Western Technical College recognizes that an unexpected circumstance may cause a student to be absent from class. Effective September 7, 2020, the Academic Affairs Unit will be implementing an interim protocol for student absence during the pandemic. This policy will expire September 1, 2021.
Students may not be penalized by faculty during the academic term due to the following circumstances (but not limited to):
- illness, physical or mental, of the student or a student’s dependent;
- medical conditions related to pregnancy;
- bereavement (including travel related to bereavement);
- mandatory religious observations;
- military service or requirements;
- VA appointments;
- jury duty;
- participation in College sponsored events.
Students shall not be penalized for excused absences and shall be allowed to make up missed quizzes or tests. Exceptions would include a class in which the nature of the class makes attendance and active student participation a mandatory requirement, such as: classes which have a state or accrediting agency requirement regarding minimum number of hours of instruction; and/or classes, clinicals or labs with specific learning activities that cannot be made up with reasonable accommodations. College sponsored events include, but may not be limited to, athletic or academic competitions, conference attendance, and events authorized by the Dean of Students or division offices.
In order to qualify for an excused absence, students will:
- Notify their instructor(s) of the conflict requiring the absence well in advance of the scheduled conflict (except in the case of a COVID-related absence).
- Submit any homework or other projects due prior to the scheduled conflict.
- Complete any work that they might miss due to illness, including assignments, quizzes, tests and exams.
- Present a written statement signed by a responsible College official specifying the dates, times and nature of the activity that will require the student’s absence, if required by the instructor.
An excused absence does not excuse the student from learning the course material, from submitting any required assignments, or from meeting any other course requirement. If the student absence becomes excessive to the point of inability to complete the documented requirements of the course(s), students may be required to withdrawal, take an incomplete, or make alternative arrangements with the instructor(s).
- When an absence is deemed “reasonable”, the faculty member provides the student an opportunity to make up missed work or has in place a make-up policy that does not unjustly penalize a student for the absence.
- Faculty are encouraged to provide flexibility to allow learning from home when feasible in cases of student illness or quarantine.
- Faculty should record all online lectures and post to Blackboard for student access.
- Faculty should hold weekly virtual office hours for students to attend.
- Faculty who have students affected specifically by COVID should immediately connect them with the COVID monitoring team using the online form.
- When assigning an incomplete, faculty will notify their deans and college advisor. Deans will submit program lists of students needing extra support for completion to the Dean and Associate Dean of Learner Support and Transition.
- Each academic division may establish more specific criteria for notifying faculty and completing the associated make-up work (i.e. laboratory or clinical sessions).
- Faculty are responsible for providing reasonable accommodations to students with documented disabilities when they request them in meeting program and course requirements, consistent with the College’s policies and procedures.
- In the event faculty recommend a student drop or withdraw from the course, the faculty should refer the student to the college advisor.
A student who believes his or her rights under this policy have been violated may appeal through the Student Grievance Procedure.
Adopted September 7, 2020