Attendance Policy Addressing Absences due to College Sanctioned Activities

I. Policy

The Carroll College faculty, staff, and administration agree that they will work together to optimize student learning—both in and out of the classroom— by sharing the responsibility for communicating about and minimizing class absences due to activities that are under the supervision of college faculty or staff. Students will not be routinely penalized in course progress or evaluation for absences due to college sanctioned activities as long as all parties follow the procedures outlined below. This policy aims to help students, in collaboration with faculty and staff, navigate conflicts between class attendance and participation in college sanctioned activities.

II. Definition

For the purposes of this policy, approved sanctioned activities include:

  1. Collegiate academic competitions (e.g. Forensics, Enactus, Moot Court, Mathematical Modeling)
  2. Commitments on behalf of the College (e.g. ASCC, Pep Band, Jazz Combo, Choir, Theater)
  3. Intercollegiate athletic competitions (not practices)
  4. Class field trips approved by the Academic Vice President’s office (w/ appropriate paperwork)
  5. Professional activities recognized by the College related to academics (e.g. professional conference attendance, ROTC field leadership exercise)
  6. Co-curricular service activities (e.g. Engineers Without Borders, Headlights)

where such activities are under the supervision of faculty or staff advisors.

III. Procedures

A. Responsibilities of Faculty and Staff Sponsors of College Sanctioned Activities

Faculty and staff leading college sanctioned activities will work to enable participating students to miss as few classes as possible, keeping in view the detrimental impacts caused by absences from the classroom.

Faculty and staff sponsors of college sanctioned activities will provide students with a written schedule by the first day of classes and will post competition schedules on the Carroll College website and portal.

Faculty and staff sponsors of college sanctioned activities will, as a rule, not schedule events during reading days or the week of final examinations. They will also, whenever possible, avoid scheduling events during the week prior to both fall and spring break, due to the fact that midterm exams are often scheduled during these weeks. Rare exceptions to this rule might occur to accommodate playoffs.

Faculty and staff sponsors of college sanctioned activities will not penalize participating students for an absence from an event if their academic success in a course prohibits such absence. Sponsors are encouraged to communicate with faculty about the student and course in question.

B. Responsibilities of Students Participating in College Sanctioned Activities

Students participating in college sanctioned activities will communicate, verbally and in writing, with faculty during the first week of class about the dates they expect to be absent for scheduled events. For events scheduled later in the semester, students will inform faculty no later than one week prior to the event. Students will also remind the faculty immediately prior to an upcoming absence.

Students will verify, at the faculty’s request, that an absence was caused by a college sanctioned event.

Students will notify sponsors of college sanctioned activities, at least one week in advance, of potential conflicts between scheduled events and course requirements. This will provide sponsors and faculty with the opportunity to communicate about the student and course in question.

Students will recognize that they are not excused from academic work and that in some cases it is impossible to provide alternative assignments or reschedule critical learning experiences. Students, in consultation with course faculty and their academic advisors, should carefully consider whether a particular course, due to the nature of the learning experiences involved, will work with their participation in a co-curricular activity and plan accordingly.

In the case where a student has conflicting college sanctioned activities, s/he will work with the activity sponsors and the academic advisor to reach a resolution.

C. Responsibilities of Faculty Teaching Academic Courses

Faculty will make a good faith effort to accommodate students who miss a reasonable number of classes because of their participation in college sanctioned activities.

Faculty will clearly articulate their attendance policies on their course syllabi. This policy should directly address student absences due to participation in college sanctioned activities, as well as student absences due to illness, family functions and crises, etc.

Faculty are encouraged to communicate directly with students and sponsors of college sanctioned events in the event that a student has a specific conflict between his/her success in an academic course and his/her role in a college sanctioned event.

Faculty will communicate with students if excessive absences, caused by college sanctioned events either alone or in combination with other factors, point to withdrawal from the class or an incomplete as an advisable option.

IV. Appeal Process

Students with complaints that faculty or staff are not working under this policy must initiate the following procedure as soon as possible:

  1. Initial attempts to resolve the matter should be made in writing to the faculty/staff person, who shall have five (5) school days to respond to the student in writing.
  2. If the student is dissatisfied with the response, he/she may request a review in writing by the appropriate Department Chair/Supervisor. The Chair/Supervisor must meet with the student and the faculty/staff person involved within five (5) school days after the student has requested the review and issue a written resolution to both parties within five (5) school days of the meeting.
  3. If either party should be dissatisfied with the response, a written grievance may be filed with the Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs within five (5) school days. The Associate VP will convene a meeting involving the faculty/staff person, and the student and issue a final resolution with five (5) school days of the meeting.
  4. This appeal process can be initiated anytime during the semester. It does not replace the final grade appeal, which can only be initiated after final grades for the term have been posted.