An understanding of UNT Teaching Policies is a crucial element to teaching effectiveness and success. UNT has adopted a number of policies designed to ensure that students are safe and are treated fairly. In addition to being mandatory, these policies provide useful guidance to instructors. In this article, we overview classroom policies related to class rolls, audit rolls, dropping and withdrawing from classes, and attendance.
Preliminary Class Rolls
It is important to provide accurate information about student attendance during the first weeks of class even if an instructor does not have a formal attendance policy. Instructors should familiarize themselves with a class prior to the first meeting to get a general sense of the composition (e.g., size, majors, classifications, and names). The most up-to-date class roster is available through myUNT via the Faculty Center. For information on how to use and navigate the Faculty Center, click here.
Early in the semester (usually the 12th class day for long semesters and the equivalent class day for short semesters), UNT takes a census of all students currently enrolled for purposes of reporting to the state. To read instructions for how to complete audit rolls, click here.
Instructors should carefully follow the directions for completing and submitting the audit roll. These audit rolls are often referenced for state and federal reporting purposes and may be audited by the financial aid office to ensure compliance with state and federal financial aid rules and regulations.
Helpful Hint: To facilitate taking attendance in large classes, consider using a sign-in sheet. A simple list of student names with check-off boxes can be circulated quickly and without class disruption. If you are only taking attendance to certify your audit roll, you can remove students from the list after they check in once, so you are ultimately left with a short list of the students who never attended at all.
Beginning Fall 2018, instructor approval to drop an individual course will no longer be required. All drops will be processed only at the request of the student. While students will be directed to speak with instructors prior to dropping individual courses, instructor approval is not required. This includes drops for nonattendance. Also effective for Fall 2018, a grade of “WF” will no longer be an option. All drops after the census date (12th class day during long semesters or the equivalent class day for short semesters) will be awarded a grade of “W.”
Helpful Hint: Early feedback is critical to student success and helps students make informed decisions regarding withdrawals. Including small assignments during the beginning of the semester can help with this.
For more information on the drop process and deadlines, click here.
Requiring Class Attendance
Responsibility for class attendance rests with the student. If a student’s grades are to be based wholly or partially on attendance, then the instructor must notify the students in writing at the beginning of the semester. In other words, instructors must clearly state in their syllabi the requirements for class absence and/or participation and the impact of absences and/or participation on course grades. Faculty members must record student class attendance through the reported census date. Absences may lower a student’s grade where class attendance and class participation are deemed essential by the faculty member. Any instructor who informs students in writing about the necessity of class attendance may request that a student be dropped from the course with a grade of “W” upon the accumulation of a stated number of absences. Departments and similar academic units have authority to establish a department-wide or course-wide attendance standards. Students must be notified of the standards in writing, usually via the syllabus.
Excused Absences in General
Per the UNT Student Attendance and Authorized Absences Policy, an absence may be excused for the following reasons:
- “a religious holy day, including travel for that purpose;
- active military service, including travel for that purpose;
- participation in an official university function;
- illness or other extenuating circumstances;
- pregnancy and parenting under Title IX; and
- when the University is officially closed by the President.”
To read more about instructor and student responsibilities regarding attendance and absences, click here. The Dean of Students Resources webpage also provides helpful information regarding student attendance.
For more information on specific policies for students called to active duty, click here.
Instructor Attendance (Walks)
Instructors are required to meet with their classes according to the university schedule. If an instructor must miss class for any reason, they are expected to contact the department chair and make appropriate arrangements to cover course content accordingly. Cancelling classes or giving “walks” is not permissible.