Class Attendance

Students are expected to attend class regularly and communicate with their instructors about absences in a timely fashion. The following guidelines govern class attendance at Allegheny College.

  1. With the exception of medical excuses (described in section 6 below), students are permitted to be absent from class only with the approval of the instructor. Unauthorized absences may result in grade penalty or other consequences at the discretion of the instructor. Course instructors are required to state their attendance policy at the outset of the course. Religious holidays and illness or death of a family member are generally recognized as legitimate reasons to miss class, although students should be prepared to provide documentation.
  2. On occasion, college-related activities will conflict with class meetings. Faculty are not required to excuse students for these activities; however, many faculty are willing to make reasonable alternative arrangements for students who provide advance notice of anticipated absences, take responsibility for completing missed work, and make every effort possible to reduce disruption to the course as the result of their absences.
  3. Sponsors of college-related activities should make every reasonable effort to avoid planning events that will conflict with class schedules. In addition, sponsors of these activities should provide notice to student participants and to faculty of anticipated absences at the earliest possible date. These notices will typically come from coaches in case of athletic conflict and from the Dean of Students Office in all other cases.
  4. Students should take responsibility for providing advance notice of absences, for acquiring information or course materials distributed during the missed class meeting(s), and for completing make-up assignments.
  5. Students should discuss potential conflicts with faculty advisors when planning for course registration and attempt to schedule class times that will not interfere with legitimate college activities whenever possible, keeping in mind that completing required courses is always the most important consideration.
  6. Medical excuses from academic requirements such as tests, examinations, quizzes, laboratories, reports, papers, and other assignments are governed by the following policy. The illness or injury must be one which has been determined by medical authority to require bed rest for a period not less than 24 hours, immobilization, or treatment that can only be scheduled in conflict with class or laboratory work. This precludes excuses based on common complaints such as simple respiratory infections or colds, pulled muscles, headaches, and the like which medically interfere with normal academic activity. Excuses for courses in physical education are issued for medical problems which will prohibit participation. Illness or injuries are to be diagnosed and/or treated either by the College physician or at a recognized medical facility off-campus. The staff of the Health Center will confirm diagnosis or treatment within 24 hours following, but not at a later time. If students receive treatment off campus and believe that a medical excuse may appropriately be given, they should request written confirmation of the treatment before leaving the facility where it is given.
  7. This policy applies only to medical excuses from academic activities. It does not apply to cases where students are petitioning to drop a course without grade penalty. In the latter case, a review will be conducted by the Health Center staff in consultation with the course instructor to determine whether the student’s medical situation has disrupted normal activity to a degree that the student’s performance in the course has been adversely affected.
  8. Questions about this policy should be referred to the Dean of Students Office.