We foster caring and supportive relationships between faculty and students. Absence notifications provide documentation for students who have or will miss class due to extenuating circumstances. We offer guidance on how students can communicate with and their instructor to resolve absences or outstanding coursework.
Communicate with Your Instructors
If you are absent from class, you should always notify your instructor of your absence in advance, or as soon as possible. In extenuating circumstances, your instructor may ask you to provide documentation for your absence. Absence notifications are not an official excuse. They are provided on the student’s behalf to explain the circumstances surrounding an absence and to request that the instructor works with the student to complete missed coursework when appropriate.
We recommend that you work directly with your instructor and campus resources for the following types of absences:
- Military obligations: work with your instructor and the Veterans Success Center
- Legal obligations: work with your instructor
- Disability: work with Student Disability Services and your instructor
- Short-term hardship: work with your instructor
- Religious holiday: work with your instructor
- Extended hardship that requires long-term management: work with your instructor and complete a 974-HELP referral form if additional support is needed.
Reasons for Absence Notifications
Illness or Injury Absence
For guidance on self-isolation, instructor notifications, and other support related to illness or injury-related absences, fill out the Health & Illness Support Form in the Student Health Patient Portal. Reasons for an illness or injury absence notification may include:
- Medical illness such as COVID-19 or another respiratory illness, strep throat, or mononucleosis
- Medical injury
- Medical emergency
- Accident (vehicle, skateboard, motorized scooter, etc.)
Death in the Family
Students who have experienced a death in their family can request an absence notification. Documentation should include an obituary, memorial service pamphlet, or other items that identify the student as related to the deceased and include the date of expiration, date of funeral/memorial service, and the city and state the service was held.
Students should submit requests within 30 days of the event or loss. If you are experiencing grief and need support, please click the Student in Distress link below to get connected to a care coordinator. Absence notifications are generally provided for 1-5 days. If you have a longer duration absence due to the loss of a loved one, please call 865-974-4357 to discuss support options.
Your request is processed by the Center for Care & Resilience (CCR) within 5 business days of submission. You’ll receive a notification via email once the request has been processed. CCR staff will provide you a digital letter to present to your faculty, confirming the absence was due to the loss of a loved one. Ensuring that you have submitted appropriate documentation will speed up the processing time.
Students in Distress
A care coordinator will identify how best to support your individual needs, which may include referring you to additional resources on campus. Your coordinator may also provide guidance on how to communicate with your instructor and how to document your absence.