Student Attendance Policy and Procedure
To explain and document attendance requirements and the conditions for granting excused absences in the College.
This policy applies to all staff and students.
- Attendance is an essential part of the educational process at ACK and is regarded as an obligation. All students are responsible for their own attendance and are expected to attend all classes, including labs and workshops, regularly and punctually. Failure to do so may negatively impact a student’s learning and academic performance.
- Attendance will be taken every class session, ten minutes after the class is scheduled to begin and shall be entered into PowerCampus within twenty-four hours.
- A written explanation of attendance expectations determined per requirements of this policy will be provided to students in the Course Outlines (ACK.FO.VPAC.11.01) at the beginning of each semester.
- Tardiness is treated as an absence. Tardy students are permitted to attend for the remainder of the class period and must not be prevented from doing so on the basis of tardiness alone.
- Exceptional cases not covered by this policy will be refered to and determined by the Student Appeals Committee.
- ACK requires that all registered students attend and participate in all classes in order to promote their success.
- Students are expected to maintain a minimum attendance of 70% in each enrolled course1. Students who fail to meet the minimum requirement by the last day of teaching will receive a fail for that course and, therefore, not be eligible to take their final assessments. Attendance will be recorded from the first teaching day of week 1 until the last teaching day of week 14 as per ACK’s academic calendar.
- A student’s attendance record is taken into account during an academic appeal process.
- More restrictive attendance requirements may apply in certain classes due to the specialised nature of the class as stated in the relevant course outline. (e.g. workshops, labs, Project Based Learning courses, courses offered by School of Aviation, etc.).
- Subject to the terms of this document, students may apply to be excused for their absences that result from the reasons listed in the following. Any other scenarios not covered in the below list is reviewed case by case and decided by the Student Affairs Deparment. The College reserves the right not to grant excused absences.
- Chronic illnesses - All chronic illnesses need to be supported by a current medical report (not older than one year), which is issued by a polyclinic or hospital and is stamped by the Kuwaiti Ministry of Health. The medical report needs to be submitted to the Student Affairs Department within three weeks2 of first day of the semester, or within five (5) working days of the first day of absence for which the student is asking to be excused for, whichever comes first. Regular doctor’s appointments related to the chronic illnesses should be planned outside class hours. Missing assessments/exams for regular doctor’s appointments and check-ups related to a chronic illness will not be excused.
- Medical emergencies - All absences due to medical emergencies need to be supported by a detailed medical report, which should be issued by the attending hospital or polyclinic and stamped by the Ministry of Health. The report should be prepared using Student Request Form for Excused Absence due to Medical Emergency (ACK.FO.VPAC.01.01) template and should include an indication of whether the student’s medical condition constitutes a medical emergency as defined in Section 6.8 of this document. If the student is seeking an excuse for a missed assessment/exam, the report should explicitly state this.Medical Reports need to be submitted within five (5) working days of the first day of absence.
- Students who accompany first-degree family members during travel for a required medical treatment- All such requests need to be supported by an official document issued by the Kuwaiti Government at least one (1) week in advance of the first planned day of absence.
- Vehicle accidents - All such requests need to be supported by the documentation listed below which should be provided within five (5) working days of the accident:
- An accident report issued by the Ministry of Interior Affairs.
- Permission report to fix the vehicle issued by the Ministry of Interior Affairs.
- A report issued by Ministry of Interior Affairs to be presented to the insurance company.
- Absences in the following days of an accident due to serious medical reasons need to be supported by a medical report as detailed in section 3.3.2 of this document.
- Death of a first-degree relative, grandparent, stepparent, stepsister, stepbrother or stepchild- All requests for excused absence for compassionate reasons need to be supported by a death certificate which needs to be submitted within five (5) working days of the first day of absence.
- Hajj- All requests need to be supported by official documents to be submitted at least two (2) weeks in advance before the commencement of Hajj leave. The students will be allowed to leave for Hajj only one time during their entire study at ACK.
- Participation in college events – Students who are representing ACK in events which are approved by the President need to apply for their absences to be excused at least one (1) week in advance of the first planned day of absence.
- National Athletes - Students that are members of national sport teams who are travelling for a tournament or competition must provide an official signed paper from their club stating the reason and exact dates of travel at least two (2) weeks in advance of the first planned day of absence.
- Students in official state assignments – All requests need to be supported by appropriate official documentation stating exact dates of absence submitted at least two (2) weeks in advance of the first planned day of absence.
- Court/judiciary duty - All requests need to be supported by appropriate official documentation issued by Department of Public Investigation which needs to be submitted within two (2) days of the judiciary notice being served to the student.
- Diagnostic/testing appointments required for students with learning difficulties as per Students with Disabilities Policy and Procedure (ACK.PLR.SA.02) - All requests need to be supported by documentation from an ACK authorized center which needs to be submitted at least one (1) week in advance of the scheduled appointment. The students should make every effort to schedule these appointments outside of class hours. Missing assessment/exams for scheduled diagnostic/ testing appointments will not be excused.
- Graduation Ceremony- Graduating students are excused during the day of the graduation ceremony.
- Absences related to common illnesses, such as cold, flu, stomach ache, headache, toothache, abdominal pain, nausea/vomiting and allergies are not excused.
- It is the student’s responsibility to promptly inform the Student Affairs Department and provide required documentation to apply for an excused absence in accordance with the required timelines stated by this document. Delayed documentation will not be accepted.
