Attendance Policies

One of the distinctive features of Westmont College is its residential nature: as members of this community, we recognize that learning and personal growth occur in community.  Attendance at regular class meetings is an important manifestation of this commitment.  The following attendance policies are intended to encourage attendance while recognizing special circumstances and the rights of students and faculty.

When attendance is not possible, for whatever reason, students are responsible for the missed course work and activities and should consult the faculty member as to whether and how the work might be made up.

Faculty shall establish their own attendance policies for courses taught by them, subject to the following limitations:

1.   Faculty must announce their attendance policies and their policies for make-up work in relation to absences at the beginning of a course.  Any change in policy during the course must be made clear to the students and shall not be retroactive. 

2.   Faculty shall not penalize students (beyond the possible loss of credit for missed or late work) for authorized absences for official school activities (such as varsity athletic events and official class field trips) or for a reasonable number of absences due to illness.

3.   During the fall and spring semesters, authorized absences for official school activities shall not exceed thrice the number of times the class meets per week (e.g., nine absences in a MWF class, or six absences in a TTh class).  Additional authorized absences may be allowed for national playoffs or other special circumstances approved by the provost.

During Mayterm, students will be allowed to miss only three class periods for official school activities. Exceptions would need the approval of the provost.

4.   Students shall not be excused from class attendance until 1½ hours prior to the start of on‑campus varsity athletic events or ½ hour prior to departure for off-campus athletic events or class field trips. 

5.   As a minimum, a student shall be allowed without penalty (beyond the possible loss of credit for missed or late work) at least as many absences per semester as the number of times the class meets per week.  This threshold of a week’s worth of absences without penalty shall be regarded as a part of—not in addition to—any excused absences for varsity athletic events, class field trips, or illness.  At the instructor’s discretion, absences beyond those specified above may be penalized.

6.   When a student persistently neglects class assignments or has excessive absences, the faculty member may request that the student withdraw from the class or may notify the student that he or she has been terminated with a grade of F in that particular class.  A student may not be dropped from a course for missing classes unless the number of UNEXCUSED absences equals or exceeds TWICE the number of times the class meets per week (e.g., SIX absences in a MWF class, or FOUR absences in a TTh class).  Through the 9th week of the semester, the faculty member may assign a grade of W instead of an F.

7.   Faculty members are not permitted to provide make-up opportunities or alter established class schedules for suspended students.  Where this creates hardship for students they are to be referred to the Vice President for Student Life.