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Student Attendance Policy


The College recognizes the correlation between student attendance and student retention, achievement and success.  Any class session or activity missed, regardless of cause, reduces the opportunity for learning and may adversely affect a student’s achievement.  Accordingly, the College is an attendance-taking institution that requires student attendance in order for students to remain enrolled in a class(es).  The College also requires that instructors take and timely report student attendance.  This policy sets forth additional details related to student attendance.


This policy applies to all College students.


Students are expected to attend all class sessions and laboratory periods for which they are enrolled. The class instructor defines circumstances under which an absence may be excused.  The instructor is responsible for the maintenance of standards and quality of student work in his or her classes and absences are generally an individual matter between the student and instructor. It should be noted that Columbia College is an attendance-taking institution. Non-attendance may impact a student’s financial aid.


Students are responsible to instructors for class attendance and for any class work missed during an absence. While documented absences resulting from legitimate circumstances, such as personal illness, involvement in sanctioned College events, a death in the immediate family, etc. should not negatively impact a student’s grade or academic standing, there may be financial aid implications. Notwithstanding the previous statement, the College reserves the right to drop or withdraw students from classes due to lack of attendance as the College is required to report attendance related information to various government agencies.  For additional information about withdrawals for lack of attendance, please see the Administrative Withdrawal for Non-Attendance heading in the Withdrawal Policy.


Traditional campus students who will be absent from class due to participation in athletics or a college-sponsored extracurricular activity are responsible for completing all required coursework as stipulated in their class syllabus for each class provided by the instructor. The instructor determines how academic work associated with an absence(s) can be accommodated. Student athletes must meet the conditions of their ‘Letter of Intent,’ but may participate in conflicting College-sponsored events with their coach’s acquiescence.  Student participants who are unable to enroll in a day course because of intractable conflicts caused by attendance requirements may be allowed to take the course during the evening or online.


Traditional campus students are notified in advance if their instructor cannot meet with them during any regularly scheduled class period.  In the event that the instructor does not arrive at an appointed class within 15 minutes after the class is scheduled to begin and after representatives of the class have made inquiries to the Dean of the class’s school, students are excused from attending the class.


Students taking classes online, in the evening in Columbia, MO or at a nationwide venue should contact appropriate staff if the instructor does not arrive at an appointed class time. Additionally, if the venue is made aware of an instructor absence ahead of time, then a sign will be posted on the classroom door.


As stated above, the College is an attendance-taking institution. Financial aid is awarded to a student with the expectation that the student attends school for the period for which the assistance is awarded. If a student does not begin attendance in all of his or her classes, the aid must be recalculated based on the actual attendance. Students who are not in attendance for the courses in which they enrolled are not eligible to receive financial aid. Please refer to the Financial Aid section regarding attendance requirements for financial aid purposes. Additional information can be found in the Return of Title IV Funds Policy.



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