Students are expected to attend class and to know and understand the specific attendance policies established by each of their professors. Attendance policy for a given class is established by the professor. The professor will state the attendance policy in the course syllabus. Professors will make reasonable accommodations for occasional, unavoidable absences based on highly legitimate grounds. Professors will determine the most appropriate means of compensating for work unavoidably and legitimately missed in their classes. To be eligible for such substitute evaluation, students are responsible for discussing any absences with their professors: such discussions must occur in advance of foreseeable absences and as soon as possible following unpredictable ones.
Students are expected to plan their class, work, and personal schedules to avoid potential conflicts. Legitimate reasons for class absences include documented and/or verifiable instances of the following:
- Death in the immediate family;
- Incapacitating illness or injury (not including any non-emergency doctors’ appointments that could be scheduled at other times);
- Field trips required for other classes, intercollegiate competitions, or activities entailing official representation of Shepherd University;
- Seriously hazardous, weather-induced driving conditions (for commuter students only).
A student’s evaluation in a course is the professor’s responsibility. A grade decision in a course must be made by the professor prior to the initiation of a grade appeal. A student who believes his or her grade has been adversely affected by a professor’s inappropriate implementation of the attendance policy may pursue a grade appeal at the close of the semester
a. A student who has a documented medical disability or chronic illness that may affect his/her ability to attend class regularly and/or to complete scheduled in-class, graded activities (e.g. exams, oral reports, lab assignments) should confer with his/her professors as soon as possible after the semester begins. In consultation with the student (and with doctors or Shepherd staff when appropriate), the professor can thus develop a contingency plan to accommodate any absences that may occur because of the disability or illness: the professor may create alternative assignments or otherwise determine the best means of assuring that the student’s semester grade will not suffer should the student have to miss classes as direct result of his/her disability or medical condition. To the greatest extent consistent with the particular disability involved, a chronically ill or disabled student will not only be treated equally with other students, but will also be equally expected to adhere to course policies and assignments established for all students.
b. In rare instances, a student may suffer an unanticipated medical problem or military-service obligation requiring complete absence from College over an extended period (i.e., weeks rather than days). Such a situation will create the need to confer with professors as soon as is feasible – possibly through a relative or other responsible surrogate. A professor may be able to design alternative assignments that can be done independently. However, some courses by their nature do not lend themselves to compensation for prolonged periods of missed classes and assignments: for such classes, the alternatives may be limited to either a Withdrawal or an Incomplete specifically mandating that the student actually take some or all of the relevant course when it is next offered.
In such circumstances, the Admissions and Credits Committee will generally be agreeable to any necessary waivers regarding institutional deadlines regarding Withdrawals or Incompletes so long as 1) the student’s petition clearly and fully explains the situation calling for the waiver, 2) appropriate documentation is presented, 3) the request is supported in writing by both the professor and the student’s advisor, and 4) the student’s request is made in a timely manner (i.e., as soon as possible given the circumstances and not substantially after the fact).