General Attendance Policy
Regular and punctual class attendance is important to the attainment of the educational objectives of the college. Each instructor or program will have attendance guidelines with administrative approval which will be consistent with the mission of the college but will fulfill individual course requirements.
Each instructor’s policy will be explained in detail to the class at the beginning of the semester and will be included in the course syllabus.
Attendance is effective on the first day of classes of the semester. Regular and punctual attendance in class and laboratories is expected of all students. Excused absences for college activities will be reported to faculty by memo from the designated official on each campus. All other absences will be evaluated by the instructor. It is the student’s responsibility to communicate with the faculty member concerning any absence as soon as the student is aware that he/she will be absent or as soon as the student returns to class.
The student must take the initiative and assume the responsibility for making up any missed work. In some cases, the student may be required to present evidence to support an absence.
According to the instructor’s attendance policy, an instructor may choose to officially drop the student from the class with the student receiving a grade of “W.” However, if the instructor does not choose to officially drop the student from class, it is the student’s responsibility to drop the class if he/she chooses.
The student may contact the instructor to discuss his/her specific situation, but the instructor will not be required to provide make-up opportunities for unexcused absences. A student who is not dropped by the instructor and chooses not to drop will at the conclusion of the semester receive the appropriate grade achieved by his/her course work.
NOTE: Attendance guidelines vary for developmental education courses. Students enrolled in developmental course work due to Texas Success Initiative policy must follow the attendance requirements and guidelines outlined in the Success Initiative.
Student Absences on Religious Holy Days
In accordance with Senate Bill 738, codified in Section 51.911 of the Texas Legislature, a student shall be excused from attending classes or other required activities, including examinations, for the observance of a religious holy day, including travel for that purpose. A religious holy day is defined as a holy day observed by a religion whose places of worship are exempt from property taxation under Section 11.20, Tax Code. A student whose absence is excused under this provision may not be penalized for the absence and shall be allowed to take an examination and/or complete an assignment for which the student is excused within one week after the absence. An instructor may appropriately respond if the student fails to satisfactorily complete assignments and/or exams. Student must notify their instructor(s) in writing prior to the proposed absence on a form provided by the institution. In some cases, a letter of verification of the observed holy day from the religious institution may be required. Forms are available in the Student Services / Student Affairs office. In case of conflict, students may appeal through the academic appeals process.
Bad Weather Days
Classes will be held and business will continue as usual on bad weather days unless hazardous conditions exist affecting travel to the local campus. The president or designated administrator will determine the need to cancel classes and will coordinate with the local school district. Closure announcements will be given to local media by 6:00 a.m. or as appropriate and will be posted on the website. The HC Alert text service will also be activated. In some instances students will not be able to travel due to local conditions in his/her place of residence. Students should always use best judgement on bad weather days for their own personal safety. These absences will be handled on a case-by-case basis with the instructor and could be counted as an absence depending on the situation.