Class Attendance

Students are expected to attend all classes and activities scheduled for courses in which they are registered for credit.

Absences from class, including those excused in accordance with the provisions outlined below, do not excuse students from the academic requirements of their courses. Generally, 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 every reasonable effort to assist students with the missed work in a non-punitive way. In every case of missed class, students ultimately are responsible for the material and experiences covered during their absence.

A student who is excessively absent, particularly if he or she is also performing poorly academically, may be required to withdraw from the course under the following procedures:

  1. Through the Provost, the instructor will send a Class Attendance Warning, requesting an interview. The Class Attendance Warning is an official notification and provides documentation as to the student’s status in the course. Attendance Warnings are sent to the student as well as the student’s adviser(s), Registrar, Dean of Student Success, and other pertinent campus personnel.
  2. Students who receive a warning are required to make an appointment with their instructor. If the student fails to contact the instructor, if an interview is held but is unsatisfactory, or if the student fails to show satisfactory improvement in attendance and/or in academic performance, the instructor can submit a Required Class Withdrawal notice for the student to the Provost.  
  3. Upon Provost approval of the withdrawal, the instructor, student, Registrar and the student’s parents are informed of the required withdrawal. The student is assigned a grade of 'WP' or 'WF' as determined by the instructor.

Non-attendance is sometimes a sign of more serious underlying problems. As such, faculty are advised to complete an Attendance Warning if a student has two consecutive absences.

Student absences resulting from participation in official college events are generally considered excused. An official college event is either an athletic event approved by the faculty through its Committee on Athletics or a non-athletic event approved by the Provost of the College.  The Faculty Athletics Committee will provide the faculty with copies of all athletics schedules as soon as the schedules are approved. The Athletics Department will provide the faculty with a roster listing the students who will participate and the class times they may miss as a result. The Provost will notify the faculty in advance of any approved non-athletic event and will provide the names of the students who will participate.

Although the college will identify, through the procedures outlined above, the events treated as “official,” it is the students’ responsibility to inform their course instructors as soon as possible and not later than one week in advance of any tests or other required work they will miss in order to participate in the event. The notices from the Athletics Department and/or the Provost serve as confirmation of the information provided by students. Because students bear the responsibility for completing all academic requirements of their courses, they should make every effort to arrange their academic and extracurricular schedules in such a way as to minimize conflicts, and make the proper arrangements when conflicts do occur. Indeed, students should examine their academic and athletic and other extracurricular schedules at preregistration and again prior to the start of each semester in order to identify conflicts and discuss them with the instructors to seek a suitable agreement. This responsibility is especially crucial in the case of laboratory exercises.  

If students unavoidably miss tests or other required work to participate in official events, in most cases instructors will arrange a non-punitive way for them to make up the work. However, some laboratory exercises cannot be replicated and thus cannot be made up. When students must choose between attending such a laboratory or an official event, they must also accept the consequences of the decisions they make.  They will not be punished for their decisions by either their instructors or the persons to whom they are responsible in the official events, but nevertheless they must recognize that their absence from either may affect the evaluation of their performance.

If students are remiss in their academic duties, then they may be penalized for work not performed. If students feel that they have been unfairly penalized for missing tests or other required work, and that they have acted according to their responsibilities, then they may present an appeal to the Provost  who, after conferring with the student, instructor, and others involved, will resolve the impasse. The Provost’s resolution is binding on all parties.

Student absences resulting from personal emergencies (such as a death in the family) are generally considered excused. Absences because of special events (such as the marriage of a sibling) or opportunities (such as an interview for a job or a scholarship) are likewise to be considered excused. Students should discuss the need for absences with their instructors and work out arrangements for making up any work they miss due to such absences BEFORE the absence takes place, when possible. In the case of an emergency, students should notify the Dean of Students, who will then inform the students’ instructors.

Students requesting an excuse due to illness must present to the faculty member a statement signed by a health professional in the Hugh R. Black Wellness Center recommending that they be excused. These guidelines are used in issuing statements recommending that students be excused from class due to illness or injury.

  1. A statement may be issued for students who have been ill at home or hospitalized off campus and who present to the Wellness Center a written statement from a physician certifying the illness or hospitalization.
  2. A statement may be issued when it has been verified that students were seen by one of the Wofford College physicians through an appointment made by the Wellness Center.
  3. A statement may be issued when it has been verified that students are seen by the nurse practitioner on campus.
  4. A statement may be issued if the student presents with symptoms that indicate a threat of transmission to other students (i.e., fever, GI distress, productive cough, positive bacterial or viral tests).
  5. Students should not miss class for medical examinations and treatments, which can be scheduled during times they do not have class or lab. A statement will be issued if the nurse can verify that the procedure took place and that the schedule conflict was unavoidable.

When it is recommended that an absence be excused, the student must present the statement from the Wellness Center staff member to the professor to gain permission to make up the work missed. The professor should, in every case possible, assist the student in making up the work in some non-punitive way.

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.