Attendance Policy

Truman’s public liberal arts mission and vision embrace the importance of transformational learning opportunities in both the curricular and co-curricular realms. It is inevitable conflicts will arise between those curricular and co-curricular experiences. As such, the university expects students to attend all classes, yet recognizes co-curricular opportunities could lead to class absences. Faculty, students, and staff have the responsibility to support an environment that upholds the integrity of a Truman education and students’ ability to experience a diversity of educational experiences.

To facilitate reasonable handling of class absences, this policy outlines what is considered a sanctioned absence and responsibilities for students, faculty and organizers of co-curricular activities.

Truman adheres to Federal law regarding accommodations. Absences related to disability accommodations will be handled in coordination with the Disability Services Office. Absences related to Title IX will be handled in coordination with the Institutional Compliance Office.

1. Sanctioned Absence Policy

a. No student having a sanctioned absence shall be penalized for such absence on account solely of being absent. Nothing in this policy is intended to excuse a student from the responsibility to make up missed work within a reasonable length of time.

b. Once a student has missed 6.67 percent of class time (the equivalent of one week of classes during the fall and spring semester) due to sanctioned absences, the instructor will have discretion over whether to deem additional absences as sanctioned.

c. Courses with field or clinical placements may defer to the attendance policy of the cooperating agencies.

2. Definition of Sanctioned Absences

​​Absences of students from scheduled classes will be considered sanctioned for the following listed reasons:
(Documentation may be waived at the discretion of the Instructor.)

a. Participation as a representative of the University in a scheduled intercollegiate athletic event.

b. Participation as a representative of the University in a scheduled professional/academic conference, academic competition, or a field trip scheduled as part of a course.

c. Participation as an officer of a University co-curricular organization in a scheduled conference for which participation is mandatory for the student (e.g., a required annual meeting for all presidents of a national student organization).

d. Professional or graduate school interviews as well as professional job interviews that cannot be rescheduled.

e. Health related absences for which valid documentation is presented.

f. Absences covered by Truman’s non-discrimination policy (e.g. special religious observances, military commitments).

g. Other situations not specifically noted in this list, but approved by the Instructor or Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost.

3. Responsibilities of Students

To qualify for a sanctioned absence:

a. Students must be aware of course requirements as outlined in syllabus for the course.

b. Students should notify instructors within the free add/drop period of anticipated absences. Students with unanticipated absences should notify instructors as early as possible.

c. In addition to notification during the free add/drop period, students should once again notify their instructors prior to an absence from class, with written notification.

d. Students shall make arrangements with instructors prior to their absence to make up any missed work within a reasonable amount of time.

e. Students shall make arrangements with instructors for unexpected absences to make up any missed work as soon as possible.

4. Responsibilities of Faculty

a. Faculty should make course requirements available and clear within a course syllabus.

b. Each instructor will develop a sanctioned absence policy, which follows the Sanctioned Absence Policy and the Definition of Sanctioned Absences. In lieu of such an individual policy, a department may choose to develop a departmental policy. Such a policy should specify clearly the number of allowed sanctioned absences (if over the default of 6.67%), any course penalties for additional absences and for unsanctioned absences, and the procedures for arranging the make-up of eligible work.

c. The absence policy shall be made a part of the course syllabus and shall be made available in print or electronically to all enrolled students before the end of the free add/drop period of the academic term.

d. Faculty may hold students with sanctioned absences to deadlines for submitting class work, provided such deadlines are a part of the course syllabus and were available to the student before the end of the free add/drop period of the academic term.

5. Responsibility of University Organizations Sponsoring Co-Curricular Activities

a. University organizations should do everything they can to develop schedules that minimize absences from class. They should also work with their participating students to ensure that those students communicate clearly with faculty regarding the classes they will miss.

b. University organizations will provide students written documentation, which can be provided to faculty upon request, outlining the purpose of the absence, the time students will leave campus, the time students will return to campus, and the names of all students that will absent.

c. University organizations will ensure that students understand that if they are denied a sanctioned absence in excess of the limit that such students have the option to absent themselves from a co-curricular university-sanctioned activity and that their university scholarships will not be jeopardized by such a decision.

6. Policy on Absences for Out-of-Class Events, Conferences, and Field Trips

​​In providing a rich cultural education, Truman recognizes a total University experience extends beyond regularly scheduled instruction in a formal classroom or laboratory setting. There are a number of educational events or activities that occur outside these settings (e.g., concerts, plays, field trips, etc.) that are an important part of students’ liberal arts education. Attendance at out-of-class events may present hardship for some University students, especially those with jobs and other commitments. Therefore, reasonable accommodations shall be made for all students with respect to such events, with the following provisions:

a. ​Instructors may schedule out-of-class experiences as they deem necessary to achieve the purposes and goals of their course. When such events conflict with a student’s other class meetings, students must be given the option to attend their regular class meetings without penalty. Students for whom attendance at any such event will constitute a hardship with scheduled classes or family or employment responsibilities shall be granted an opportunity to complete an equivalent alternative assignment to meet the course requirements.

b. Insofar as possible, all out-of-class events at which student attendance is expected are to be included on the course syllabus by the end of the free add/drop period.

7. Appeals

a. Any appeal of a published attendance policy will be a part of a grade appeal; such an appeal must be initiated according to the guidelines outlined in and will follow the schedule mandated by the University Grade Appeals Policy (see Academic Policies and Procedures – Grade Appeals policy).

b. Relevant issues to consider by those determining appeals will include whether the respective parties met their responsibilities under Part 3-6.

SB6516 Revised 2017