Students may experience an emergency or tragedy such as the death of an immediate family member, an accident, or other circumstance beyond their control that requires they temporarily leave the campus. In these circumstances, the staff in the office of the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Student and Family Services can help.
Emergency or crisis situations in which a student has had to leave the campus and is unable to contact his or her faculty, the office staff will notify the student's academic departments, informing them that the student is going to miss class and when they are expected to return, if known. This notification is sent solely as formal verification that the student's circumstances are such that it may warrant a valid absence from class. Any academic accommodations or arrangements to make up missed work must still be agreed upon between the student and faculty member.
Reporting a student absence should be directed to Barbara Duncan, Administrative Assistant to the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs at 814-863-4926.
Questions regarding University policies, procedures or accommodations related to class absences should be sent directly to Joe Puzycki, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs at 814-863-4926.
(Summary of Senate Policy 42-27)
It is the policy of the University that class attendance by students be encouraged and that all instructors organize and conduct their courses with this policy in mind. A student should attend every class for which the student is scheduled and should be held responsible for all work covered in the courses taken.
Instructors should provide, within reason, opportunity to make up work for students who miss class for regularly scheduled, University-approved curricular and extracurricular activities (such as Martin Luther King Day of Service, field trips, debate trips, choir trips, and athletic contests). Instructors also should provide, within reason, opportunity to make up work for students who miss classes for other legitimate but unavoidable reasons. Legitimate, unavoidable reasons are those such as illness, injury, family emergency, or religious observance. If an evaluative event will be missed due to an unavoidable absence, the student should contact the instructor as soon as the unavoidable absence is known to discuss ways to make up the work.
Students who will miss a class in accordance with Senate Policy 42-27, should, where appropriate, present a class absence form to the faculty member as soon as possible and, except in unavoidable situations, at least one week in advance of a planned absence.
Types of Absences
Due to illness, injury, or family emergency
University Health Services (UHS) does not provide verification of illness forms for minor or routine illnesses or injuries, such as colds, and flu-like or self-limited gastrointestinal illnesses. Students should correspond directly with the faculty as soon as possible regarding their situation, ideally before they miss a class, exam, or other evaluative activity.
UHS may provide verification of illness forms for significant prolonged illnesses or injuries resulting in absence from classes. A significant, prolonged illness is a serious illness or injury lasting at least a week. Medical documentation is required, either from UHS clinicians or outside clinicians. When appropriate, students may request the verification during their UHS clinician visit or send a secure message to their clinician or the Advice Nurse through myUHS. If students have received care from an outside provider for a significant, prolonged illness, they must provide appropriate documentation to the UHS Director, 502A Student Health Center, 814.865.6555. In circumstances where a student is hospitalized or experiences other types of crisis or emergency, the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and staff in the Student and Family Services office may be able to confirm for the faculty, the student's situation so that the excuse from class may be approved by the faculty member.
If possible, students should inform instructors when missing classes for reasons beyond their control (e.g., illness, family emergency, hospitalization, etc.). If circumstances prevent a student from contacting instructors, Student and Family Services, 814-863-4926, may notify the appropriate departments. Students should make contact with instructors as soon as circumstances permit and provide documentation if requested.
Students may experience an emergency or tragedy such as the death of a family member, an accident, or other circumstance beyond their control that require they temporarily leave the campus. In these circumstances, the staff in the office of the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Student and Family Services can help:
Barbara Duncan, Administrative Assistant
129 Boucke Building
University Park, PA 16802
Main Office Line: 814-863-4926
In emergency situations staff in the Office for Student and Family Services may notify the instructors.
Crisis Line: 814-863-2020
NOTES: Any academic accommodations or arrangements to make up missed work must still be agreed upon between the student and faculty member. When contacting the office to request faculty notifications the office staff would require the following information: the student identification number, the reason for missing class, and the expected date of return.
2. Due to observance of a Religious Holiday
Students may opt to miss a class meeting in order to participate in a religious observance. It may not be practical or possible to avoid all calendar conflicts with religious observances. When conflicts do arise, reasonable accommodations should be made that promote both the University's respect for a more inclusive, civil, and diverse learning community and the integrity of the student and faculty commitment to learning. Every attempt should be made to avoid placing these two goals into conflict. An all-inclusive list which provides both major and minor religious holidays is maintained by the Center for Spiritual and Ethical Development.
3. Due to participation in a regularly scheduled university-approved curricular or extracurricular activity
Students are allowed to miss class for activities such as choir, debate, and field trips as well as athletic events. The student should complete a class absence form (or obtain a comparable letter).
NOTES:If an instructor believes a requested absence for regularly scheduled events will harm a student scholastically, the instructor should present evidence for necessary action to the head of the department in which the course is offered and inform the Associate Dean. A student whose class performance is unsatisfactory due to missing classes or being too far behind in course work might consider referral to the student's adviser to discuss late course drop, deferred grade, or withdrawal.