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Student Attendance Policy

Purpose

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.

Scope

This policy applies to all College students.

Policy

Students are required to attend courses and instructors are required to record attendance. Students can view their attendance records in Self-Service and are responsible for assuring accuracy. It is the students’ responsibility to contact their instructor should they find any discrepancy. Non-attendance may negatively impact a student financially. Course-specific attendance policies are located in course syllabi. Online course and system deadlines are based on the Central Time Zone. Any course using multiple instructional methods as outlined below will use the attendance criteria for all instructional methods assigned to the course. 

For purposes of this policy, attendance at the College in online courses includes:

  1. Submitting an academic assignment;
  2. Taking or submitting an exam;
  3. A posting by a student showing the student’s participation in an online study group that is assigned by the College or attending a study group that is assigned by the College;
  4. Participating in or posting by a student in a discussion forum showing the student’s participation in an online discussion about an academic matter;
  5. Initiating contact (email, in-person, or other documented contact) with the instructor to ask a substantive question about the academic content studied in the course (instructor discretion);

For purposes of this policy, attendance at the College in web-enhanced and hybrid courses includes:

  1. Attending a class in-person or virtually where there is an opportunity for direct interaction between the instructor and students (must be present and visible for the entire class with your video camera turned on when attending virtually);
  2. Submitting an academic assignment;
  3. Taking or submitting an exam;
  4. A posting by a student showing the student’s participation in an online study group that is assigned by the College or attending a study group that is assigned by the College;
  5. Participating in or posting by a student in a discussion forum showing the student’s participation in an online discussion about an academic matter;

For purposes of this policy, attendance at the College in in-seat and virtual courses is: 

  1. Attending a class in-person or virtually where there is an opportunity for direct interaction between the instructor and students (must be present and visible for the entire class with your video camera turned on when attending virtually).

Students are expected to attend all classes and laboratory periods for which they are enrolled. The instructor defines conditions under which an absence is excused. Under extenuating circumstances, the instructor may also consider additional substantive academic activity for attendance purposes. 

Students are notified 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 regularly begins and after student representatives of the class have made inquiries to the Dean of the course’s school, students are excused from the class. 

Students are responsible for attending classes and for work missed during an absence for any cause. If absences jeopardize progress in a course, the student’s instructor may submit a Course Warning Report to the Office of the Registrar. An instructor may drop such a student from the course; and any drop initiated past the drop date by an instructor for a student’s lack of attendance is recorded on the student’s permanent record with a grade of F or W at the discretion of the instructor. Columbia College reserves the right to drop or withdraw students from courses due to lack of attendance. This information may be reported to various government agencies or as required by law.

Day 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 course syllabus for each class provided by the instructor.  The instructor is the only individual who determines performance standards, evaluates student achievement and determines if and how student absences are calculated and accommodated.  Students are required to inform their instructors if they are going to miss class for a college-sponsored activity. Students should take both their education and participation in activities seriously. Even though the activity is college sponsored, class work is expected either before or after the activity, depending upon the instructor’s policy.

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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