Students are expected to attend all of their classes.
Faculty are required to establish attendance policies for their courses and ensure that they communicate these policies through their course syllabi. Faculty members should take attendance in all classes—even if there are no points associated with attending. In some cases, faculty may be asked to provide the last date of attendance for a student in association with financial aid requirement.
Students are expected to review course syllabi regarding absence guidelines and follow those guidelines.
Course attendance policies are up to the individual faculty but must be consistent with University policy. The University has a number of specific policies regarding student absences that are housed within different areas.
Accommodations for student absences are often needed. Accommodations are required by law and including situations that relate to ADA, Title IX, and disabilities. If you are student who needs an accommodation for these legal reasons, please contact the Office of Disability Services. If you are a faculty member who is working with a student requesting an accommodation, please contact the Office of Disability Services.
Here we provide a compilation of student attendance and absence policies for reference. These university policies should be considered when faculty members construct their individual attendance policies. We understand that faculty members will also consider field-specific best practices as well as student well-being as they construct their policies.
In general, students are expected to notify all of their instructors once they anticipate being absent for any reason (e.g., funeral) or as soon as possible after the absence begins (e.g., unexpected injury or illness). The student may need to provide documentation to each instructor if requested. Only faculty members can excuse an absence.
Students will be excused from class for funeral leave in the event of the death of a close friend or member of the student’s family or household.
The number of excused absences allowed is determined by the distance of funeral services from Muncie as follows:
- 150 miles or less – three school days
- 150-300 miles – four school days
- 300 miles or more – five school days
- outside of North America – seven school days
If the student is unable to attend the funeral services, the student will be allowed three school days for bereavement. Given proper documentation, the instructor will excuse the student from class and provide the opportunity to earn equivalent credit for assignments missed.
Ball State supports the responsibilities of citizens and encourages students to engage in Muncie and home communities. One expectation of citizenship is jury duty.
Ball State University advises students summoned for jury duty to contact the court as soon as possible and to request a deferral if jury duty will interfere with classes.
Many jurisdictions allow college students to defer service to a later date, or may even exempt college students from serving on juries.
Absences will be excused for students who are summoned to report for jury duty or to serve as a witness in court during class time.
Official documentation of jury service dates or a copy of the subpoena to be a witness must be submitted to instructors in order for absences to be excused. Students are expected to make up academic work.
Since students are permitted to add classes beyond the official start date, instructors should be attentive to student enrollment dates.
A student who adds a course after the official start date should be permitted to complete any missed activities wherever possible.
Approval of absences due to illness are at the discretion of the instructor.
Faculty are encouraged to consider whether absences are sufficiently documented and outside the student’s control when evaluating potential accommodations.
If a student makes a decision not to attend a class because of a non-emergency illness or injury, it is the responsibility of the student to discuss the absence with faculty.
Students should consider the amount of absences allowed in each class and use them judiciously. Often illnesses occur at the end of the semesters. Faculty members are not required to accept absences after their allotted amount—even in the case of illness.
Individuals actively serving in the reserves or National Guard of the United States are required by their military contract to attend mandatory training with failure to attend punishable under law.
Participation in military duties is an excused absence.
Notice of absence for service must be provided to faculty and the student should discuss potential adjustments for any missed activities.
Ball State University respects the religious beliefs and practices of all students and will make, upon request, an accommodation for such observances when a reasonable accommodation is available.
Students may have religious holidays and practices that require accommodations at certain times during the academic calendar year. To be sensitive to the religious needs of students, it is important to read the "Religious Holidays" memo provided each year by the Provost's Office in late August so that you are aware of the holidays that occur during the semester you are teaching. In addition, the academic calendar provides information regarding University observed holidays each academic year.
At the beginning of the semester, ask your students to let you know if their attendance, their participation in class, or their ability to complete an assignment on time will be affected by their observance of religious holidays or practices.
Give advance consideration to requests for reasonable and fair adjustmentss. Some instructors ask for this information on data sheets that students complete on the first day of class.
Instructors should determine how course attendance will be evaluated in online courses, and this should be relayed to students in the course syllabus.
It is recommended that instructors have weekly mechanisms for documenting student attendance (e.g. discussion board, submission of assignment).
According to federal financial aid regulation, documenting that a student has logged into an online class is not sufficient, by itself, to demonstrate academic attendance by the student. A school must demonstrate that a student participated in class or was otherwise engaged in an academically related activity.
Ball State does not discriminate against any student on the basis of pregnancy or related conditions.
Absences due to medical conditions relating to pregnancy will be excused for as long as deemed medically necessary by a student's doctor and students will be given the opportunity to make up missed work.
Students needing assistance may contact the Title IX staff.
The Ball State University Athletic Department expects all student-athletes to attend all classes except for University- and department-approved absences.
Student-athletes are strongly encouraged to provide their travel schedules and the number of classes they may miss to faculty at the beginning of each term to discuss potential adjustments.
Students shall be excused from class in the case of a campus-wide advisory that inhibits classroom attendance.
Students may encounter other circumstances (e.g. car accidents, job interviews) that result in course absences.
Students should work with faculty directly, though adjustments are at the discretion of the instructor. Where possible, and with sufficient documentation, faculty should support student educational activities.
Related Policies and Resources