each registered class and to complete all work assigned by the instructor for the course. Students are not expected to attend class when they are sick or when excused for other reasons as described below. Neither absence, nor notification of absence, relieves the student of the responsibility for the fulfillment of all course requirements.


An enrolled financial aid recipient who fails to attend classes (or stops attending) may be required to repay some or all of the assistance credited to his/her UCM account for the semester.


Online Participation


Students are expected to participate in and complete all online assignments, discussion group activities, and assessments in the timeline established by the instructor. Faculty should use academic alert resources to communicate concerns about students who stop participating in online courses.




In course syllabi, instructors may provide special attendance/requirement policies for particular classes, whenever those policies are not in conflict with the student's right to make up missed requirements as described below.


Students Who Stop Attending


If a student stops attending a course after the first week, faculty should report their concern using the Academic Alert System in MyCentral. The Academic Alert system is managed by the Office of Student Experience and Engagement. UCM does not have an administrative drop policy to remove students from courses after the Enrollment Validation period.

Faculty members are expected to take attendance regularly. However, students who are not reported as absent during the Enrollment Validation period (the first week of classes) and never attended a course should receive an "F" grade. When reporting the grade, faculty should enter the first day of classes for the semester as the last date of attendance for the student.


Attendance Requirements for International Students


The SEVIS (Student-Exchange Visitor Information System) database requires close monitoring of the addresses and enrollment status of each international student within the United States. If an international student is not attending class, please use the academic alert system. This information will then be forwarded by Maxient to the International Center.


Short Absences - Advance arrangements with Instructor

These arrangements are considered part of normal classroom management and the instructor has broad latitude to determine if the absence will be excused. These absences do not require additional documentation unless requested directly by the instructor. Advance arrangements for “unavoidable” / student chosen absences (such as court appointments, and non-emergency medical appointments) should be made with the instructor whenever possible.

Students should not be sent to the Health Center or Student Experience and Engagement for short, planned absences or issues related to tardiness.


Short Absences – Flu-like symptoms


As a reminder, for your protection, do not collect and maintain student medical information in your records.


If a student is sick with flu-like illness, the CDC recommends that they stay home for at least 24 hours after their fever is gone. Students reporting flu-like symptoms should not attend class as this becomes a public health issue. These students also should not be referred to the health center as the medical recommendation is to stay home and engage in self-care. Students who report they had the flu should contact faculty as soon as possible while at home or immediately after the illness has ended and make arrangements to make up missed work. Students may self-document absence due to suspected influenza without the requirement of additional documentation from a physician or a university administrative office.


Faculty should allow students to make up work missed for self-documented influenza, but may require a written statement from the student indicating they were absent due to illness.


The University Health Center will issue notices to campus when there is a pattern of increased influenza in our area.


Instructors may require a student to leave a class session if the instructor believes that the student is ill and presents a potential threat to the health of other class members. In such cases, the student will be allowed to complete make-up work to earn full credit for missed work.

Abuses and suspected abuses of this procedure should be reported to the Office of Student Experience and Engagement.


Short Absences – Inclement Weather


In most incidents of severe inclement weather, the university will send notice to all students and faculty regarding university delays and closings. In some cases, the university may remain open but inclement weather may prevent travel from surrounding communities to campus. In these situations, the university does not want students placing themselves at risk in order to reach campus. In these cases, when severe weather is a known complication in the region, commuting students should be allowed to make up missed work without penalty.


Extended Absences – Contact Student Experience & Engagement


When absent for three consecutive days or more (such as for a funeral, or attendance at a professional conference), a student may ask the Office of Student Experience and Engagement to send official notification to his/her instructors; however, a “Notification” of this type is a courtesy and is intended to promote good communication; it is not a “Verified absence” and is not automatically an excused absence.


University Excused Absences


The University absence policy supersedes any specific classroom or department policy.

Instructors are required to forgive absences and allow for make-up:


1. When a student is absent because of participation in approved university activities (such as a recognized academic team, departmental student delegation to a national conference, or participation in university athletic teams) or other activities required for degree completion (such as urban field requirements).

2. When a student is absent because of participation in a required university program

3. When the student is absent due to a disability (with official notification from the Office of Accessibility Services)

4. When the absence is ordered by a physician (in which case the order will be provided to and kept on file with the Office of Student Experience and Engagement)

5. When the absence is required to complete a military obligation (in a manner consistent with federal and state law).


“Verified Absences” for Emergencies and Extenuating Circumstances – Student Experience & Engagement


Instructors should also work with students during emergency situations that fall outside the student’s control. This includes absences due to medical emergencies, family emergencies, involvement in Title IX cases, and certain, but not all, legal issues including jury duty.


