Attendance, Absences and Being Late


You are highly encouraged to attend all classes, as regular class attendance can significantly help you do better in your class.  While perfect attendance is ideal, below are the relevant AUC and RHET policies related to absences and being tardy.



Do I have to attend every class session in Department of Rhetoric and Composition courses? 

According to University policy, a student should regularly attend classes, however you are allowed to miss six class sessions of class time (with both absences and tardiness counting). If you exceed this limit, there are serious consequences. These six absences are meant for unavoidable absence due to illness, extracurricular activities, or sports commitments.  There are no excused absences or tardies in addition to this amount allowed.



Who is responsible for keeping attendance?


According to AUC policy, a student is ultimately responsible for knowing how many classes they have missed. RHET instructors may notify a student that they are approaching the limit of six absences, or when a student has exceeded six absences, but it is ultimately the student’s responsibility to make sure they do not exceed six absences.


What happens if I miss a class?


Students who are absent are still responsible for their work. If an absence is known in advance, this should be communicated to the instructor in advance. If advance notice is not possible, then the student should attempt to make prompt communication with the instructor as soon as possible.  If a student is absent for a documented extracurricular activity or faces some type of emergency, even though it still counts as an absence, the student should present supporting documentation to the instructor as soon as possible. In all cases, it is the student’s responsibility to either submit the scheduled work on time, unless arrangements with the instructor have been made.


What happens if I exceed six absences?


  • If a student exceeds six absences before the course drop deadline, then the student automatically fails.

  • If a student exceeds six absences after the course drop deadline, then they are given one of two choices.

    • To immediately fail the course

    • To drop one full letter grade for each absence beyond the sixth (or half a grade – 5% for half an absence). This means if the student’s final grade would have been a B, it will drop to a C on the seventh absence, a D on the eighth and an F on the ninth.

  • Students who miss more than six classes due to documented health or family emergencies, or some extracurricular activities, may petition to drop their courses or withdraw from the University after the formal deadline to drop courses. The dean of undergraduate studies will determine the merit of late requests to drop courses or withdraw.


Is attendance counted as part of the grade?


No, attendance itself is not a learning outcome, so attendance itself is not a part of your course grade. However, missing class means missing instruction, discussion, and sometimes even missing graded classroom assignments or activities, and these things can and often have an negative impact on grades.


When should I start attending class? When does attendance officially start?


You should start attending class on the first day of classes. However, attendance is not counted during the drop/add period. The first class that will be counted towards attendance is the first class after the end of this period.  However, graded assignments may be given during the drop/add period.


What is the policy on tardiness or missing part, but not all, of a class session?


If a student misses a combined 10 or more minutes of a class session then it is marked as half an absence. If a student misses combined 30 or more minutes of a class session, then it is marked as a full absence.


What happens if I have a medical excuse or family crisis?  How does that affect attendance?


Unfortunately, sometimes medical situations or family crisis develop and students have to cope with these unexpected illnesses or crises; that is one of the reasons students are allowed to miss up to six class sessions. Such situations do not allow a student to have additional absences, beyond the standard six absences. However, for any medical situations or family crisis, documentation should still be presented to the instructor.


What happens if I have an extracurricular activity? How does that affect attendance?


Any student with scheduled extracurricular activities, such as Model United Nations, artistic performances or sports competitions, should present to the instructor, at the beginning of the semester, a projected schedule of absences related to these commitments. It is the student’s responsibility to arrange for dealing with missed classes in advance of the classes to be missed. Unless prior arrangements are made with the instructor, all assignments remain due as per normal deadlines. It is important to note that absences for extracurricular activities still count as absences.