Attendance and Participation (NP Policy)

For classroom, laboratory, video conference, and clinical courses, students are expected to attend each meeting of each class in which they are enrolled. For online courses, students are expected to participate at a level acceptable to the instructor.

Documenting Attendance in Distance Education Courses

Changes to federal financial aid regulations in recent years have highlighted the importance of accurate reporting on student attendance and participation in all courses, including online courses. To stay in compliance with federal financial aid regulations, the college is providing the following procedural guidance for faculty filling out non-participation rosters for distance education courses.

Quoted from the Federal Student Aid Handbook: “In a distance education context, 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, such as by contributing to an online discussion or initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a course-related question.” FSA Handbook, Volume 5, Chapter 2, 5-60.

For practical purposes, this means that a student needs to be more than merely logging in to an online course (without showing any other kind of active participation) to be considered in academic attendance. Given the wide range of approaches used to teach online courses, monitor student activity, and assess student performance, individual faculty members are best positioned to determine whether their students are in attendance in a distance education course. However, to stay in compliance with federal financial aid regulations, that determination must consist of something more than a student just logging in and out of a course.

In every case, the class instructor has full and final authority to decide whether a student is permitted to make up work missed through absence or lack of participation, and on what terms. Attendance and participation policies are noted on each course syllabus.

Faculty have the academic authority to remove students from their class for nonattendance or non-participation. A non-participating (NP) student is one who has excessive absences, has missed quizzes, tests or papers, or otherwise has failed to meet the participation standard clearly delineated in the course instructor’s syllabus.

An NW grade is assigned when non-participating students are removed from a class. Although the NW grade is not included in students’ grade point average, it may have other adverse consequences.

A student may be removed from a course for inappropriate classroom behavior that is in clear violation of the Student Code of Conduct. Faculty must follow notification procedures as prescribed in the code and should not use the NP Policy for this purpose.