Excused Absence Guidelines

2330.1 Definitions

According to Federal guidelines and Wright State University policies, each semester credit hour requires a minimum of 2,250 minutes of student effort/instructional time to meet the course learning outcomes, to be distributed between formalized instructor-led activities, and “homework”, consisting of unscheduled learning activities which the student prepares independently of direct faculty supervision or guidance. [see federal regulation 34CFR 600.2 and Policy # 4002]

An absence shall be defined as a situation in which the student does not participate in some or all of the formalized instuctor-led activities.  For an in-person class meeting, an absence means that the student is not physically present; there are also other kinds of absences, including situations such as not participating in a synchronous lecture, conference, or group activity that requires and active presence through the use od distance communication technology; failure to engage with online materials by utilizing courseware and/or reading material; not participating in asynchronous forums or other situations in which the students' real or virtual presence is required.  Not participating in any assessment, such as an exam, will also constitute an absence.

An excused absence shall be defined as an absence in which the instructor will provide the opportunity for the student to complete the formalized instructor-led activity or assessment at a time or in a format or venue other than those in which students in the class were originally expected to have participated.

2330.2 Faculty Rights and Responsibilities

Faculty members establish their own course attendance policies, and should include a clear statement of expectations for class attendance, as well as an attendance policy if attendance is factored into the calculation of the student’s grade. Any such statement or policy must weigh the faculty member’s right to establish an attendance policy with the responsibility to assure that students will be given a chance to receive the full minimum 2,250 minutes of instructional time. Nothing in the following guidelines supersedes policies or procedures established by individual faculty in their course syllabi or the Wright State University Collective Bargaining Agreement.

While students are expected to attend all scheduled class meetings, the university faculty recognize that there are legitimate and verifiable circumstances that may cause students to occasionally be absent from class or fail to participate in a scheduled class activity. These absences may occur as the result of a planned activity or an unexpected event. It is the responsibility of students to plan their schedules to avoid excessive conflict with course requirements and communicate with faculty prior to planned absences or as soon as possible following an unplanned absence.  

In some cases, the faculty member determines an accommodation is feasible and the appropriate form of alternative work or education experiences. In other cases, faculty follow externally determined minimum requirements for attendance.  It is the responsibility of the student to check with their instructor or department/college.

Faculty members are encouraged to work with students who experience legitimate and verifiable absences, as well as with staff and administrators responsible for student success, in such a way that both the faculty and students' educational goals are met.  In some instances, however, the only viable option may be for the student to withdraw from the course or to receive a lowered grade for the course. 


2330.3 Military Duties and Obligations

The Wright State University faculty recognizes that students in the military have duties which may interfere with their ability to attend classes. Eligible students are those currently serving (Active Duty), including those in the National Guard, Reserves, and Inactive Ready Reserves, who miss classes as a result of deployment, temporary duty assignments (TDYs), lockdowns, and mandatory overtime. In general, any military service or duty that is mandatory and outside of the student's control or reasonable ability to have anticipated may be considered an excused absence.

The Wright State University faculty also recognize that student veterans utilizing the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) medical system to provide for their physical and mental well-being may enounter course conflicts in scheduling due to the inflexibility with the VA system.  Any documented appointment that is scheduled outside of the student's control or reasonable ability to have anticipated may be considered an excused absence.

Veterans and active duty military personnel, as well as faculty, are encouraged to use the Veteran and Military Center (VMC) to help provide and/or confirm documentation for possible excused absences.  Veterans and active duty military personnel with circumstances such as those listed above are welcome and encouraged to communicate these, in advance if possible, to the instructor.  

2330.4 Disability Related Accommodations

Faculty will provide disability accommodations in accordance with federal and state laws prohibiting discrimination, including, but not limited to, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, 29 U.S.C.§794, and its implementing regulation, 34 C.F.R. Part 104; Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, 42 U.S.C. §12131 et seq., and its implementing regulations, 28 C.F.R.

The WSU Office of Disability Services (ODS) will provide faculty with documentation, as soon as reasonably possible, of any request for reasonable accommodations that may involve absence from scheduled learning activities. Such an accommodation will be considered an excused absence.  Students are not solely responsible for the resolution of conflicts arising from disability-related absences.  The ODS will provide guidance to both students and faculty with questions about accommodations involving absences.

2330.5 Religious and Ethnic Holidays

Wright State University is committed to non-discrimination based upon race, gender, ethnicity and the free practice of religion.  A calendrical high holiday of an established religion may be considered an excused absence.  Faculty may direct questions about religious and ethnic holidays to the Office of Inclusive Excellence.

2330.6 NCAA Varsity Intercollegiate Athletics

Participation in NCAA varsity intercollegiate athletics may be considered an excused absence. It is the student athlete's responsibility to provide the instructor with an official team schedule during the first week of the semester and notify their instructors of participation in post-season tournaments as soon as such schedules are available.  

Faculty members may, at their discretion, accommodate dual enrollment students (see UP #3130) who participate in varsity high school athletics, provided that the student obtains a note documenting scheduled conflicts from a high school administrator.

2330.7 University-Sanctioned Activities

The Wright State University experience often includes academic, service, co-curricular and extracurricular activities. To participate in these activities, a student may occasionally need to request an excused absence from a learning activity. These activities may be considered excused absences only if the student contacts the instructor in advance of the planned absence, provides documentation of the activity, and the instructor agrees to allow the student to miss class. Examples of university-sanctioned activities include participation in formal academic competitions, activities approved by an academic unit such as conference presentations, artistic performances, and special events connected to coursework and university-approved off-campus student leadership opportunities with student organizations.

The unit or organization sponsoring the activity must provide documentation to students participating in the event ahead of time of the dates and times in which the events will take place.

2330.8 Legal and Compulsory Activities

Participation in jury duty or other compulsory duty associated with a local, state or federal government may be considered an excused absence. The student must notify the instructor of the require duty as soon as the student becomes aware of the obligation.

2330.9 Personal and Family Emergencies

Certain personal and family emergencies may be considered excused absences including a serious medical condition of the student or immediate family member resulting in hospitalization or bereavement for immediate family members. The student must notify the instructor as soon as possible after the event occurs.

2330.10 Other Types of Excused Absences

When other circumstances cause an unavoidable absence, it is the student's responsibility to inform their instructor as soon as possible. The student should consult with their instructor to determine if and how any unfinished work may be completed.

Students with acute illnesses and medical emergencies should obtain documentation from a medical facility of the dates and anticipated duration of the emergency.