Regular class attendance is expected of all students. Classes are conducted in a manner that will encourage academic excellence and the growth of Christian character. The final authority for attendance and any effect that it might have upon grades rests with the individual faculty member, as identified in the course syllabus. This is due to the tremendous variations in course pedagogy and specific requirements in attendance to meet course outcomes. Missed class dates because of late addition of a class to one’s course schedule may be considered unexcused absences. Some course activities may occur on weekends and early morning and/or evening. It is the duty of each faculty member to clearly define the grading and attendance policies for each course in the course syllabus.
In general, a student is allowed up to a total of two weeks of excused absences from a course (e.g., for a 3-unit course, this would be 6 class hours). This includes absences due to illness, nonmedical reasons, and/or athletics or university-related activities. Students should carefully monitor all of their absences (accumulated for any of the reasons stated below) to ensure they do not exceed a total of two weeks of absences and thus are unable to meet the course outcomes in a satisfactory manner.
Absences: Medical Reasons
Students with medical situations that require them to miss a number of class sessions should advise their professors, as well as the associate dean of students, of the situation and seek their guidance. Normally, absences need to extend beyond one week’s worth of classes before the associate dean of students becomes involved, but the associate dean of students may need to become involved sooner if a crucial date (such as an exam) will be missed. If the student is too ill, the associate dean of students will advise the faculty of the absences. Absence due to illness, confirmed by verification from a healthcare provider, or from the APU Student Health Center, are considered excused absences. The faculty member has the discretion to require a verification (as stated above) of the student’s health status to approve the excused absence.
Absences: Nonmedical Reasons
In certain extreme situations, a student may be forced to miss a number of class sessions for nonmedical reasons, such as family emergency, extreme personal trauma, etc. Students should advise their professors, as well as the associate dean of students, of the situation and seek their guidance. Normally, absences need to extend beyond one week’s worth of classes before the associate dean of students becomes involved, but the associate dean of students may need to become involved sooner if a crucial date (such as an exam) must be missed. If the student is not available, the associate dean of students will advise the faculty of the absences.
Mission/ministry/service/performance trips during the semester that require the student to miss class time are discouraged, and such absences will be considered excused only at the discretion of each course professor.
Jury duty: While APU does encourage students to participate in their civic duty as jurors, accepting such service can cause a student to miss excessive class sessions and important material. APU students are encouraged to request postponements until nonenrolled periods (summer, inter-term, etc.). If a postponement is not possible and a student is summoned and not excused, the student’s absence(s) will be considered excused at the discretion of the professor. Any exceptions to this policy must be granted through the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Programs.
Absences: Athletics and University-Sponsored Activities
Field trips and other enrichment activities are an integral part of the education process, and musical groups and athletics teams are often away for scheduled events that are considered excused absences. No more than a total of two weeks’ absence may be authorized for university-sponsored student activities. Exceptions for absences in excess of two weeks may be granted only by formal notification from the Office of the Vice Provost for Undergraduate Programs.
When it is necessary for a student to miss scheduled classes for university-sponsored student activities, the following process should be followed:
- The sponsoring department/program must electronically submit the appropriate form to the dean or athletic director at least two weeks prior to the event.
- The dean/athletic director must provide the Office of Chapel Programs with the approved student names and ID numbers for the event, then distribute the approved field trip notice without ID numbers to the originating faculty member for distribution to the participating students.
- Students use email to notify their instructors of their approved absence.
Students whose absences are authorized by formal notification from the athletic director or appropriate dean must be allowed makeup privileges without penalty based on absence. Students must exercise responsibility in choosing their level of participation in light of class attendance requirements and thus avoid jeopardizing classroom learning based on participation.
In any discipline (such as nursing or other science) in which clinical or lab hours are required by a state, federal, or professional body for future licensing or credentialing or to effectively pass the course, an APU student must abide by the required licensing hours set forth by that governing body. These hours are shown in each semester’s course syllabus, and all students must comply with requirements according to that discipline’s guidelines as delineated in various course syllabi. It is required that the student be in compliance with the stated hours and requirements of the course to fulfill the hours for future licensing or credentialing or to effectively pass the course. See the Add and Drop Periods policy if you wish to make any schedule changes.