Attendance Consideration Guidelines


Adult students listen to professor's lecture in small class room. Panoramic aspect ratio.

It is understood that class attendance is critical to students' mastery of the knowledge and skills that are taught in a specific course. Because attendance may be integral to the pedagogical process, these policies are set by faculty at the individual, departmental, or institutional level. In some cases, attendance is fundamental to course objectives.

For example, students may be required to interact with others in the class, demonstrate the ability to think and argue critically, participate in group projects, or use equipment and materials in the classroom necessary to complete the course objectives, which are not available at other times. In other instances, students can master course objectives despite some or many absences.

    • Students are expected to follow assigned attendance policies established by their instructors in each class; however, when a student has a disability with unpredictable or cyclical acute episodes, modifications to a course attendance policy may be appropriate as an accommodation.
    • In order for this accommodation to be initially assigned by OEA staff adequate documentation from an appropriate professional must be on file with OEA.
    • Accommodations are not retroactive.
    • An accommodation for Attendance Consideration is not an overall accommodation for all classes for the duration of one's academic career at ODU. Rather the need for the accommodation should be discussed each semester between the student and staff in the Office of Educational Accessibility.
    • Students with Attendance Consideration accommodations should be aware that absences may still have a negative impact on their academic performance because of the content and experiential learning they may have missed by not attending class. For this reason, students should make every attempt to attend class and to observe deadlines for submission of assignments.
    • An approved attendance accommodation does not create exception to any of the other academic requirements for the course. Students are required to fulfill all course requirements and will be held to the same evaluation standards as specified in the course syllabus. It is the student's responsibility to obtain the material and notes from missed classes. Absences for non-disability related reasons will not be excused by the accommodation (appointments scheduled during class time, oversleeping, skipping class, etc.)


    • If a student believes it may not be possible to abide by an attendance policy because of issues related to their disability, the student should contact OEA at the beginning of the semester or as soon as possible after the need for an exception arises, to discuss the matter of possible accommodation, for the specific courses affected or potentially affected.
    • Students should likewise contact the instructors of those classes in which it may not be possible to abide by an attendance policy because of issues related to their disability. Students should discuss suitable alternatives to instances of missed work, tests, in-class points, coursework, or material that may affect their grade or ability to access course content.
    • An OEA staff member should be copied on all email correspondence regarding the negotiation of make-up work due to unexpected absences, modifications to attendance policies, and extensions of deadlines in relation to this accommodation.
    • Faculty should contact OEA should there be any questions or concerns pertaining to disability-related absences. If necessary, the department chair or other appropriate administrators may also be included in these discussions.
    • The attendance consideration accommodations require ongoing, student-initiated, proactive communication for continued use.