Attendance, Absences and Lateness

Department of Rhetoric and Composition Attendance Policy

Regular class attendance is essential to the learning process. Students who are absent are responsible for making up their work. They should find out what they missed and what they need to prepare for the following class. It is up to the individual instructor whether to allow a make-up for students who miss an in-class assignment, exam or conference.

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

According to University policy, a student is allowed to miss 450 minutes of class time. If the student exceeds this amount they automatically fail. Therefore, since classes in the Department of Rhetoric and Composition are 75 minutes long, if a student is absent for six classes, they run the risk of automatically failing the course if they are absent for another class or are tardy for another class (see tardiness policy below).

What about medical excuses? 

No medical excuses can be accepted. Our generous absence policy gives most students enough time to cope with unexpected illness. Students who use up their 450 minutes of absence for other reasons have forfeited their ability to be sick without it affecting their grade.

What is the policy on tardiness?

If a student is tardy by five minutes or more, the instructor will add 30 minutes to the student’s absence total. If a student is tardy more than four times, that tardiness begins to affect the grade. The recommended deduction is one point for each instance of tardiness in excess of four tardies.

What about extracurricular commitments?

Any student with scheduled extracurricular activities, such as Model United Nations, artistic performances or sports competitions, should present the instructor, at the beginning of the semester, with 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. To the greatest possible extent, it is also the student’s responsibility to complete in advance those assignments that would be due during the period of absence. Time lost as a result of absences related to extracurricular commitments will be deducted from the six classes (450 minutes) of permitted absences during the semester.

Will the instructor warn a student about absences?

If a student has four absences, or the equivalent of four, the student must receive a warning email from the instructor with the chair and the associate chair of the department copied.

If a student accrues six absences, they run the risk of automatically failing the course if one of the following happens:

a) they are tardy by five minutes or more to another class (which would be the equivalent of 480 minutes of missed class time)

b) they are absent for one more class (which would be the equivalent of 525 minutes of missed class time)

If either a or b occur, the student automatically fails the course, and must receive a notification of their failure from the instructor by email with the chair and associate chair of the department copied