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Relaxation of Attendance

UNC Pembroke Office of Disability Support Services: Policies and Procedures for "Relaxation of Attendance Policy"

1. Attendance is an essential component of post-secondary education. As such, students are expected to comply with class attendance policies. It is the responsibility of each instructor to notify classes at the outset of each course of the attendance requirements to which each student must adhere.

2. The University recognizes that there may be times when a student cannot attend class because of disability-related reasons.

3. The Office of Disability Support Services may request a "relaxation of attendance policy" from an instructor.  The instructor determines if attendance is an essential element of the course in which the "relaxation" is requested.

4. A relaxation of attendance policy does not mean a relaxation of course requirements. Students are required to fulfill all course requirements and evaluation standards as specified in the course syllabus.

5. The following questions must be considered when determining the reasonableness of this accommodation:

  • 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 for learning?
  • To what degree does a student’s failure to attend class constitute a significant loss to the educational experience of other students in the class?
  • What does the course description and syllabus say regarding attendance? Each instructor may have different requirements regarding attendance.
  • What is the method by which the final course grade is calculated?

6. Students who are approved for this accommodation are expected to contact instructors in advance of an anticipated absence. For emergencies or unexpected absences, contact should be made as soon as possible to discuss the possibility of any make-up work and/or to verify the reason for the absence.

7. Instructors are encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Support Services if it is believed that disability-related absences have become excessive.

8. Students are made aware that absences will hurt them academically, even if the attendance policy has been relaxed, and, as such, must make every attempt to attend class. Special effort by the student must be made to attend class for quizzes, exams, and deadlines for submission of assignments.

9. A "Relaxation of Attendance Policy" will not be approved for summer, 8-week, fast-track or intersession terms because of the limited number of class periods scheduled during these times.

10. Accommodations are not retroactive.

11. As with all accommodations, a Relaxation of Attendance Policy is recommended on an individual, case-by-case basis. The recommendation of this accommodation is dependent upon (a) the submission, to the Office of Disability Support Services, of supporting medical or psycho-educational documentation from a licensed professional and (b) the reasonableness of this accommodation in each requested class as determined by the course instructor.

12. If a student is out of class for an extended period of time due to reasons beyond the student’s control, it is the responsibility of the student to provide any substantiating documentation when required.


If you have questions or require additional information regarding the Office of Disability Support Services policies and procedures for a Relaxation of Attendance Policy, please contact the Director at:


Disability Support Services

DF Lowry