Cliff Barbarick wrote and policy below, and we sought input from UAP, SOAR, and Student Life. Feel free to use or modify as needed. (Also be sure to join us for the Zoom session on Covid Care for students on Wednesday, August 26th at 11:30.)


The current pandemic requires a flexible and fair attendance policy that maintains an appropriate expectation for engagement with course material. Ideally, you will be able to engage the course material by attending class in-person. If you are ill or quarantined, however, I want you to be able to engage the course material in other meaningful ways without attending face-to-face class sessions. If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 or required to quarantine, SOAR will contact me. If you believe you have been exposed, you should contact SOAR ( If you feel ill, you should contact the MACCC. 

With that in mind, I will measure class engagement in the following ways: 

  1. Attending face-to-face class sessions. This is the preferred way to engage course material. I will take attendance every class period, and your presence and participation will fulfill my expectations for you to engage the course material for that day. 
  2. Joining class sessions synchronously through Zoom. If you are feeling ill (or if you are quarantined), you should not attend face-to-face class sessions. Instead, you should join our class remotely through Zoom. As part of taking attendance every class period, I will also note which students join remotely, and your participation through Zoom will fulfill my expectations for you to engage the course material for that day.
    • We will use the same Zoom link for our class sessions throughout the semester. Click here to join.
  3. Participating in an asynchronous discussion on Canvas. If you are unable to attend face-to-face or join our class on Zoom, you can still engage the course material. After each class period, if any students were unable to join us in-person or through Zoom, I will post a discussion in Canvas that covers the readings and conversations for that class period. Full participation in that discussion (which involves making the required number of posts by the assigned deadlines) will fulfill my expectations for your engagement with the course material for that day.
    • This option for course engagement should be considered a last resort. It’s intended to provide a way to stay engaged when it is impossible to attend in-person or join through Zoom. If you choose this option, you should be prepared to explain why you were unable to engage the course material in one of the preferred ways. If I determine that you could have attended face-to-face or through Zoom, then I reserve the right to withhold this third option for engaging course material. 

If you fail to engage the course material for a specific class session in one of the three ways outlined above, then you will be considered “absent” for that day. (If you arrive to class late or leave early without your professor’s permission, you will be considered “tardy.” Each tardy counts as a half-absence.)

  • This policy makes it unnecessary to distinguish between “excused” or “unexcused” absences. You are expected to engage the course material for every class session, and you have three different ways to do so. Even if you will “miss class” for a university event or family emergency, therefore, you can still participate by engaging the course material through the asynchronous discussion on Canvas. 
  • If a student is “absent” more than 20% of the class (9 times on MWF, 6 times on TR, 3 times for a once a week class), that student will be dropped from the class or receive an “F” as a final grade. 
  • If for an extended period of time a student becomes too ill to engage the course material in any of the three ways outlined above, the student and professor will work with SOAR to develop and plan that ensures the student’s academic and physical well-being.