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Guidance on absences

Monday, February 15, 2021


As you hear from students who need to miss class due to quarantine, isolation, or public health bans, we thought it would be helpful to provide some additional guidance as to how you can work with your students.

First and foremost, we want to treat our students with compassion, even our students who are part of a public health ban. What you as the instructor deem as compassionate and appropriate option(s) for the students as they navigate their absence from class is up to you. 
Below are considerations and guidelines to refer to as you determine how you want to work with students during their time away from class:

  • Quarantine, isolation, or public health bans do not warrant an adaptation request. 
  • If a student needs to miss class due to illness, quarantine, isolation, public health ban, etc. – we have asked they communicate with the instructor. 
  • Just as in a normal semester, if there is work a student can and is able to continue to do while absent from class, that is at the discretion of the instructor. 
  • If there is makeup work the instructor wants to assign, that is at the discretion of the instructor. 
  • Students enrolled in online classes can continue to attend the online course, if they are able. 
  • The instructor is not required to create an online version of the course for students who need to quarantine, isolate, or are generally absent from class. We don’t want to punish a student for having to miss class due to illness or COVID, and we certainly don’t want them to attend class if they should be staying off-campus due to illness, exposure, public health ban, etc. We will leave it to the instructor to determine the best way to work with the student to keep them on track with the course material.
  • If a student indicates they will be unable to continue with the course, or they do not believe they can return to the in-person portion of the course, the student may need to consider altering their course schedule (e.g. drop, withdrawal). This will depend on the timing in the semester, options available based on timing, and student performance in the course to date. Students should work with their academic advisor and instructor to determine appropriate options and next steps.

We hope these considerations provide you the guidelines and flexibility needed to work with your students. As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to our offices as you have questions.
Susan Klusmeier
Vice Provost for Academic Success
Chris Brown
Vice Provost for Faculty Development
Tammara Durham
Vice Provost for Student Affairs

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