Attendance and student participation are essential in a discussion-driven method of instruction. Learning through shared inquiry assumes a shared responsibility from all members of the class in the process of learning. One cannot simply read a book to replace a missed discussion. Therefore, all students are required to attend all scheduled classes for which they have registered. Students are also expected to attend orientations and lectures given by visiting scholars.

Due to the importance of attendance, instructors are asked to report student absences to the Office of Academic Affairs on a weekly basis. Students may consult their own attendance records at the Office of Academic Affairs at any time. The maximum number of absences per semester is set at four for courses meeting twice a week and six for courses meeting three times a week. Students who exceed the maximum number of absences in a given course will be required to repeat the course. An O (absent) will appear on the transcript until the course is repeated, at which time the original O will be replaced with RP (a repeated course) on the transcript, and a letter grade will be given for the repeated course in the current semester. An incomplete course due to absences must be repeated within the following academic year. If the student fails to complete the repeated course, an F will appear on the student’s transcript, and the student will be placed on academic probation. Students who exceed the maximum number of absences in a second course will be placed on academic probation. (Refer to the “Academic Probation” section for detailed information.)

A letter of warning will be sent to students via email who are approaching their maximum number of absences. Parents of dependent students may also be notified. (A dependent student is a student who is being claimed as a dependent on one or both parents’ tax return.) Students are advised to keep a record of their own absences and avoid approaching the maximum number of absences to allow for unavoidable absences, as in case of an emergency. Students who have reached the maximum number of absences will be withdrawn from the course and notified by the Office of Academic Affairs. In cases of extraordinary circumstances, the Dean of Academics, in consultation with the professor of the course, may increase the maximum number of absences for a particular student at the written request of the student. If the reason for the request concerns medical issues, a supporting letter from a physician or a psychiatrist must be submitted along with the written request. Confidentiality will be maintained regarding the circumstances around the request.