Attendance Policy

1) Required Class Attendance

Regular and punctual class attendance is required of all students in all courses, including in any course a student is auditing.  This requirement applies to all semesters and sessions offered by the Charleston School of Law. Faculty members are required to take attendance in all courses.  Attendance sign-in sheets shall be used, and students have the responsibility for ensuring that they sign the sheet.

2) General Rule

Students are required to attend at least eighty-five (85) percent of the classes for each course.  Therefore, no student may miss more than 15 percent (rounded to the nearest whole number) of the class meetings in any course or seminar. For example, for a course that meets twice per week, a student may miss no more than four class periods; for a course that meets once a week, a student may miss no more than two class periods. A student who is tardy or who exits class early may, at the discretion of the professor, be marked as absent.

  • Absences accrued before adding a course.  Absences from class before adding the course during the drop/add period are counted toward the number of absences from the class.

3) Instructor’s Rule

An instructor may establish more restrictive class attendance policies than set forth in the General Rule, if the students are notified in writing (for example, in the course syllabus) during the first week of classes. A student who is present but unprepared for class may be marked as absent if the instructor adopts this policy in writing during the first week of the semester.  The student found to be absent because the student is unprepared shall be so advised by the instructor during or immediately after the class in question.

4) Notice

Students must keep track of their absences. The School is under no obligation to notify students when their absences exceed the limits noted above.

5) Sanctions for Excessive Absences

Any student who misses more classes than allowed by the above formula or an instructor’s particular policies shall not be permitted to take the final examination or submit additional work. A student who misses more than the allowed number of classes in a course will not be permitted to sit for the examination or attempt the graded assignments, and a grade of “WA” shall be given, if the student has a passing grade. If a student has a failing grade at the time the student is withdrawn, a grade of “WF” shall be given. In the case of extraordinary circumstances, a student shall be allowed to withdraw and receive a grade of “W.”

6) Extraordinary Circumstances

In extraordinary circumstances, a student who receives a sanction for excessive absences may petition the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for relief.  Upon proof of extraordinary circumstances, such as serious personal injury or illness; serious illness, injury, or death of a member of the student’s immediate family; or other exceptional circumstance beyond the student’s control which prevented the student from meeting attendance requirements, the Associate Dean may grant whatever relief the dean deems appropriate under the circumstances.

Revisions effective as of Fall 2013 Semester