Fall 2020 guidance on class attendance and withdrawal

Due to the various impacts of COVID-19 on the fall 2020 semester, the following guidance has been provided for faculty and students regarding class attendance and withdrawal for all undergraduate students and graduate students in the Graduate School and Graduate School of Management programs.

Courses in the Law School, School of Dentistry and Health Science Professional programs will follow policies and guidance set by those schools.

Class attendance
Although the attendance policies in the undergraduate bulletin and graduate bulletin do not recognize illness as an excused absence, Marquette University is requiring students to not attend class if symptomatic. Additionally, the university requires students who test positive for COVID-19 or have confirmed exposure to follow city quarantine guidelines.

Instead of expanding the categories of excused absence to include illness, which would impose excessive burdens on quarantining students to obtain documentation and add pressure on the health care system, the university is providing the following guidance to create a flexible and compassionate response to students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

  1. Instructors are expected to make reasonable accommodations for students who miss classes due to COVID-19 exposure to make up class work and/or get notes from a lecture. Labs, clinicals and other field-based classes are the exceptions to this as it may be impossible to make up class work in these types of classes.
  2. No portion of a grade should be based strictly on attendance. Instead, assignments should be based on participation or engagement, and faculty should design assessments that would allow ill/quarantined students to demonstrate participation/engagement, regardless of modality. Exceptions exist for some clinical, laboratory and other field-based classes that have contact-hour requirements that must be fulfilled.
  3. Syllabi should indicate expectations for students who may be absent due to symptoms, COVID-19 diagnosis and/or quarantine. The Center for Teaching and Learning has developed COVID-19 language for syllabi.

A more detailed explanation of the guidance being provided on class attendance can be found on the Academic Policies page on the Office of the Registrar website.

Class withdrawal
In acknowledgment that circumstances may arise during the fall 2020 semester that require a student to withdraw from a class at various points during the term, the following flexibility on the use of withdrawal grades for undergraduate and graduate students has been approved:

  1. Students who initiate a request to withdraw from a class after the withdrawal deadline may receive a grade of W, as opposed to WF, with approval of their college dean’s office.
  2. When an instructor or college office initiates a student withdrawal after the withdrawal deadline for reasons of excessive absence, a grade of WA may be used, rather than a WF, regardless of student performance at the time of withdrawal.

The updated policies on grading of class withdrawals can be found in the undergraduate bulletin and graduate bulletin.