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Charleston School of Law Juris Doctor Program Catalog and Student Handbook 2022-2023: Class Attendance Requirement

Online Academic Catalog and Student Handbook

Academic Catalog Outline At-a-Glance

Below is a brief outline of the Charleston School of Law Academic Catalog. Click the + sign to see the linked list under each heading. You can also click on the top tabs to see a complete list under each heading tab. A complete list of content under each heading is found in the Detailed Academic Catalog Guide Outline.

Class Attendance Requirement

  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 all sessions offered by the Charleston School of Law. Faculty members are required to take attendance in all courses using the appropriate system for recording attendance. Students are responsible for ensuring that they are counted present using the appropriate system for recording attendance. 

  1. General Rule

Students are required to attend at least 85% of the scheduled class meetings for each course.  “Scheduled class meetings” is defined as the total number of classes that are established for that particular course during that particular semester or session schedule, as established by the published schedule, with such number remaining the same in spite of modifications that might arise during the semester (speakers, inclement weather, professor cancellation, etc.). No absences from class are “excusable” for purposes of determining whether a student has violated the Attendance Requirement.

    1. Number of Permitted Absences: Students must refer to the course syllabus for information regarding the number of permitted absences for that course in that particular semester or session in which it is offered.
    2. Absence for Being Unprepared: A student who is present but unprepared for class may be marked as absent if the professor adopts this policy in his or her course syllabus or in writing during the first week of the semester. If the professor has this policy, the syllabus or writing must address what is “present but unprepared.” In addition, the student found to be absent because he or she is unprepared shall be so advised by the instructor during or immediately after the class in question.
    3. Absence for Tardiness or Leaving Class Early

A student who is tardy or who exits class early may, at the discretion of the professor, be marked as absent. The syllabus for a particular course must address what is considered “tardy” and what is “exiting early from class.”

    1. 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.

  1. Notice

      Students must keep track of their absences. The Law School is under no obligation to keep track of students’ absences or to warn students when their absences reach a certain point. 

  1. Sanctions for Excessive Absences

      Any student who misses more classes than allowed by the above formula shall not be eligible to earn course credit.   A grade of “WA” [withdrawn for absences] 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.”  Once a student has received the grade of “WA” three times on his or her transcript, any subsequent withdrawals from any class on the basis of attendance shall result in the student receiving a “WF” on his or her transcript; exceptions can be made at the discretion of the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs.  A “WF” is a failing grade and will be calculated as part of the semester and cumulative grade point average. The “WF” grade confers no credit.

  1. Waiver of the 85% Attendance Requirement.

In extraordinary circumstances, a student who has missed more than 15% but no more than 20% of the class meetings may petition the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for a waiver of the Attendance Requirement.  Using the appropriate form, the petition shall contain a complete explanation of the reasons for each of the student’s absences from the particular course and must include appropriate documentation. Once notified of the excessive absences, the student must submit his or her petition within 2 business days to the Associate Dean. Failure to submit the petition within this timeframe will result in the dismissal of the petition without consideration.

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 he or she deems appropriate under the circumstances. In ruling on such petitions, the Associate Dean shall balance the necessity for maintaining high academic standards and fairness to the student in light of the extraordinary circumstances.

If the Associate Dean denies a petition for waiver of the attendance requirement, or if the number of absences exceeds 20% of the class meetings, a student may petition the Academic Standards Committee. If the committee considers the petition, the Attendance Rule will be waived only if a majority of the committee members present vote to grant the petition.

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