Dr. Johanna Rubba
English Department (Linguistics)
California Polytechnic State University

Attendance Policy

Attendance is required for ALL of my classes, unless I have stipulated otherwise in writing on your syllabus.


I recognize that college students are adults capable of regulating their own schedules and setting their own priorities. At the same time, it has been my experience that, when students' cutting of class does not affect their grade, more students have more absences, and, above all, more students get lower grades in the class.In the case of graduate classes, the temptation to skip seems especially strong, and probably for very good reasons; hence I require attendance even in graduate classes.

Spotty attendance also contributes to a less stable and intellectually satisfying class climate for all students. This is especially true of seminars and graduate classes, in which student participation is crucial.

The Policy

I have built some flexibility into my policy: students get up to a full week's worth of absences 'for free'; that is to say, I do not start to count absences against your grade until you have accumulated absences equivalent to a full week of classes. This varies depending on the class schedule: for a class that meets 4x per week for 50 minutes each session, 4 x 50 minutes = 1 week of absences. For a class that meets 3x per week for 70 minutes per session, 3 x 70 minutes = 1 week of absences. For a class that meets twice a week for two consecutive 50-min. sessions, 4 x 50 minutes or 2 whole missed classes = 1 week of absences. I generally monitor attendance in both hours of such classes.

Each absence IN EXCESS OF the minimum for your class will cause points to be deducted from your grade. I generally will have each excess absence subtract about 1.5% from your course total. For example, if your total possible course score is 300, each excess absence will cost 5 of those 300 points. If your total possible course score is 200, it will be 3 minus points per excess absence. My experience has shown me that this is a fair system.

Getting excess absences excused

It IS possible to have an absence excused. There are two ways to do this: approach me BEFORE the absence with your reason for needing to miss class, or provide me with a written note from a health professional verifying that your health (mental or physical) made it impossible for you to attend class that day. Valid reasons for missing class, with either previous notice or an excuse after the fact, include such occasions as illness, participation in sports events, job interviews out of our area, serious family emergencies such as a very ill child or the serious injury or death of a family member or very close friend.

If you are in a situation which requires you to miss class in regular and predictable ways, please discuss this situation with me as early as possible in the quarter. It may be necessary for you to either drop the class or make arrangments with me to do make-up work.

When to contact me about absences

Many students call me when they are absent, or present excuses before they have reached the allowable 'freebie' maximum. Please do not discuss absences withme, present a written excuse, or call my office phone about an absenceuntil you haveexceeded the limit for your class. Exceptions to this are class trips or sports events which require my signature before you may depart.

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