Teaching and Justice

Student Attendance Accommodations

by James Fortney, Instructional Developer, Reinert Center

An attendance accommodation is an understanding that a student’s medical diagnosis may impact their ability to attend class. It is also a way to support students whose absences may require flexibility as they complete course requirements. As such, an attendance accommodation is an opportunity to work with students to form a plan of action and shared understanding concerning how their absences will be handled throughout the semester. Importantly, this accommodation is not a waiver for attendance or an exemption from completing essential academic requirements for a course (e.g., in-class work, assignments, group projects, etc.).

The process of providing attendance accommodations will vary depending on the student, the instructor, and the design of the course, but there are a few pedagogical questions to consider that can make the process more effective for student learning:

  1. What is the relationship between the goals of the course and student attendance (either face-to-face, online, or in the field)?
  2. What are the implications of this relationship for students who require attendance accommodations in your course?
  3. What reasonable options for attendance modifications are possible?

Reinert Center staff are prepared to consult with instructors to respond to these questions in ways that complement their academic and pedagogical goals. This includes (re)designing courses and assignments for greater accessibility, incorporating more inclusive teaching and assessment methods, and considering the accessible implications of teaching with technology. You can schedule a confidential consultation with someone from the Reinert Center by completing this form [LINK]. For more information about resources at SLU to support instructors working with students who require attendance accommodations, please visit the links provided below.


Links to additional resources:

Disability Services – Faculty and Staff Resources

Reinert Center – Inclusive Teaching Resources

University Counseling Services – Crisis Resources and Warning Signs