Students are expected to attend all scheduled classes and activities for the courses in which they are registered for credit. If they do not do so, they must accept the personal academic consequences of that behavior. It is in class meetings that students not only receive instruction, but engage in discussion, present responses and listen to those of fellow students. In such a teaching/learning process both the student and the class suffer a loss when the student is absent.
Student Responsibilities Regarding Absences
Absences from class, including those excused in accord with the provisions outlined below, do not excuse students from the responsibilities they bear for fulfilling the academic requirements of their courses. Instructors will determine whether make-up work will be required or permitted for students who miss tests or other course work because of their absence from class for reasons other than documented illness and participation in official college events. When absences are excused, the instructor will make a reasonable effort to help the student make up missed work in some non-punitive way. But in every case of missed class, students are ultimately responsible for the material and experiences covered during their absence.
A student who is absent from a final examination for a reason deemed acceptable by the instructor may request permission to take the final examination at a later date during the exam period. Permission to take a final examination after the end of the examination period will be granted only in extenuating circumstances. Typically, students will receive a grade of Incomplete (or ‘I’) if they are unable to take the final examination by the end of the scheduled examination period. The grade of ‘I’ factors into the term and cumulative GPA as a failing grade. This will be the grade of record until a final grade is submitted. A grade of “I” is changed to an “F” if the required work is not completed by midterm the following semester.
Other College Events
Student absences resulting from participation in official college events are generally considered excused. The policy, approved by the faculty, is as follows:
- An official college event is either: (a) an NCAA athletic event or (b) a non-athletic event approved by the Provost. As far in advance as possible, the Provost will notify the faculty of any approved non-athletic event and will name the students who will participate in the event.
- It is the students’ responsibility to inform faculty members as soon as possible of any tests or other required work they will have to miss to participate in the event.
- Because students bear the responsibility for completing all academic requirements of their courses, they should structure their academic and extracurricular to minimize conflicts, and make proper arrangements with their instructor when conflicts occur.
Absences for Personal Reasons
In all matters involving a class absence for personal reasons it is the responsibility of the student to communicate with the instructor as quickly as practical that they will not be present in class. The student should discuss the need for the absence with the instructor and make arrangements to complete the required course work, preferably in advance.
- Absences resulting from personal emergencies (such as a death in the family) are generally considered excused. In the case of an emergency, students should notify the Office of Student Affairs or the Wellness Center, who will then inform the students' instructors. Students will provide confirmation of personal emergencies, if necessary. Approval for the excused absence rests with the discretion of the instructor.
- Absences because of special events (such as the marriage of a sibling) or opportunities (such as an interview for a job or scholarship) will not automatically be excused. These are likewise to be discussed well in advance with the instructor and the student may be required to provide confirmation.
- Students who are ill or injured should be seen by a member of the Wellness Center staff and if appropriate the Wellness Center will send a notification of medical absence through Starfish.
- Wofford College recognizes the importance of religious and spiritual practice of diverse faiths. Students planning to be absent from class due to participation in religious holidays or observances must notify instructors no later than two weeks prior to the intended absence. Approval for the excused absence rests with the discretion of the instructor.
A student in danger of exceeding a course’s allowed absences should be warned by the faculty member through Starfish. If students exceed the allowed number of absences, they may be administratively withdrawn from the course. The warning and administrative withdrawal process is as follows:
- Through Starfish, the instructor submits a Class Attendance Warning. Starfish automatically notifies the student and relevant on- campus parties (coaches, advisors, etc.), making them aware of the concern.
- If the student fails to respond to the alert from Starfish or fails to show satisfactory improvement in attendance, the instructor may administratively withdraw the student from the course.
- To withdraw a student, the instructor will notify the Office of the Registrar by selecting the Administrative Withdrawal flag in Starfish. The student will be assigned a grade of 'W 'or 'F'.
- The grade of 'W' will be assigned up to the course withdrawal deadline as noted on the academic calendar. An administrative withdrawal after the course withdrawal deadline will be assigned the grade of 'F'.
- The Office of the Registrar will update the student’s academic record accordingly and send an email to both the student and the faculty member confirming that the change has been made.
Since absences from class are sometimes a sign of other, non-academic concerns, faculty should notify College officials through Starfish whenever a student misses two consecutive class meetings.
Students who believe they were inappropriately withdrawn from a course (i.e., the process described above was not followed) may submit a written appeal, with supporting documentation, requesting reinstatement to the course. Upon receipt of the email from the Office of the Registrar that they have been withdrawn, students have until 5:00 pm of the following business day to submit an appeal. Appeals must be submitted in writing to the Office of the Registrar at firstname.lastname@example.org. The subject line must read, Appeal for Administrative Withdraw. The Registrar will communicate the appeal to the Academic Standing Committee.
The appeal should present clear, concise and detailed information explaining: 1) why absences should be excused, 2) why continuing in the course should be permitted, and 3) how the withdraw process deviated from the outlined policy. The Academic Standing Committee may confer with the persons involved to inform their decision. The Committee will make every effort to decide on the appeal in a timely manner. The Committee’s resolution is binding on all parties. Both the instructor and the student will be notified through their Wofford email.
Class Attendance During Appeal
If the student chooses to appeal, the student is required continue attending the course until the Committee decides on the appeal and communicates the decision to the student and instructor.
Class Attendance & Inclement Weather
Wofford College ordinarily does not close because of weather that brings snow and ice to the area. Every effort will be made to hold classes and to have offices open. Commuting students should understand that classes are held, but that they are to run no unreasonable risk to get to the campus. They will be permitted to make up work they miss. If an exception is made to this policy, area radio and television stations will be notified. A notice will also be posted on the college’s official Facebook page. Otherwise, it is safe to assume that the college is open and conducting classes as usual.