Advocates for Children

Absence Policy

Our colloquium format consists of invited speakers and discussion. Discussion days are designed to allow students the opportunity to reflect on issues, discuss ideas, and express opinions. The learning opportunities thus provided form the core of the educational benefits of this class.

Since the foundation of the colloquium experience is participation, attendance is an essential component. Students deprive not only themselves but also their classmates if they are not present to make a contribution of their own valuable ideas and experiences.

Excused Absences

1. The observance of a religious holiday where the nature of the observance prevents the student from being present during the class period. The student must inform a faculty member (Al Gardner, Steve Wright, or Maria Day) BEFORE class.

2. An illness requiring medical attention (as documented by a physician's note). The scheduling of routine appointments (medical or otherwise) during the colloquium period will NOT be considered an excused absence.

3. Participation in university activities at the request of University authorities. The student must inform a faculty member (Al Gardner, Steve Wright, or Maria Day) BEFORE class.

4. Compelling circumstances beyond the student's control.

Students claiming excused absence must apply in writing and furnish documentary support for their assertion that absence resulted from one of these causes. Special arrangements may be made in the rare case when a class or program examination schedule conflicts with the colloquium period.

Unexcused Absences

All other absences will be considered unexcused, even if recognized as legitimate. A student's grade will not be lowered for missing one colloquium during the semester (in addition to excused absences, if any), unless the student is right on the borderline between letter grades.

The second and third absences from colloquium may be made up by doing an extra assignment. The assignment will be a two-page, documented* research paper on the topic that the student missed, due two weeks after the date of absence. The completion of this paper will prevent the students grade from being lowered due to having missed the opportunity of learning from our speaker or from the discussion on assigned days. Should the student elect not to do the paper, the final colloquium grade will drop approximately 1/2 a letter grade.

The fourth absence may not be made up. Four or more absences during a semester is considered excessive, and the final colloquium grade will be lowered by approximately a 1/2 letter grade for each absence after the fourth (assuming papers were written for the second and third).

*There should be two references, including at least one from a book or journal article. You may also use newspaper articles, popular magazines, personal interviews, and internet references, BUT these don't "count" toward your minimum of one from a book or journal article. Again, double-spacing is standard.

A standard format is one-inch margins all around; 12-point Courier typeface (looks like a typewriter) rather than Times-Roman, Ariel, Helvetica, etc., which are more compact; and indented paragraphs without double returns (not block).

1125 Cumberland Hall University of Maryland College Park, MD 20742-9331

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