Regular attendance is expected of every student. Attendance at the first class meeting is especially important since a full period of instruction begins the first day of the class. Any student not attending the first class meeting may be dropped by the instructor. Waitlisted students should also attend the first class meeting in the event the student is offered an available seat.

In the case where a class is taught entirely online, instructors may drop students who have not been in contact with the instructor by the end of the first day of classes for that semester or short-term session.


Absences are handled as follows:

  • After a student accumulates in any class more than a week’s absences (more than the number of times the class meets per week), consecutive or nonconsecutive, an instructor may drop the student according to the drop deadline dates.
  • Absences in a Distance Education course are accounted for by monitoring academic attendance or attendance at an academically-related activity. A student will be considered to be “present” in a course if there is evidence of weekly participation in an academically-­related activity including, but not limited to, physically attending in-person sessions of a hybrid course, submitting an academic assignment, taking an exam, substantively participating in a course online discussion, study group, or other synchronous or asynchronous activity, or by initiating contact with the instructor in matters related to the course. It is the responsibility of the instructor to define grounds for dismissal in the Distance Education course syllabus.
  • A student will be considered “absent” if there is no evidence of participation in an academically-related activity for the course for more than one week or if the student accumulates a consecutive or non-consecutive lack of academically-related activities of more than a week that is more than the number of times the class meets per week. For example, in a three-unit online class that would typically meet on campus three hours a week, one week’s worth of missed academically-related assignment(s) or activity(ies) could be grounds for dismissal. A student who has not submitted assignments or participated in an academically-related activity for one week may be dropped from the course.
  • A student who must miss one or more classes because of a field trip or other authorized activity, such as athletics or music groups, will be issued an Authorized Absence Excuse (available in each division office) by the instructor under whose supervision the activity will occur. The student shall have this excuse signed by the instructors of the classes that will be missed before the absence occurs. It is recommended that these transactions be carried out at least two days before the activity. The signed excuse must be presented to the instructor in charge of the activity, who shall in turn file it with the Admissions and Records Office upon the conclusion of the activity.
  • No absence excuses a student from making up class work missed. Students should realize that undue absences may adversely affect their grades.
  • In the event a student is absent for a prolonged period of time it is expected that contact will be made with the respective instructors immediately to advise the instructor of this absence and the reasons for it. The instructor may then decide whether or not the student may continue in the class or withdraw. It should be noted that failure to make this contact and follow through with the decisions made at this time could result in the student receiving a grade of “F” or “NP” in the class.

Student Responsibility

While an instructor may drop a student who has poor attendance, it is the student’s responsibility to officially drop the class through myGateway. Failure to officially withdraw within the published deadlines may result in the assignment of a substandard grade. Refer to the Class Schedule for further instructions on “How to Add/Drop a Class.”