Success in college is often related to class participation and attendance. Students are expected to attend ALL scheduled class meetings. If a student is unable to attend a class, it is the student’s responsibility to communicate with the instructor and, if allowed by the instructor, make up work that was missed as a result of their absence. Absence does not constitute an excuse for academic work due. Excessive absence is defined by each faculty member and included in the course syllabus. MWCC supports the individual attendance policy as stated on every course syllabus. In the case of emergency or illness that will cause a student to miss three or more consecutive sessions, the student should notify their specific instructors and should also notify the Dean of Students in the Student Services Office on the Gardner campus in room 141 or call 978-630-9855.
Students must attend/participate in the first week of class or the instructor will report the student as never attending. This is required by the Federal Department of Education as a condition of college's access to award financial aid. Online classes are not self-paced classes and therefore students must participate in the first week or risk being reported as never attending by their instructor. Students will be charged for classes they fail to attend.
A student who stops attending (or fails to participate in the case of online courses) will be reported as a "stop out" as of their last date of attendance. "Stop outs" due to lack of attendance do not reduce charges. Faculty are asked to report students who have stopped attending class as "stop outs" in order to comply with Federal Financial Aid regulations. A "stop out" results in an F on the student's transcript.
The Department of Education defines academic attendance as the following:
Active participation by a student in an instructional activity related to the student's course of study that -
(1) Is defined by the institution in accordance with any applicable requirements of its State or accrediting agency;
(2) Includes, but is not limited to -
(i) Attending a synchronous class, lecture, recitation, or field or laboratory activity, physically or online, where there is an opportunity for interaction between the instructor and students;
(ii) Submitting an academic assignment;
(iii) Taking an assessment or an exam;
(iv) Participating in an interactive tutorial, webinar, or other interactive computer-assisted instruction;
(v) Participating in a study group, group project, or an online discussion that is assigned by the institution; or
(vi) Interacting with an instructor about academic matters; and
(3) Does not include, for example -
(i) Logging into an online class or tutorial without any further participation; or
(ii) Participating in academic counseling or advisement.