- Students who fall sick right before or during an exam:
Falling sick right before or during an assessment/exam will not be a reason to be excused from an assessment/exam except in the rarest circumstances which would be deemed as Medical Emergency and need to be supported by a medical report as per section 3.3.3 of this document. An Exam Incident Report Template should be filled out by the Proctor of the exam in accordance with Exam Proctoring Policy and Procedure (ACK.PLR.VPAC.12).
- Absences excused per this policy do not count toward students’ attendance requirements specified in Section 3.2 of this policy.
- ACK does not grant excused absences for more than two (2) consecutive teaching weeks (or the equivalent percentage during a summer term). Students who are experiencing significant personal hardship (for example medical or family emergency, prolonged illness) and absent for a longer period will be asked to withdraw from the semester since missing classes at such length will severely hinder the learning experience of a student at ACK.
- Students are allowed to make-up for assessments/exams and receive extensions on the assignments missed during their period of absence, only if their absence is excused as per the terms of this Student Attendance Policy. Students are fully responsible for the course content presented during their absence and make the necessary arrangements with their instructors for make-up exams and/or extensions on assignments.
- A make-up exam can be administered during the teaching period for that particular course or on a designated date after the last teaching day for that course as determined by the instructor and duly communicated to the student.
- Rules for make-up exams are determined by ACK’s Student Assessment Policy (ACK.PL.VPAC.10) and Validation and Moderation of Assessments Policy and Procedure (ACK.PLR.VPAC.11).
Pregnant Students and Maternity Leave
- The College does not make any concessions for pregnant students except for medical emergencies which need to be supported by a medical report as detailed in 3.3.3 of this document. Absences related to routine prenatal care and doctor’s visits are not excused.
- Pregnant students whose expected due date fall within a semester are recommended to apply for leave of absence for the semester. Such students on PUC Scholarships need to follow PUC rules in this regard. Information on PUC rules is available from the Admissions & Registration Department.
- Pregnant students who decide not to defer their studies and deliver during the course of a semester will be allowed two weeks of excused absence from their date of delivery. Students should provide the Student Affairs Department with a medical report stamped by the Ministry of Health within five (5) working days of the first day of absence.
- Students are fully responsible for the course content presented during their absence. Students are allowed to make-up for assessments/exams and receive extensions on the assignments missed during their period of absence, but it is their responsibility to make the necessary arrangements with their instructors.
- All appeals under this policy should be submitted directly to the Student Affairs Department in writing, who refers the case to the Student Appeals Committee for review and decision. The decision of the Committee will be final.
CONTROL OF PROCESS
- The following section explains the key steps in the processing of excused absences. It does not attempt to catalogue the specifics of how this process is carried out by each respective area which are determined internally in accordance with the terms of this document:
- Student Affairs Department is responsible for confirming and validating a request for an excused absence based on the supporting documentation submitted by students. Students must submit their requests electronically using the Excused Absence Request Form (ACK. FO.VPAC.01.02) from the ACK portal and scan/attach all the required supporting documentation.
- The decision on whether or not an excused absence is accepted is informed by the Student Affairs Department to the student and the relevant instructors, and the Heads of Department within 3 days of the receipt of supporting documentation from the student.
- Instructors should not record attendance for the period of excused absence, but make note of this in the PowerCampus.
- In cases when a student has an excused absence that prevents them from completing the work for that semester (e.g. an approved excuse that prevents the student to return to the College in time to take and receive grades on final exams, make-up exams, projects, etc. before the semester end), the student is given Incomplete (I) grade for the applicable course(s). The student should complete all missed work latest within two weeks of the following semester. Failing this, Incomplete (I) grade is automatically changed to Fail (F).
TERMS AND DEFINITIONS
- Assessment: All gradable work that a student is required to complete to provide a record of achievement or competence in a course, including, but not limited to learning tasks, assignments, reports, laboratory work, viva voce, classroom tests and examinations, including make-up exams.
- Attendance: Is defined as being present for the entire class component at the scheduled time.
- Census Date: Means the day announced per the published ACK Academic Calendar.
- Course: Also called a unit in ACK, is a basic component of a program, which on successful completion gives credit towards completion of the program of study.
- Elective surgery: Refers to a surgical procedure that does not relate to an injury or illness that is acute and poses an immediate risk to a student’s life or long-term health if not responded urgently.
- First Degree Relative: Means a brother, sister, parent, offspring or spouse.
- Make-up Assessment: An assessments provided to a student with an approved excused absence from a scheduled assessment. A students may only have one attempt at a make-up assessment.
- Medical Emergency: Means for the purposes of this document:
- A required surgical procedure, not including an Elective Surgery.
- An injury or illness that is acute and poses an immediate risk to a person's life or long term health.
- A physical or mental illness that is too severe and would have significantly affected the student’s ability to attend classes or perform on the day of an assessment/exam.
- PowerCampus: Online Student Enrollment System utilized by ACK.
- PUC: Private Universities Council.
- Tardy: Means being more than 10 minutes late to class.
- Student Request Form for Excused Absence due to Medical Emergency (ACK.FO.VPAC.01.01)
- Excused Absence Request Form (ACK.FO.VPAC.01.02)
- 70% attendance requirement will not apply to students registered in programs offered by Cape Breton University.
- For the summer semester, medical reports for a chronic illness need to be submitted within 5 days of the start of the semester.
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