Notes for brief absences due to illness/injury are not routinely provided. Direct communication about absences with faculty is encouraged in order to promote mature dialogue and to encourage personal responsibility for class attendance decisions.
Examples of situations when a note may be provided:
- A Student Health and Education Services (SHES) medical provider advises a student not to attend class for three or more consecutive days due to a medical need;
- Documentation of an overnight hospitalization; and
- A documented injury or illness that requires an absence of three or more consecutive days.
Notes do not exempt students from course requirements and class attendance policies; and decisions about ability to make-up classwork and assignments are made solely by the instructor. Student should reach-out to faculty about how to best work-around absences caused by illnesses or injuries in order to continue academic efforts and activities.
Frequently Asked Questions
May I get a note for an illness or injury that happened in the past?
Generally not. SHES can only substantiate the need for an absence if a student is medically evaluated at the time of an injury or illness.
May I provide my instructor with a medical note from an off-campus medical provider?
Yes, you may provide and off-campus medical note. Instructors, however, may or may not consider a medical note when making decisions about absences.
Do I have to disclose specific medical issues to my instructor?
No. Class attendance policies are written with the understanding that there may be a need for students to miss classes due to injuries or illnesses. There should be no need to disclose personal medical information. If there is the need to validate that there is a serious medical condition requiring time away from school, SHES will provide support.
Will SHES automatically disclose specific medical issues to instructors?
No. SHES can validate the need for time away from school due to a medical condition without disclosing specific medical issues. SHES respects the privacy of students and abides by HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). SHES releases health information to faculty only with the written consent of a student.
If I have a note from SHES, will I automatically be excused for an absence from class and/or be allowed to make-up a missed assignment or test?
Not necessarily. SHES can provide an opinion that there is a medical need for an absence; and even when there is a medical need for an absence, all students must complete course requirements and abide by course policies. Instructors may or may not take the note into consideration when determining if an absence can be excused or an assignment/test can be made-up. This is why it is very important to remain engaged with your instructor about needing to be away from class.