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Attendance Policies

  1. In recognizing the correlation between attendance and academic achievement as well as student retention, regular and punctual attendance is mandatory for students enrolled at Virginia International University. The instructors are required to maintain attendance for each class meeting.
  2. In cases of absence, it is the student's responsibility to notify the course instructor prior to missing the class. In cases where advance notification is not feasible (e.g. accident, or emergency) the student must provide notification by the next class meeting after the absence. This notification should include an explanation of why a notice could not be sent prior to the class.
  3. Some absences can be determined as "excused absence" and permit the student to make up the missed coursework without penalty.
  4. There are only five acceptable reasons for absence from a class or lab to be “excused absence”:
    1. Serious illness or serious medical emergencies on the part of the student or a dependent. The student must submit a doctor’s note explaining the reason for the absence to the instructor(s).
    2. Family emergency. The student must submit a note and supporting documents to their instructor explaining the reason for their absence. In case of a death in the family, a death certificate must be submitted as supporting documents. 
    3. Legal . The student must submit the official documentation to their instructor explaining the reason for their absence. .
    4. Military duty. Student must provide an official government, state, or civic document indicating conditions and length of required service.
    5. Authorized and approved events sanctioned by the School administrations.
  5. The instructor can require additional documentation substantiating the excused absence from the student and have established timeframe for such submission.
  6. To make up the excused absence course work, the student must initiate communication with the instructor to determine the deadline and what will constitute as the make-up of        the course work. The instructor must provide the student an opportunity to make up any quiz, exam or other work that contributes to the final grade or provide a reasonable alternative by a date agreed upon by the student and instructor. The final decision on the content and deadline of the make-up must be communicated to the student in writing, by the instructor, via VIU campus email. If the student does not follow the makeup plan (e.g. no show at the prearranged time or missed the deadline for makeup work), they forfeit their rights for further make up of that work. Timely communication between the student and instructor is important.
  7. Absences for unexcused reasons will result in not being able to make up work, quiz, exam or other work and may negatively affect the student's final course grade. The instructor is under no obligation to provide an opportunity to a student that has unexcused absences.
  8. Students with more than 4 absences (excused and/or unexcused) in a course per semester will result in a failing grade for the course . F-1 visa students must continue attending classes to maintain their visa status even if they have missed more than 4 classes and will be receiving a failing grade.
  9. Registrar’s Office will notify a student and his/her academic advisor when he/she misses the third class (excused and/or unexcused). The notification is sent to the student VIU campus email. However, students are responsible for monitoring their own attendance records on Student Portal. Failure to receive the notification does not negate their attendance status.
  10. The SEVP's regulation dictates that an F-1 visa student must maintain at least 75% attendance at any given time during the semester, regardless of whether the absence is excused or unexcused. Failure to do so will result in further warning and actions from the International Student services Office and could result in loss of status if not resolved.
  11. If the student feels that he or she has been unfairly denied an excused absence, the student may appeal to the School Dean who will consider the case and attempt to resolve the problem. If the case cannot be satisfactorily resolved at that level, a final appeal may be made to the Academic Committee.
  12. Tardiness. All students are expected to arrive to on-ground classes on time. Late attendance is disruptive to both the instructor and students. If a student is tardy for an on-ground class more times than what the instructor(s) consider acceptable, the instructor will report the issue to the student's school dean for appropriate disciplinary action. Three class sessions of tardiness per course whether arriving late or leaving early or a combination of both will be counted as one unexcused absence. The conversion is made in Registrar's Office based on attendance records submitted by instructor.

Attendance in Online Classrooms

Attendance in an online classroom for a given week is based on the student’s engagement in an academically related activity that can be documented.

The following are academically related activities for the purposes of attendance in the online classroom:

  • Meaningful participation in an online discussion
  • Quizzes, tests, assignment submissions, and other work that is graded by the instructor
  • Student initiating contact with a faculty member to ask a course-related question via email or chat room

The following are examples of activities that are not acceptable for the purpose of documenting attendance in the online classroom:

  • Student login on the course site
  • Student posting of bio in discussion forum

Attendance in the VIU online classroom is collected in weekly cycles. For administrative purposes, attendance is recorded on Saturday of each week, regardless of the day of the week on which the semester starts. If a week spans over two months, the attendance for that week will be reported as a part of the later month. A weekly unit in VIU Online Education consists of activities that students are engaged in from a Monday to the following Saturday.

The last day of attendance of an online class is defined as the last day in which the student was engaged in an academically related activity that can be documented.