“Verified” absences indicate the situation has been documented by Student Experience and Engagement and relevant material has been collected or reviewed. Faculty may determine whether or not a verified absence is also excused based upon their course criteria.

When an absence is “Verified and excused” it has been documented and the student should not be penalized for the absence. Student Experience and engagement may not be able to share all details in these situations.

When absent due to an emergency or extenuating circumstances, students approach the faculty member directly. They are not required to come to the Office of Student Experience and Engagement, but if they do so then SEE can verify the absence and notify all their instructors. If the absence is verified, faculty will be notified in one of two ways:

1. Faculty will be contacted directly by Student Experience and Engagement, or

2. The student will be provided a written electronic notice which s/he may distribute to faculty.

It is the responsibility of the student to contact Student Experience and Engagement within a reasonable time frame, distribute any documentation to faculty within two days of receiving it, and to make arrangements with faculty to make up all missed work.


Make up work


Neither absence nor notification of absence relieves the student of the responsibility for meeting all course requirements. Make-up of course requirements missed because of extenuating circumstances shall be worked out between the instructor and the student upon the student's initiative. Students have a responsibility to contact his/her instructor on the first day the student returns to class to develop a plan to make up any missed work.

Instructors are required to allow the student the opportunity to earn full credit for missed work:

1. When a student is absent because of participation in approved university activities

2. When a student is absent because of participation in a required university program

3. When the absence is ordered by a physician

4. When the absence is related to a disability as verified by the Office of Accessibility Services

5. When the absence is related to a military obligation

6. When absence has been verified and excused by the Office of Student Experience and Engagement.


Students should not be penalized for excused absence work that cannot be made up due to logistical or scheduling issues. If the coursework cannot be made up in these situations, alternate work may be identified or the student’s grade may be calculated without including the missing coursework.


Legal Issues


The University will comply with all relevant state and federal laws related to the rights of students in protected categories to complete coursework without incurring penalties related to their protected status. This includes protections for students with disabilities, students receiving Title IX remediation, and active military students among other groups.

Accommodations for these students will be determined by the appropriate office and compliance with these accommodations is mandatory for all university faculty and staff.

1. Accommodations for students with disabilities will be determined and communicated by the Office of Accessibility Services.

2. Accommodations for students involved in Title IX cases will be determined and communicated by the Title IX coordinator.

3. Accommodations for active military will be determined and communicated by The Office of Student Experience and Engagement.

If the absences associated with meeting these legal obligations are so severe that it compromises the student’s ability to complete the class, faculty should contact the appropriate office to discuss options.

If a faculty member suspects abuse related to these legal obligations, they should contact Student Experience and Engagement. Faculty should not stop meeting these legal obligations unless directed to do so.


Documentation & Communication


The University Health Center (UHC) does not provide medical excuses and/or Time-In Time-Out slips to students for the purpose of being excused from class.

When medically indicated, the health center may recommend a student not attend class. In these cases, students should notify their instructor and self-document the illness. Health recovery is unpredictable and varies depending upon the health of the individual. If the recovery period extends beyond 3 days, Student Experience and Engagement will be contacted by UHC staff to communicate the recommended absence to the student's instructors. Student Experience & Engagement will then notify faculty directly by email.

In all cases, students are expected to communicate with their instructors students should notify faculty in advance if they will miss a class because of illness, injury or medical treatment unless the health impacts are so severe that direct communication is not possible. Faculty should not directly request, collect or maintain medical documentation on students. If a faculty member has questions about a specific student, they can call the Student Experience and Engagement at 660-543-4114. Due to patient confidentiality, University Health Center cannot release any information about a student.


Revision History:

Established and archived prior to 1999.

Previously annotated as II.F.1. Course Syllabi, II.F.2. Office Hours, II.F.8. Class Attendance, II.F.3. Classroom Control. Edited for web links, formatting and plain language. Approved December 2015.

Classroom Attendance updated with major revisions to Attendance at UCM after review by SEE, the Registrar, Financial Aid, TitleIX Office, the Health Center, the Counseling Center, and the International Office with guidance from Legal Counsel and Academic Council and approved by vice provost of academic programs & services to reflect current practice at UCM April 2017.

Previously annotated as F.1. Class Attendance. Renamed Class Attendance for alphabetical listing, grammar and spell check, and transitioned into policy library April 2017.

Edited Students Who Stop Attending a Course to remove Academic Enrichment as a manager of the Academic Alert System per the chair of Academic Enrichment and assistant vice provost of Student Experience and Engagement. May 2017.