The Absence Policy is contained in Sections 5.2 and 5.3 of the Institutional Policy on the Evaluation of Student Achievement (IPESA), reprinted here:
5.2 Attendance and Absences
Students are responsible for satisfying all academic objectives as defined in each of their course outlines. They are therefore expected to attend all class sessions (including labs, field trips, etc.) and scheduled examinations following the date upon which they register for the course. Consequently, teachers are encouraged to maintain a log of student attendance. Attendance, in and of itself, is not an element of the competencies associated with a given course. As such, it cannot be used as a component of the final course grade. Nonetheless, excessive absences may have consequences which affect the final course grade. Students are responsible for all material missed due to absences, even when the reasons are acceptable. They are also responsible for completing all assignments, tests and examinations.
5.2.1 Excused Absences
Under certain circumstances student absences may be justified and students should not be penalized for missing classes unless the situation described in Article 5.2.3 arises. Some examples of circumstances which are considered acceptable in order to justify students’ absences and/or delays for submitting work include:
Foreseeable circumstances such as
- religious holiday or observance; and
- college-sponsored or authorised activities (e.g., athletic competition, field trip and so on).
Students must notify the office of the DAA or designated professional as soon as they become aware of a situation which might cause them to miss classes, deadlines, scheduled tests and/or exams and so on. Such notification is an administrative necessity so that a determination can be made as to whether the absence is legitimate. The DAA or the designated professional will, in turn, provide each of the teachers with written notice of the excused absence.
Unforeseeable circumstances such as
- illness or other medical circumstances (official documentation, signed by a medical doctor or other health professional, stating the nature, dates and duration of the medical condition that necessitated the absence is required);
- serious family emergency; and
- other reasons specifically approved by the teacher or the DAA.
In the case of unforeseeable absences for a period exceeding three days, students must, upon their return, provide the office of the DAA with supporting documentation, providing specific reasons for the absence. If teachers have reason to suspect the validity of the reason for an absence, they may refer the matter to the DAA or designated professional for further investigation.
5.2.2 Unexcused Absences
All absences not covered under Article 5.2.1 (Excused absences) are considered unexcused. Students who fail to submit an assignment on time as a result of an unexcused absence will be subject to any and all applicable penalties, as described in the course outline. In particular, students who fail to write an in-class evaluation as a result of an unexcused absence will receive a grade of zero for that particular evaluation. When students miss 10 percent or more of the total course time (classes, labs and/or internships because of unexcused absences (excluding those which are deemed excused), they may be prohibited from further attendance and assigned the grade earned to-date in a course as the final grade for that course. Additional provisions concerning the consequences of missed internership time for unexcused absences can be specified in the course outline. A teacher who wishes to enforce this Article must communicate this intent to the DAA for approval. The student will then be informed by the teacher of the decision that was made.
5.2.3 Excessive Absences
Attendance is considered important for students to be successful in their courses. When a student misses more than 20 percent of the total course time (classes, labs and/or internship) due to a combination of excused and unexcused absences, the student must meet with the teacher and may be required to meet with the DAA to determine if and how the student can complete the course requirements within the current academic session or other timeframe agreed upon by the student and the teacher. However, if the DAA determines, after consultation with the teacher, that the extent of a student’s absence is excessive and has jeopardised any realistic likelihood of the student being able to successfully complete the course requirements, then the student will be assigned the grade earned to-date as the final grade for that course and be prohibited to further attend the course. The student will then be informed by the DAA of the decision that was made. Failure to attend any classes Students who have registered for a course, have not attended any classes, whose absence has not been excused on medical or other grounds by the DAA, and have not officially withdrawn from the course prior to the course drop deadline will be prohibited from attending any further classes in that course. The teacher will assign a final course grade of zero to such students.