Revised Language for First Week Attendance – Version 2

Faculty Council continues to consider new language for first week attendance in order to meet both federal guidelines and recognize diverse instructional needs.  Based on feedback provided to the previous blog post and discussion in Faculty Council on October 24, 2014, Faculty Council revised the proposed language as follows.  Please review the proposed language and share your input by leaving a reply.

  • Students not attending the first class meeting will be dropped.  For online classes, students who do not complete the first online assignment by the stated deadline will be dropped.  Thereafter individual instructor syllabi policies apply.

3 thoughts on “Revised Language for First Week Attendance – Version 2

  1. Paul Ruscher

    Thanks for suggesting the new policy language here. Much clearer to all and I think more in line with what I’ve seen elsewhere.

    Reply
  2. Barbara Sullivan

    1. I agree that this language is clearer than the first version, but I’m confused: the new mandatory attendance rule was, I thought, that students attend at least once during the first WEEK–this wording changes that to the first DAY.

    2. Also: have we gotten any clarification about what “attend” means in regular classes?

    Before this term started, we were told that students absolutely HAD to show up in class, in person, once during the first week (as in, If you have to be in the hospital that week, have somebody get an ambulance and wheel you into class on a gurney or you’ll be dropped.) Quoting Dawn DeWolf’s 9/16 email: “For any student that has not attended at least one in-person class session. . . the faculty member must mark them as a ‘No Show Drop’ and notify the departmental team members to enter a ‘No Show Drop’. This will drop the student for lack of attendance in at least one class session during the first week that the class met.”

    Later, however (after all the drops happened), Helen Faith sent the actual federal guidelines around, which have a whole lot more leeway in terms of how attending a class could be defined. Here’s the info from Helen (quoted in an Oct. 2 email from Susan Carkin) with regard to face-to-face classes:

    “From Helen Faith:
    A number of questions have been raised these past two weeks as we transition into the revised ‘no show drop’ policy. This has been implemented in order to ensure that students begin attendance in all courses for which they receive federal financial aid. The Federal Student Aid Handbook provides the following examples of academically related activities that can be considered academic attendance (this is not an exhaustive list):
    • Physically attending a class where there is an opportunity for direct interaction between the instructor and students
    • Submitting an academic assignment
    • Taking an exam, completing an interactive tutorial, or participating in computer-assisted instruction
    • Attending a study group that is assigned by the school
    • Participating in an online discussion about academic matters
    • Initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a question about the academic subject studied in the course”

    In other words, if the hypothetical student in the hospital had called me and asked a question about writing, or had emailed me an assignment, the ambulance and gurney could have been bypassed and I could have let that student in the class.

    I asked for guidance about the discrepancy between those guidelines and the policy Lane spelled out for us this term, and am not really clear which one is supposed to rule next time we go through this ordeal.

    I’m hoping you know! Maybe I missed something somewhere along the way.

    Reply
  3. Tom Gettys

    This seems absurd to me; while the first class meeting is VERY important, it also seems to me that a student could have a legitimate reason for not being able to attend the first class meeting. We really need to be accommodating to real world situations.

    I am comfortable with saying that a student must attend at least one class meeting in the first week, no matter what. And if an instructor stipulates additional attendance requirements in the course syllabus, that shall be respected.

    Reply

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