School of Communications Professional Policies


The School of Communications has adopted the following minimum policies to provide students with a clear understanding and consistent application of course expectations, since journalism and communications are disciplines with rigorous professional standards. Teachers may designate more stringent policies on their course syllabi.

Attendance Policy: Students in the School of Communications are expected to attend all classes. Just as professionals go to work each day, we expect students in a professional school to come to class on time and be prepared to work. A student who misses more than 20 percent of scheduled classes in a term (more than eight absences for classes meeting three times a week, more than five absences for classes meeting twice a week) automatically receives an F because the student has missed too much content and participation to pass a course in a professional school. Teachers will lower the final grade in a class for each absence beyond the equivalent of one week of class (three absences for classes meeting three times a week, two absences for classes meeting twice a week, and one absence during winter term or a summer session) as indicated in the course syllabus. An exception may exist for a student who misses more than a week of classes for a sanctioned university activity, such as presenting research at a national forum, class travel or university athletic travel. Students participating in such events must submit a written request in advance to the professor.

Coursework: If students miss a class because of illness, participation in a university-sponsored activity, job interview or other causes, they have missed valuable content and engaged learning. In this sense, excused and unexcused absences are no different. To ensure that students avoid gaps in the progression of a course, professors may assign additional work. For example, a professor may require a student to write a 400-word summary of material covered in a missed class session or complete an additional lab assignment that demonstrates comprehension of material covered.

Tests and Examinations: If students miss a quiz, test or examination they must submit a written request for a makeup to the professor. Students who miss a final examination must secure permission for a makeup from the department chair. As indicated in the Elon University Faculty Handbook, “students are not guaranteed permission to make up examinations and have no guarantees about the impact of the absence on their final grade for the course.”

Assignments: Professionals meet deadlines. All assignments should be submitted on time, and they are due on the assigned date, even if the student is absent from class. A teacher may choose not to accept late work or to lower a grade by one letter for each weekday it is late.