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CU Denver’s Attendance Policy

At CU Denver, the attendance policy is just as important as doing homework. The policy was updated in March 2008, replacing the 1995 attendance policy. Attendance consequences vary between courses in terms of severity or leniency.

Every professor is required to give their students a syllabus on the first day of class, which includes the attendance policy. It states that students are allowed up to three excused absences in every course. Some courses require attendance, while others make it a part of the course grade. If students miss more than three unexcused class periods, their grade could drop an entire letter grade.

Regular attendance and participation is key for a student’s success in a course. Professors understand that certain occasions will come up where students are unable to attend class. The attendance policy was created in lieu of that, so students are informed about potential absences, and the extent of flexibility within that.

There are two types of absences that can be deemed as either excused anticipated and unanticipated. Religious observances and university holidays, for example, count as an anticipated absence. Illness or a death of a family member counts as an unanticipated absence. Most unanticipated absences require documentation. Without the correct paperwork, or early notification, a professor has control of determining if the absence is unexcused or not.

Students are encouraged by the University to inform professors about future absences for such absences at least 30 days prior. That way, the professor can create and provide as much accommodation as possible to ensure the student succeeds in the course.

If a student does not comply with the rules and/or meet with the criteria of an excused absence, their absence will be deemed unexcused. This is disadvantageous to a student because professors aren’t responsible for providing make-up tests, quizzes, or class work. Therefore, the lack of work on the student’s part will only hinder their grade, and increase their chance of failing the course.

Students with disabilities have a different set of policies to abide by. Neither the course director or the Distance Degrees Program can determine if a student’s disability can be accommodated accordingly. In order to determine if a student can be accommodated, students must contact Disability Resources and Services Coordinator Shelby Holden at Sherry. Holden@ucdenver.edu or Accommodation Coordinator Selim Ozi at (303) 724-8428. The process can take a while, which is why students are encouraged to notify them as soon as possible, with documentation.

If, for some reason, a student feels an absence counts as excused, they can appeal to the department chair of the registered course. Also, a student has the ability to appeal a final grade based on absences only through policies and procedures in the respective college.

—Dilkush Khan

Above:  Students could lose a letter grade by missing class too much.

photo: Sarai Nissan • CU Denver Sentry

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