Acknowledging that attendance is a required component of most courses at St. Olaf, Disability and Access (DAC) staff may determine that in some cases attendance leniency consideration is a reasonable academic accommodation for the above student.
However, the reasonableness of the accommodation needs to be considered by the instructor of the course as well. (Academic accommodations must not fundamentally alter the instructor’s stated essential learning outcomes of a course.)
Below is information to clarify the “attendance leniency consideration” accommodation, the student’s responsibility, and the impact of absences on your stated learning outcomes for the course.
- A disability-related absence is when a student is absent due to the direct effects of the documented disability on the student on that particular day or days. The accommodation of attendance leniency consideration does not apply to absences for other reasons.
- Students eligible for the accommodation of attendance leniency consideration have disabilities that are episodic in nature and may have an impact on class attendance.
- The student is not required to present the professor with medical documentation verifying their disability-related absence. Communicate with DAC if there is a concern.
Purpose of the Attendance Leniency Accommodation Agreement Form
- This agreement will guide the attendance leniency parameters by clarifying the attendance/participation expectations of students in the course.
- The student and the instructor need to communicate and discuss the questions raised in this agreement. Ideally the first week of the semester, or as soon as the instructor receives the Accommodation Letter.
- If attendance/participation can be justified as an integral part of the course design and/or how learning is to be demonstrated and measured, please contact the student’s Access Specialist so a different means of accommodation can be determined.
Evaluating the role of attendance/participation
The focus in this accommodation is on the essential element of attendance/participation. With that in mind, please review the following questions below. These questions are designed to help quantify the role in-class participation has toward students meeting course outcomes/objectives.
- What does the syllabus state regarding attendance/participation?
- Which stated learning outcomes/objectives require attendance/participation?
- Is attendance/participation a factor in the course grade? If yes, what is the percentage of the grade?
- Is there classroom interaction between the instructor and students, and/or among students?
- Do student contributions constitute a significant component of the learning process?
- Does the course rely on student participation as a method of learning?
- What is the impact of absences on the educational experience of other students in the class?
- Is there content only offered in class that cannot be obtained in reading materials or online content?
- Are assignments used as class content when they are due? (e.g. problem sets reviewed as the first lecture on that content?)