FAQ: Other Types of Absences
The university policy (UPPS 02.02.20.08) regarding active duty military leave is very specific with regards to the responsibilities of the student. Students are encouraged to read this policy and follow it closely:
Absences and Withdrawals for Students Called to Military Active DutyStudents required to participate in active military service, including the National Guard, will be excused from attending classes or engaging in other required activities, including examinations.08.01a. If the student wishes to withdraw, “W” grades will be assigned in all courses enrolled and tuition and fees paid by the student for the semester will be refunded.b. If the student wishes to complete currently enrolled courses, grades will be determined on a course-by-course basis. These students will not receive a refund of tuition and fees.c. If the student is away for a brief period (one class period or one week) faculty will excuse the absence and assist the student in making up any missed assignments or examinations. Prior to their departure or immediately upon their return to the university, the student must provide the faculty member with a copy of their military orders to validate the absence.08.02When a student chooses to complete a class prior to the end of the semester, an instructor will, with the permission of the chair and dean, collect any projects and assignments as appropriate, give a final exam and assign the appropriate grade. In exceptional circumstances, with the permission of the chair and dean, some portion of the course assignments may be waived and a grade may be assigned, based on the work actually completed.08.03When a student chooses to complete a class at a later date, “I” grades may be assigned. A written agreement outlining assignments to be completed and a time limit must be signed by the student. The chair will keep one copy of the agreement and forward one copy to the Registrar’s Office. The Registrar’s Office will monitor time limits for conversion of the “I” to the final grade.a. Students will be allowed to complete assignments or take examinations from which they were excused within a reasonable time after the absence-one year following completion of active duty assignment.b. The maximum period for excused absences will be no more than 25% of the total number of class meetings (not including final examination period) for the specific course or courses in which the student is currently enrolled at the beginning of the period of active military service.c. The course syllabus or instructional plan in effect at the time the student was enrolled in class will be used during the completion of the course.d. The instructor will be responsible for the retention of a student’s course work and grades completed before student was called to active military service.e. Students who fail to satisfactorily complete assignments or examinations within the required timeframe, one year following the completion of active duty assignment, will receive a final letter grade of “F.”f. Students have the right to appeal to the departmental chair if a dispute regarding excused military absences occurs.08.04The student will provide the Registrar’s Office a copy of military orders; however, a copy of the orders is not required before the student leaves.
The Vice President of Student Affairs issued a statement on October 4, 2016, that addresses the university policy regarding absences for Religious Holy Days. (This policy overrules UPPS 02.06.01.)
"Religious holy day" means a holy day observed by a religion whose places of worship are exempt from property taxation under § 11.20 of the Tax Code.
Please not that the 2003 Texas Legislature amended the statute providing for religious holy days - Education Code § 51.911:
A student is no longer required to give advance notice of an absence or absences associated with participation in a religious holy day. A student shall be excused from classes or other required activities, including examinations, for the observance of a religious holy day, including travel for that purpose. A student whose absence is excused may not be penalized for that absence and shall be allowed to take an examination or complete an assignment from which the student is excused within a reasonable time after the absence.
In addition, Coordinating Board rules now provide for an appeal of a disagreement between the student and a faculty member over an absence related to a religious holy day. If a student and an instructor disagree about the nature of the absence being for the observance of a religious holy day, or if there is a disagreement about whether the student has been given a reasonable time to complete any missed assignments or examinations, either the student or the instructor may request a ruling from the University President or the President's designee. The President/designee must take into account the legislative intent of Education Code, § 51.911. The student and instructor shall abide by the decision of the President or her designee.
I have been invited to attend an event that has been sponsored by the university. What's the process of getting the absence "excused"?
According to university policy, excused absences for university-sponsored events are granted after a student has completed the procedures outlined on PPS 02.06.03.
01. Policy Statement POLICY STATEMENT
The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for students to receive excused absences from instructors when students are unable to attend classes because they are involved in official university-sponsored functions. Please see UPPS No. 05.06.03, Student Travel, for more information.
02. Definitions and Expectations
An official university-sponsored event is a function that occurs under the sponsorship of any university academic, administrative, athletic department, unit, center or institute and is generally university-funded. The function should offer a forum for the development of student academic or leadership skills; provide an educational opportunity; provide a venue in which the reputation of the institution will be enhanced; or serve as an officially-sponsored athletic (i.e., the National Collegiate Athletic Association) event. Examples of official university functions include participation in athletic competitions; attendance as an official student organization representative at statewide leadership or development conferences; participation in scholarly conferences and workshops; participation in official creative or scholarly competitions as a representative of Texas State or a Texas State department or organization; and participation in university-sponsored trips for performing groups, including, but not limited to, the band, Strutters, sports clubs, Student Government, and vocal music ensembles.
02.02 The sponsor who requests approval for an excused absence must be a full-time university employee.
02.03 An excused absence is an absence for which a student is not penalized by the instructor for being absent from class and is allowed to make up any missed class work or examinations.
02.04 Whenever possible, students will schedule classes at times that will not conflict with times when they know they will be absent (e.g., if the volleyball team will miss numerous Tuesday evenings due to travel, a member of the volleyball team should not sign up for a Tuesday evening class).
02.05 To the fullest extent possible, it is the student’s responsibility to inform faculty of expected absences upon receipt of the course syllabus. The student and instructor should work out arrangements for exceptions to the absence policy in the course syllabus by the third class day of the semester. See AA/PPS 4.01 for further information regarding faculty attendance policies.
03. Procedures for Requesting an Excused Absence
03.01 As soon as possible after learning that he or she will be absent because of an official university-sponsored function, a student should submit the Request for an Excused Absence form to the instructor for each class that will be missed. When the student presents the Request for an Excused Absence form to the instructor, the student and instructor should discuss the coursework for which the student will be responsible for completing. The student is responsible for initiating this discussion and submitting assignments according to the instructor’s directions.
03.02 The Request for an Excused Absence form requires the signature of the official advisor, director of the organization or department sponsoring the event, as well as the instructor’s verifying approval.
04. Verification Procedures
04.01 A website is administered through the Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA) office and lists official university-sponsored functions. Information listed on the website will include the organization, description of event, date and time of event, travel time required (if any), a list of students who will be involved in the event, and a phone number for the instructor to call if there are questions or concerns.
04.02 The advisor or director of the organization sponsoring the event must assure that the correct information is posted on the website in a timely manner. Questions about the event posting should be directed to Student Involvement @ LBJSC at 512.245.3219.
04.03 For non-athletic events, the student is responsible for assuring that the appropriate travel documentation is completed and submitted to all appropriate offices prior to the travel. Please see Student Travel, for further information regarding travel documentation. Student Involvement @ LBJSC will use the information from travel documentation submitted to their office in order to register official university-sponsored functions on the website.
04.04 For non-athletic events when travel documentation is not required, the student is responsible for assuring that a Student Travel form is completed and submitted to Student Involvement @ LBJSC no later than 10 business days prior to the event. Student Involvement @ LBJSC will use the information from submitted to their office in order to register official university-sponsored functions on the website.
05. Responsibility for Completion of Coursework
05.01 Class absences covered by this policy do not excuse a student from completing all work associated with the classes that are missed.