General Information

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Class Excuses

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Policy for Verification of Illness

University Health Services (UHS) does not provide verification of illness forms for minor or routine illnesses or injuries.

UHS may provide verification of illness forms for significant prolonged illnesses or injuries resulting in absence from classes.

Routine Illness

A routine illness would be a minor illness or injury, such as colds, and flu-like or self-limitedgastrointestinal illnesses.

For routine illness-related absences, 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.

Significant, Prolonged Illness

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 a student wants a verification of illness from UHS and has 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.

Faculty Questions

If a faculty member has questions about a specific student, they can call the UHS Administration office at 814.865.6555. Due to patient confidentiality, UHS cannot release any information without the student’s consent.

UHS policy is consistent with the Faculty Senate Policy 42-27; Class Attendance. The rationale for this policy notes that “the process of determining the legitimacy of the reasons for absences is frequently cumbersome and leads to negative situations that inhibit the quality of learning and teaching for both the students and faculty.” The goal of the policy is to reduce negative situations for students, faculty and health care providers.

Faculty Senate Policy 42-27- Class Attendance

Academic Policies and Procedures for Undergraduate Students

Regular class attendance is one of the most important ways that students learn and understand course materials. It is a critical element of student success. Accordingly, it is the policy of the University that class attendance is expected and that students should follow the attendance policy of the instructor, as outlined in the syllabus. A student should attend every scheduled class and should be held responsible for all work covered in the courses taken.

Class attendance is expected regardless of the format of the course and this expectation applies equally to students in face-to-face, online, and hybrid courses. Attendance in online courses goes beyond course login and is based on documentable participation in class activities, such as interacting with the instructor, interacting with enrolled students, completing assignments with specific due dates, and/or participate in online discussions on a regular basis. It is the studentís responsibility to complete work early, or make alternate arrangements with the course instructor, if due dates or required work will be missed because of a University-approved absence as described in this policy.

Instructors should provide, within reason, the 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). In addition, instructors should provide, within reason, the opportunity to make up work for students who miss class for post-graduate, career-related interviews when there is no opportunity for students to re-schedule these opportunities (such as employment and graduate school final interviews.) In both cases, students should inform instructors in advance and discuss the implications of any absence. Missing class, even for a legitimate purpose, may mean that there is work that cannot be made up, hurting the studentís grade in the class. Likewise, students should be prepared to provide documentation for participation in University-approved activities, as well as for career-related interviews, when requested by the instructor.

Instructors also should provide, within reason, the 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, military service, family emergency, or religious observance. Again, it should be recognized that not all work can be ďmade-upĒ and that absences can affect student performance in a class.

Instructors can determine when irregular attendance negatively affects a studentís scholastic achievement, and thus grade, in the course, even to the point of failure. If class absence constitutes a danger to the studentís scholastic attainment, the instructor should make this fact known to the student. The student may appeal this decision to the head of the department in which the course is offered.

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. An instructor might not consider an unavoidable absence legitimate if the student does not contact the instructor before the evaluative event. Students will be held responsible for using only legitimate, unavoidable reasons for requesting a make-up in the event of a missed class or evaluative event. (Conflicts with non-final examinations are covered the Policy 44-35.) Requests for missing class or an evaluative event due to reasons that are based on false claims may be considered violations of the policy on Academic Integrity (Policy 49-20).

Penn State Holy Days Calendar

E-11 Class Attendance Policy

Parking and Transportation for Students with Temporary Impairments

Sometimes students experience temporary impairments that limit their mobility to travel around campus. Please visit the Services for Students with Temporary Impairments site for more information about parking and transportation.

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