Faculty Handbook: Appendix 4


SDSBE / CUNY School of Medicine Student Absence Policy

Students attending the Sophie Davis School and the CUNY School of Medicine are required to comply with the attendance policy in all years of education and training. Students are required to attend and actively participate in all components of the curriculum, including required lectures, small group sessions, laboratories, field work, patient clinics and other course and clerkship activities. The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education / CUNY School of Medicine grants the BS and MD degrees to students who meet all academic and professional requirements.

The faculty recognizes three types of official absences: Approved, Discretionary and Unapproved. Approved absences meet the criteria listed below. Reported absences not meeting the criteria are considered Discretionary absences. In all cases, students must notify the course director(s), and submit an absence request to the Office of Student Affairs via the dedicated email address:   absence@med.cuny.edu in anticipation of any absences from any component of the curriculum, or as soon as possible when unanticipated (personal or family illness).  Discretionary absences are not permitted during examinations, except under extenuating circumstances. Students who accumulate more than 3 Discretionary Absences  during a single year will be referred to the Student Academic Progress Committee (SAPC).  Students who accumulate excessive Approved absences may also be referred to SAPC.

Failure to request and confirm, or (in case of an emergency) to report an absence from any required course or clerkship session will be considered an Unapproved absence, constituting a failure of professional responsibility. This will be subject to review by the SAPC.

Students are expected to be present for all required curricular activities. Travel arrangements should not be made that conflict with the class schedule. It is the student’s responsibility to confirm with the course/clerkship directors specifics of the course/clerkship schedule, and request and confirm approval of the absence through the course/clerkship director and absence@med.cuny.edu before making plans that could interfere with attendance at required course/clerkship sessions.

Students are responsible for notifying the course/clerkship director(s) and a%62sen%63e@med.cuny .%65%64%75" rel="nofollow"> absence@med.cuny.edu when they will be absent from any required activity. If the circumstance is unclear or relates to a medical or family issue, the Office of Student Affairs will determine if the reason for the absence meets the criteria for an Approved absence.  Whenever possible, absence requests should be submitted at least 4 weeks in advance of the anticipated date.

Approved Absences

1.       Unexpected events outside a student’s control may justify an Approved absence. These include personal or family emergencies. These events must be reported by email to   absence@med.cuny.edu and the relevant course/clerkship director (s) as soon as possible.

2.       Religious obligations are a recognized reason for an Approved Absence from a class or clerkship activity. Students should use discretion in judging the importance of a particular holiday and inrequesting absence around such holidays. Students must inform course/clerkship directors and   absence@med.cuny.edu a minimum of four weeks in advance of the beginning of the course/clerkship when they will be absent for a religious obligation.  Extended absence beyond the timeframe of the official religious holiday will not be an Approved absence.

3.       Scheduled Conferences. Leadership in extracurricular and extramural activities is encouraged, however, such opportunities must not occur at the expense of a student’s required coursework and attendance responsibilities. Request for permission for such absences must be sought from the Office of Student Affairs at abse%6e%63%65@med.cun %79.%65d%75" rel="nofollow"> absence@med.cuny.edu at least 4 weeks in advance.

a.       Individual students may request permission to attend a scientific conference or meeting for the purposes of presenting a paper or other academic work as first author. An Approved absence is limited to the day of the presentation and any required travel time the day or evening before and after the presentation.

b.       Student Professional Associations: Students who are elected officers, who hold or are seeking leadership positions in a professional organization, or presenters at a professional meeting may receive an Approved absence to attend a conference.

c.       Decision about an Approved Absence for a scheduled conference rests with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and is based on the student’s academic record, attendance record, and the course/clerkship director’s estimation of the importance of the specific course/clerkship session(s) that would be missed.

d.       Procedures for requesting an Approved absence:

i.      Submit a request for approval to absence@med.cuny.edu at least 4 weeks in advance of the planned absence, including information on the event, the student’s role in the event, and any relevant documentation. If approval is granted, students must inform all relevant faculty of the planned absence immediately upon receiving approval.

ii.      Students must ensure they have financial resources for all anticipated conference and travel expenses before committing to any travel.

iii.     Students should only make travel/conference arrangements after securing permission.

Discretionary Absences

Discretionary absences are absences for reasons other than those enumerated above.  These ordinarily include absences for special events (e.g. weddings, graduations, family gatherings). Under no circumstances will a Discretionary Absence relieve a student of meeting all of the academic requirements of the course or clerkship. If the Discretionary Absence request conflicts with a session or sessions that cannot be otherwise made up or completed, the student should understand that the absence may affect the grade received in the course or clerkship.

Consequences of Noncompliance with Attendance Policy:

a.       Students who fail to report an absence from any required course or clerkship session will be referred to the SAPC, and their grades may be                   lowered.

b.       Students who accumulate more than three Discretionary absences during an academic year will be referred to the SAPC, and their grades                  may be lowered.

       c.       An unreported absence from a clerkship may result in failing the clerkship or require that additional time be spent to complete the clerkship.

               d.       The SAPC will review attendance noncompliance to determine whether such unprofessional behavior warrants disciplinary action.

               e.       Summative comments in the evaluations of all courses and clerkships may include descriptions of Discretionary absences and/or unapproved                             absences or tardiness.  Such comments will be included in the Dean’s Letter.

                                                                                      Student Process for absent