Students are expected to attend all scheduled activities for all of the classes for which they are registered. Attendance is a vital part of every student's education, and absences tend to lower the quality of a student's work in a course, and frequent or persistent absences may preclude a passing grade or cause a student to be dropped from one or more courses upon the request of a faculty member.
Attendance in Online Courses
Logging into an online course is not sufficient, by itself, to demonstrate attendance by the students. In an online synchronous course or in an online hybrid course, attendance is defined as a student actively participating during the designated meeting day and time for the course. In an online asynchronous course, attendance is defined as a student participating in academically-related activities. Examples of such activity include, but are not limited to: participating in an online discussion, submitting an assignment, completing exercises, taking a quiz or exam, viewing and/or completing a tutorial, or initiating contact with the instructor to ask a question related to the course's subject matter.
Administrative Drops for Non-Attendance
An instructor may drop a graduate student for non‑attendance at any time prior published drop deadline as indicated on the official University academic calendar. A drop processed by a faculty member for non‑attendance may be treated as a non‑punitive grade in accordance with the requirements of Senate Bill 1231. After the published drop deadline, an instructor may record a punitive grade of FN for an undergraduate student who has not been in attendance.
Absence for Military Service
In accordance with section 51.9111 of the Texas Education Code, if a current student, including one enrolled in distance education, self-paced, correspondence, and other asynchronous courses, is called to active military service for a period of time not to exceed 25% of the total number of class meetings or contact hour equivalents, and chooses not to withdraw from the university, the student must be excused from attending classes or engaging in other required activities, including examinations, during that period of time. The student must be allowed to complete (an) assignment(s) or take (an) examination(s) within a reasonable time after the absence. The student’s course work previously completed will be retained and the student will be able to complete the course without prejudice and under the same course requirements that were in effect when the student enrolled in the course. If the course requirements are not completed by the end of the semester in which the student is called to active military service, the grade of “I” will be awarded. Normal academic regulations relating to grades of “I” will apply, as well as normal grade dispute resolution processes, in the event of such disputes.
Absences for Religious Holy Days
In accordance with Texas Education Code section 51.911, the university will allow students who are absent from classes for the observance of a religious holy day to take a scheduled examination or complete an assignment within a reasonable time after the absence. Students must provide written notification to the instructor of each class prior to the student's absence for a religious holy day. Ideally, students should make every attempt to notify the faculty member at least two weeks in advance of the anticipated absence. The instructor may appropriately respond if a student fails to complete the assignment or examination within a reasonable time after the absence.
If a student and an instructor disagree about the nature of the absence being for the observance of a religious holy day, or if there is disagreement about whether the student has been given a reasonable time to complete any missed assignments or examinations, either the student or the instructor may request that the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs make a determination.
Absences for University-Sponsored Events
Absences for university-sponsored events. An official university-sponsored event occurs under the sponsorship of any university department or employee and is generally university-funded. Such events support students to develop academic and leadership skills and enhance the reputation of the university. Examples of university-sponsored events include, but are not limited to: intercollegiate athletic competitions; attendance at scholarly conferences and workshops; participation in creative competitions, performances and events.
Students participating in university-sponsored events must provide written notification to the instructor of each class prior to the student's absence. In these cases, instructors will allow students who are absent for a university-sponsored event to take a scheduled examination or complete an assignment within a reasonable amount of time, established by the instructor, after the absence. Where possible, students must not register for classes scheduled at times that will conflict with times they know they will be absent (e.g. if an athletic team regularly travels on Thursday evening for competitions on Friday, a member of the team should not register for Thursday evening or Friday classes).
In the case of university-sponsored athletics, each student athlete will be required to send each of their instructors a standard email, approved by Athletics, stating that they will be missing class for athletic travel and or athletic competition. This email must be sent by the student athletes with at least one week (but no more than two weeks) notice for every athletic competition. The Athletic Department will make an official team roster and travel schedule for each athletic team available online for faculty to access.
Should an instructor request verification of a student organization's university-sponsored status, the student should contact Campus Life for formal verification to provide to the instructor.