So, you missed a class? Here’s what to do next
An unexcused absence from class can be a big deal in high school. On top of missing lessons, in-class assignments, and pop quizzes (amongst other things), you might face disciplinary action, or the absence could impact your grade.
In college, things work differently. Knowing how to handle an absence in college comes down to understanding the attendance policy of each of your classes, as they might vary, and then figuring out how to stay on top of coursework if you do miss a class.
Here’re a few tips in case you need to navigate this in college.
Know the attendance policies of your classes
Each professor treats attendance differently, and they might even treat it differently depending on what class they’re teaching. Your professor will likely provide insight into their attendance policy on the first day of a class, and that policy is also likely to be outlined in the class’ syllabus. Your syllabus might even include what to do if you miss a class. It’s best to review these policies to know what to expect throughout the semester. Take note of what each professor expects in the event of your absence. If they require an email, you’ll want to send them one as soon as possible.
Beyond knowing the attendance policies of your individual classes, get familiar with any overarching attendance policies your college might have, too.
When to contact your professor if you miss a class
In most cases, contacting your professor isn’t necessary if you miss one class. However, if you’re in a class that relies heavily on attendance as part of your grade, and you were absent, it doesn’t hurt to reach out. If it’s a class that relies on attendance as a part of your grade, providing a legitimate reason for your absence, like a doctor’s note, could potentially help, too.
Not all classes make attendance a part of your grade, though, and in those cases, you should assess the kind of class you missed to decide what to do next. You likely don’t need to contact your professor if you missed a large lecture class. On the other hand, missing a smaller seminar class might warrant a quick note to your professor.
Reach out to your classmates if you miss a class
While you might not need to contact your professor if you miss a class, you should consider reaching out to a classmate or two. They can share any notes, handouts, or assignments you might’ve missed and keep you on track. Make it known that you’ll return the favor if they ever need help down the line.
Catch up on any missed work
While missing a class here and there isn’t likely to impact your grades, missing assignments absolutely will. You want to make sure that even if you miss a class here and there that you’re turning assignments in on time (this might be even more important in college than it is in high school).
If you missed an assignment or a pop quiz because you missed a class, reach out to your professor or a teaching assistant to see if there’s any way to catch up on the missed work or if there’s any way to do an extra credit assignment.
Missing a class isn’t usually as big of a deal in college as in high school. However, some professors incorporate attendance into how they grade students. If that‘s the case, go the extra mile to communicate with your professor if you miss a class.