Class Absence Policy

Monmouth College expects students to attend all classes. However, we recognize that there will be times when students do miss class. Each faculty member retains the right to clarify the specifics of their classroom attendance policy, provided that these specifications are consistent with the policies below.

Monmouth College recognizes three types of missed classes – Approved Absences, Excused Absences and Unexcused Absences.

Approved Absences


Scheduled, college-approved events that require students to miss class. Examples include: musical performances, academic conferences, class field trips, athletic competitions, and class-required attendance at special campus events.

Required attendance at a scheduled event sponsored by Monmouth College organizations recognized by the faculty will be considered approved if they have the endorsement of the organization’s faculty advisor. Athletic competitions (but not practice) and class related trips or events are also considered approved absences. The sponsoring faculty advisor or coach should notify the instructor of the anticipated missed classes in a timely fashion (usually no less than forty-eight hours prior to the scheduled departure or absence). Such notification will include the list of all participants who will be missing class. In cases where travel is required, students must attend all classes which do not conflict with the latest possible departure time.

In the event a student has conflicts between two or more approved absences, the student will determine the event he/she will attend. Students will not be penalized for choosing one event over another. Should this policy be violated and a student is penalized, the student has the right to appeal to the Academic Dean or his/her appointee.


For approved absences, students are expected to personally inform the instructor in advance of the planned absence. This notice should be given no later than the last class before the anticipated absence. Instructors will make reasonable accommodations to minimize the disruption to the student’s educational experience. Instructors may require scheduled assignments, papers, quizzes and exams to be completed before the missed class. When students miss unique in-class learning experiences, instructors may require appropriate substitute assignments. If a student fails to notify instructor in advance of approved absences, the instructor may consider the absence unexcused. Instructors will work with students to allow them to complete appropriate make-up work, but students bear the ultimate responsibility for all missed class material.

Instructors will not place restrictions on approved absences. If an instructor has concerns about an approved absence, the instructor should resolve the concern with the faculty or coach that endorsed the approved absence. If the concern cannot be resolved to the satisfaction of all parties, then the matter should be brought before the dean of the faculty for discussion and review.

Excused Absences


Unexpected events that result in missed classes and individual faculty members determine that make up work is appropriate. Examples may include: significant illness or injury, death in the immediate family, doctor’s appointments and severe weather conditions.

The College also acknowledges that service in any of the U.S. military branches, including training exercises, constitutes an approved absence. Students are expected to contact their professors before any service absence, and to keep up with all work during the period missed. If the absence(s) will total more than two weeks during a semester, the student should consult their adviser about potential impact upon their academic program and whether a leave of absence for the semester is the best course of action.


When unexpected events cause students to miss class, individual faculty may decide to allow students to either make-up the missed material or assign appropriate substitute material by recognizing the absence as an “excused” absence. In some cases, the faculty member may ask for verification of the event (doctor’s appointment, injury, death, etc). In such cases, the Dean of Students office or the Associate Dean may provide verification of the event. Individual faculty members may set their own standards for what constitutes an excused absence. If a student believes he or she is being treated unfairly regarding the denial of an excused absence, he or she may appeal the matter to the Dean of the Faculty.

Students who are unexpectedly absent from class should contact the faculty member as soon as is reasonably possible. This contact may include voice mail messages and email messages. When appropriate, students may inform the Dean of Students Office or Associate Dean of an unexpected extended absence and the notice will be forwarded to affected faculty members. In all cases, the student should contact the faculty member upon the student’s return to campus. In all cases, it is the student’s responsibility to initiate contact with the faculty member or an appropriate administrator. For excused absences, faculty will work with the student and perhaps the Dean of Students office or Associate Dean to insure that the student fulfills academic requirements. Faculty will have broad latitude to craft appropriate substitute make-up work. In some cases of extended absences, a course grade of Incomplete will be appropriate. Students bear the ultimate responsibility for all missed class material.

Unexcused Absences


Absences which are not “approved” or “excused” shall be considered unexcused.


Faculty members are under no obligation to allow students to complete work missed from unexcused absences. Faculty may have attendance policies that result in penalties that harm course grades.

If a student believes that a faculty member’s absence policy is unfair, the student should discuss this issue with the faculty member. If, after discussing the matter with the faculty member, the student believes the policy is unfair, the student may bring the matter to the attention of the Associate Dean of the faculty for appropriate action.

Students who abuse the approved and excused absences policy will be considered to have committed academic misconduct. Examples of abuse include falsifying an illness or family emergency, falsely claiming that attendance at the event is required, falsely claiming to have attended an event, or falsely claiming that an absence is College approved. If an instructor determines that a student is guilty of an abuse, the instructor should treat it as they would any other instance of academic misconduct (including a report to the Academic Dean).