Limited Attendance Adjustments

About Limited Attendance Adjustments

Limited Attendance Adjustments (LAA) may be appropriate for students who have a chronic physical or mental condition/disability with brief, periodic flare-ups that are unpredictable and legitimately impact course attendance on occasion.

LAA provides limited flexibility to allow for equivalent alternative opportunities and removes point penalties. Students remain accountable for all academic activities (assignments, assessments, required readings, etc.) and evaluation standards specified on the syllabus.

On-going Absences

LAA is not designed to comprehensively address or fully support a student with on-going absences, or who is unable to participate for extended periods of time. If a student has excessive absences, even with an approved ODR attendance adjustment, which impact the student’s ability to complete essential course activities and requirements, the student should explore options such as a Medical Class Load Reduction (Student Health Services), a University Withdrawal,  or request an incomplete directly with faculty. 

LAA is not applicable for seasonal illness (ie. flu, mono), COVID, temporary impairments, conditions not on record with ODR or non-disability related absences.

Attendance Considerations

In most cases, class attendance is critical to a student’s mastery of the knowledge and skills that are taught in a specific course and students are expected to follow the attendance policy established by the instructor in each class.

In general, courses that involve significant interaction, in-class participation, or whose content mastery is reliant on attendance may limit what adjustment options are available. Examples of these courses may include: labs, practicums, internships, foreign language courses, math, or public speaking and communications courses.

It is not reasonable for the University to fundamentally alter, waive or lower essential course requirements, academic standards, or educational experiences/outcomes when attempting to accommodate course absences.

Dean of Students Class Absence Notification

The Office of the Dean of Students within Student Affairs is designated office to provide faculty Class Absence Notification of absences due to acute events such as surgeries, hospitalizations, or death of an immediate family member. Absence notifications from the Office of the Dean of Students do not officially excuse absences and are not the same as LAA.


How to Initiate LAA

There are two options for implementing and documenting course specific Limited Attendance Adjustments. These options are not intended to negotiate eligibility for the accommodation, but rather to determine to what degree attendance is essential and to document equivalent alternative options per course.

Step 1: 

The student shares their Academic Adjustment/Accommodation Plan with faculty a minimum of 5 business days before the intended use of approved academic adjustments.

Step 2: 

Have an interactive communication with instructors to discuss the implementation of LAA as early as possible (within 5 days of sharing your Academic Adjustment/Accommodation Plan). During this communication, the student and instructor will review existing course flexibility to determine if Self-Directed Facilitation or ODR Directed Facilitation will be used. 

Step 3:

Instructor & student select one of the following options:

  1. Option 1 Self-directed facilitation:  The student works directly with faculty to create and document a course-specific plan.
    1. The student and faculty should use the ODR LAA Option 1 Course-Specific Plan discussion points to determine a course-specific plan.
    2. Course-specific plans should be documented by the student and faculty, and a copy sent to ODR.
  2. Option 2 ODR-directed facilitation: ODR will directly facilitate creating and documenting a course-specific plan.
    1. The student completes a Course Specific Attendance Adjustment Request.
    2. Upon request from ODR, Faculty completes a Limited Attendance Adjustment Questionnaire.
    3. ODR issues a Course Specific LAA Approval, which documents a course-specific plan that is sent to the student and instructor.

When Is Attendance Essential?

The Office for Civil Rights has provided the following guidelines when determining if attendance is an essential course requirement:

  • Is attendance taken?
  • What does the course description and syllabus say regarding attendance?
  • To what extent is there classroom interaction between the instructor and students and among the students themselves?
  • Do student contributions in class constitute a significant component of the learning process?
  • Does the fundamental nature of the course rely upon student participation as an essential method of learning?
  • To what degree does a student’s failure to attend class constitute a significant loss of the educational experience of other students in the class?
  • What elements of the course  are used to calculate the final course grade?

After a comprehensive examination of the essential course objectives and consideration of equivalent alternatives, the ultimate decision regarding attendance and the resulting influence absences would have on the course will be made.