Attendance Policy

The MPPAL is a professional program. Students are expected to attend all classes. Course instructors are under no obligation to re-teach material that has been taught during a regularly scheduled class.

Course instructors will draw the MPPAL attendance policy to the attention of their students by including it in the course syllabus or by providing a link on the course syllabus to the appropriate page on the MPPAL program website.

In the Event that a Student is Unable to Attend:

a) A Weeknight Class:
In the event that a student is unable to attend a weeknight class, they must notify the course instructor, in writing, prior to the beginning of class for which they will be absent. A student who is absent from three (3) classes without providing written justification to the course instructor and doing independent work to make up for the missed classes will receive a failing grade in that course.

b) A Weekend (Saturday or Sunday) Class:
As one (1) full day Saturday or Sunday class is equivalent to two or even three  (2-3) weeknight classes, students who are absent from a Saturday or Sunday class must provide written justification for their absence to the course instructor and will be required to undertake independent work to make up for the missed class. Students who are absent from a Saturday or Sunday class may receive a failing grade in the course unless they successfully complete the makeup assignment(s) required to demonstrate a sufficient breadth and depth of mastery of the course content covered in their absence.

Prima Facie Legitimate Grounds for Being Absent from a Class

The following are recognized as legitimate grounds for being absent from a class, thus triggering the alternative route of independent work undertaken to satisfy the requirements for the specific missed class.

1. Medical Emergencies and Illness:

Students who are unable to attend a class due to serious illness must notify the course instructor, in writing and as soon as possible. In recognition of the facts that our students are trustworthy professionals, that obtaining a doctor’s note may put unnecessary demands on the health system, and that physicians charge significant fees for notes, course directors will not normally require a doctor’s note explaining a medically-based absence. Students unable to attend two consecutive weekday classes or two Saturday classes due to serious illness may, however, be asked to provide a doctor’s note to the course instructor as soon as possible following the absence.
In cases where a student is unable to contact his or her instructors due to major illness, serious injury, or hospitalization, a notice may be sent to the program office (whose staff will distribute the information in confidence to the student’s instructors) or to the student's instructors directly, by the relevant medical personnel. This notice is for the course instructor's information only and does not relieve the student from contacting the course instructor as soon as possible to arrange alternate means of demonstrating mastery of the content missed.
Given our commitment to making the MPPAL degree accessible to professionals working full time in the public service, broadly construed, we also recognize that many of our students will have children or elders whose care is a significant responsibility. It is expected that regular, ongoing or predictable primary care responsibilities (to children, elder parents or others) will be arranged so that students can attend classes as scheduled. In extraordinary circumstances, however, we recognize that our adult students may be unable to attend a class because of inescapable familial responsibilities. It is expected that such absences will be explained by relevant documentation. Student must contact the course instructor as soon as possible to arrange alternate means of demonstrating mastery of the content missed.

2. Religious Accommodation:

In recognition of the diversity of the student body, the University provides that a student may request an excused absence from class for participation in religious observances. In all such instances, it is the student's responsibility to request, in writing, that the instructor excuse the absence. The course instructor will at that time inform the student of what alternative work the student must provide in order to make up for his or her absence. Students should make any such requests no later than the commencement of classes.

3. Students with Disabilities:

Students who miss classes because of a disability and who are registered with York University Counseling and Disability Services (CDS) must be given reasonable accommodation, which is to be negotiated at the beginning of the course between the student, CDS, and the course instructor.

4. Employer Demands:

It is expected that students will arrange their work schedules with their employers in such a way as to enable them to attend all classes as scheduled. If, however, a student must miss a class because of workplace demands, the student will be entitled to submit alternative work to demonstrate their mastery of the missed course material, and to have that alternative work treated as this policy requires.

Standard Remedies for Missed Classes

Weeknight class: Students will be expected to provide alternative evidence that they have mastered the material covered in their absence. This will normally be achieved by submitting a four (4) page summary of the required readings, submitting experiential materials, listening to recorded classes, completing tests or assignments through Moodle course sites, or such other substitutions as the course director deems necessary to maintain the academic integrity of the course.

The expectation shall be that no student shall miss more than three (3) weekday classes, and that for each missed class they may have the opportunity to submit other work in place of in-class participation.

If they submit work sufficient to substitute for in-class participation, then their participation grade should reflect this equivalence. Alternate methods of demonstrating mastery of course material, which students may submit if they have grounds for a justifiable absence, will be treated as equivalent to in-class participation in the calculation of participation grades, and will be graded using the same grading scheme as in-class participation whenever possible. Alternative assignments will normally be due two weeks after the missed class.

Saturday class: Students who are absent from a Saturday class other than PPAL 6230 3.0 for any reason must complete a 10 page, double-spaced assignment, outlining the key themes and significance of all readings assigned for that class. If they submit work sufficient to substitute for in-class participation, then their participation grade should reflect this equivalence.

Alternate methods of demonstrating mastery of course material, which students may submit if they have grounds for a justifiable absence, will be treated as equivalent to in-class participation in the calculation of participation grades, and will be graded using the same grading scheme as in-class participation whenever possible. Alternative assignments will normally be due one month after the missed class.

Revised version adopted  by the MPPAL faculty council on 10 Nov 2015.
(Original version: 2006, revised 2013,  2015)