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Title: Attendance Policy
Subject: Academic Affairs
Policy No: AA: 2015:04
Applies: All graduate and undergraduate courses
Issuing Authority: Provost / Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs
Responsible Officer: Deans
Last Revision: 12/11/18
Last Reviewed: 12/11/18


To establish policy, procedures, and guidelines for the management of classroom attendance and attendance records.


Under direction of the Provost/Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, all Deans, Department Chairs, and Department Heads shall implement this policy. All faculty shall ensure compliance with the policy.


This policy applies to students and faculty with respect to all graduate and undergraduate courses offered. Additional policies are independently developed and implemented by the Rowan University School of Osteopathic Medicine, the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, and the Cooper Medical School of Rowan University.


  1. Responsibilities of Students
    1. Students are expected to attend each meeting of each scheduled class for which they are officially registered and are responsible for knowing their instructors’ attendance policies as stated in the syllabus.
    2. Students who are absent for the reasons listed below must inform their instructors of their absence and provide documentation. For planned absences, notice must be given before the missed class meeting. In the case of unexpected absences, documentation must be provided as soon after the absence as possible. Students must consult with their instructors to determine what is considered acceptable documentation.
      1. Official University activities
      2. Illness
      3. Death of a family member or loved one
      4. Inclement weather
    3. Rowan respects the diversity of faiths and spiritual practices in the university community.  Students planning to observe religious holidays that occur on scheduled class days must inform their instructors at the beginning of the term.  Students who make such arrangements will not be required to attend classes or take examinations on the designated days.
    4. In the case of rare and compelling circumstances not listed above, students should make every effort to discuss reasonable accommodations with their instructors in advance (if feasible) or as soon as possible afterward.
  2. Responsibilities of Faculty
    1. Faculty must keep accurate attendance records as needed to verify student attendance in compliance with federal financial aid regulations when requested.  Specifically, faculty must be able to accurately confirm, via the Student Attendance Status Verification reporting process, that a student has commenced attendance at the beginning of the term and accurately confirm the last date that a student attended in instances where the student did not complete and/or did not earn credit for a course.  
    2. Additional attendance requirements, if applicable, must be included in the course syllabus.
    3. In the case documented and excused absences related to the reasons listed above and to religious/spiritual observances, faculty must make reasonable accommodations to provide students the opportunity to make up their course work. 
    4. In cases where graded classroom activities cannot be replicated and the student has not exceeded the maximum number of allowable absences (as explained below), the faculty either will provide an alternative graded assignment or remove the activity from the calculation of the student’s final grade.
    5. Faculty are under no obligation to make special provisions for students absent for reasons other than those listed above or in cases where acceptable documentation was not provided. However, faculty are encouraged to consider accommodations for rare and compelling circumstances.
    6. Faculty may establish additional attendance criteria that are reasonable and consistent with this policy.  Criteria may include setting a maximum number of absences for a course (whether excused or unexcused) after which a student should withdraw from the class.
    7. Criteria may include setting a maximum number of absences for a course (whether excused or unexcused) after which a student should withdraw from the class. In accordance with the withdrawal schedule, a W will be assigned for a regular withdrawal and a WP or WF for a late withdrawal.  In cases where the withdrawal is due to excused absences, the student may submit a hardship withdrawal request, with appropriate documentation, requesting that a W be assigned.
    8. If a student develops a pattern of excessive absences, the faculty should advise the student to request assistance from the Dean of Students
  3. Online Attendance Policy
    1. A student is officially considered “present” in the online portion of a course when Learning Management System analytic reports show that the student has visited each page, tool, or assignment as is necessary to conduct class work by the end of each week. This includes at least one visit to all pages, tools, and related materials presented within each week’s module as well as any other materials associated with class work for that week as specified in the course overview document.
    2. Faculty may actively check attendance and provide students with written notice regarding issues with their attendance record as they deem necessary. Additional policies regarding attendance and consequences for failure to meet the attendance requirements for this course, if any, are provided in the Grading Section of the course syllabus.
  4. Face-to-Face Attendance (for hybrid courses)
    1. For hybrid courses, the planned face-to-face class meetings are mandatory, unless otherwise noted.
    2. Failure to appear at face-to-face class meetings without documentation for an excused absence may result in penalties as prescribed by the faculty member in the course syllabus or at the discretion of the faculty member in accordance with Rowan University attendance policy.
      (Policy items 3 and 4 currently are under Senate review and are considered interim pending approval.)

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