Best Practices in Attendance

Dunwoody is an attendance recording institution; this is typical practice for technical colleges since an attendance requirement reflects the industry standard. In order to comply with the Department of Education, accurate and timely attendance records for every class for every day are mandatory. Accurate attendance reporting, or lack thereof, affects the following: Financial Aid, academics, attendance awards, verification of student’s enrollment status for National Student Clearinghouse, the College’s ability to participate in a Financial Aid program, and the State of Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (for ELEC students). Questions concerning the attendance policy should be directed to the academic dean or director for your department.

Student attendance in a course is defined as active participation in the course. All students, including online students, are subject to the attendance policy. Participation for online courses may take the form of posting to discussion forums, submitting assignments (in person, via drop boxes, email, etc.) or completing quizzes or exams. (Note: logging into a course does not qualify as participation and will not be counted as meeting the attendance requirement). Discussions of matters other than the course’s subject matter would not count as participation (i.e. plans about submitting assignments, requests for extensions on deadlines, notifications of illness, etc.). Students’ communication only of plans to participate cannot itself count as participation. Course syllabi may specify academic sanctions including being dropped or withdrawn from a course; sanctions for absence need to be clearly communicated to students.

Non-participation for 14 continuous calendar days may result in the student being completely withdrawn from the college. This allows adequate processing time for Financial Aid to meet mandated deadlines for handling federal student aid.

Attendance Recording Accuracy

  • Do not record attendance prematurely
  • Attendance must be recorded by 7 a.m. of the day following the scheduled class time
  • Do not record attendance days or weeks late
  • Be accurate when selecting date
  • Be accurate when selecting the attendance option so that you do not have to go back and change it later

First Week Attendance

If a student does not attend or meet check-in requirements within the first five days of the semester, the student must be dropped. Students will not be automatically dropped after the first five days, so faculty members will need to complete a Add/Drop/Withdraw form and submit to the Registrar. The student can always be reinstated into the class by the dean or director.

Attendance Taking for Distance Delivery (DL)

Attendance taking in a distance learning environment raises questions as to the validity of the student’s actual attendance at the time of lecture/lab and involvement in the synchronous or asynchronous course experience. Due to the physical distance between the faculty member and the student, it is hard to validate for certain that the student was present and engaged.  As such, the process for validating attendance in distance delivery regardless of the delivery method (asynchronous or synchronous) will be a form of weekly (or more frequent) connection between student and instructor through an assignment, quiz, journal submission, etc. Through this validation process, the student will have to document their engagement with the curriculum and advancement in the course. Dunwoody is considering this a “comparable process” as indicated in the definition of an attendance taking institution above.

Attendance will be recorded as a check-in yes or no (CIY or CIN), dependent upon the student’s completion of the assigned validation item. The frequency of the check-in will be at a minimum weekly, but can be more frequent dependent upon the intensity of the course content. Classifications of present or absent will not be used due to the concerns for validity as described above.

Attendance for Directed Study (DS), Web-Based (WB), and Hybrid (HB)

Attendance option CIY or CIN should be used when the class meets online; attendance options Present (P) or Absent (A) should be used when the course meets face-to-face. Other attendance options (listed below) should be applied where applicable. 

Attendance Options

  • Present (P): Applied when the student is physically present in a Face-to-Face course.
    • Present should not be used for distance learning unless there is a day when the class meets in person.
    • Should never see this for a date which has not yet occurred.
  • Absent (A): Applied when the student is not present for a face-to-face course or portions of a distance course meeting face-to-face.
    • Should never see this for a date which has not yet occurred.
  • Absent Excused (E): Excused absences will count as a regular absence, will count in attendance awards calculations, and will possibly affect academics.
    • Faculty reserve the right to apply an Absent Excused for situations such as work, illness, family emergencies, etc.
    • The student should notify faculty of the expected absence ahead of time; this might help gauge the overall responsibility of the student.
  • Check-In Yes (CIY): Applied when the student has met the requirements of check-in (active participation) for either a Distance Delivery course or a face-to-face course not physically meeting for a day (i.e. Industry Days, career fairs, etc.) or an internship.
    • A Check-In Yes is equal to a Present (P).
  • Check-In No (CIN): Applied when the student fails to meet requirements of a check-in (i.e. incomplete active participation for a distant learning class, not attended Industry Days, career fairs or internship, etc.).
    • A Check-In No is equal to an Absent (A).
  • Attendance Not Required (NR): Applied for instances when classes aren’t held for on behalf of the faculty or college (i.e. campus is closed, faculty is absent, classes are canceled for Spring Fling and Fall Fling).
    • For events such as Industry Days and career fairs, instructors should use the check-in system (CIY/CIN).
    • Attendance Not Required (NR) should also be used for late registration, and this should be noted in the attendance roster and Student-At-A-Glance in IIS.
    • NR should also be used for a student who misses a class for a field trip for another course, but should be prearranged before the day of the field trip.
    • NR is counted as an absence for purposes of the 14 day, 10 day and 7 day No-Show report but does not count against the student for attendance award purposes. 

Time Missing

Applied accordingly when a student arrives late, leaves early or both. Record the number of minutes student missed the class.

Leave (Long-Term)

(i.e. life events such as pregnancy, illness, caregiving, bereavement, etc.)

A student who is experiencing a life event should be withdrawn from coursework unless arrangements have been made in advance and approved by the Dean of Students via a Student Request Form. If the student is allowed to continue with the course via Distance Learning, then the Check-In Yes (CIY) and Check-In No (CIN) options should be applied.

Leave (Short-Term)

Short-term leave should be delayed until summer, if possible (i.e. optional surgery, military training, recreational trips and activities, etc.). If not possible, but the student is able to continue with their studies while on leave, the student should complete in advance (with assistance from a Dean or Academic Director) a Student Request Form outlining the academic plan and attendance policy for the arrangements made. All requests must be approved in advance by the Dean of Students. If the student is allowed to continue with the course via Distance Learning, then the Check-In Yes (CIY) and Check-In No (CIN) options should be applied.

Military Deployment and Active Duty

Dunwoody students who are members of the National Guard may be called to active duty with little to no notice during times of civil unrest or natural disaster. If a student notifies you that they have been called to active duty, please contact the Dean of Students.

For longer deployments, please follow the above procedure for Long-Term Leave.

Jury Duty 

Attendance should be handled for these the same as if the student were on short -term leave. It is important to note that this does not include court appearances unless the student is called as a witness or subpoenaed. Students should request to postpone this obligation until they have a break (i.e. summer).