Policy: Course Attendance for Students & Faculty

Because classroom instruction is central to the success of Trinity’s academic mission, class attendance is an essential obligation for students and faculty alike. This policy statement outlines the responsibilities and rights of students and faculty with regard to class attendance, classroom conduct, and fulfillment of their mutual obligations.

Students have the obligation to attend every class on the schedule, to arrive on time, to be prepared for the class including fulfillment of all assignments, and to participate actively in the learning process that occurs in the classroom. Students also have a serious obligation to take the classroom environment seriously, to follow the directions of the faculty member, and to refrain from conduct that is disorderly, disrespectful or disruptive of the learning environment.

Faculty members have a right and obligation to take attendance and to use class attendance as a basis for part of a student’s grade. At the start of each semester and in the course syllabus, faculty members will establish the procedures for a student to notify a faculty member when the student cannot attend class. Unexcused absences or repeated absences may be a basis for lowering grades or failing the course entirely, and such behavior repeated over several courses may incur dismissal from the university.

Students have a right to the full instructional period of each class session. Faculty members have an obligation to show up for class on time, to be fully prepared and ready to teach, and to provide appropriate instruction for the full class period. Faculty members may not send substitutes to teach a class without the permission of their respective deans. Faculty members who have to miss a class should follow the directions of their deans for timely notification of their anticipated absence. Faculty members who fail to provide notice of an anticipated absence, or who fail to teach for the entire class period, may incur personnel action.

If students are waiting for a faculty member to arrive and no notice has come about class cancellation, the students should wait for a reasonable period of time, usually 15 minutes. As a matter of good practice and for the record, the students present should sign-in on a paper with the course name and title, and the faculty member’s name. If the instructor fails to appear after 15 minutes, a student in the class should take the paper immediately to the Office of Enrollment Services (Main Room 154) to report the instructor’s absence and the record of the students who appeared for class. If the Office of Enrollment Services is closed the designated student may leave the list in the Red Box outside of Main Room 186 (Faculty Services) or send a note to enrollmentservices@trinitydc.edu

Students also have a right to expect that the course plan presented in the course syllabus will be followed for the duration of the course and for grading. Students who have concerns about the conduct of any course should speak with their respective deans at the earliest possible moment. Trinity cannot effectively remedy issues that arise during courses if the problems are not reported in a timely way, or only after the courses are over.