Attendance and Participation

Attendance, punctuality, and professionalism are key elements of any healthcare professional role. Unexcused absences or habitual tardiness, at lecture, laboratory, clinical/internship/practicum experiences, and other similar experiences, will not be tolerated and could result in dismissal from training and failure of the course.

Students are expected to participate in each of their courses through regular attendance at lecture, laboratory, clinical/internship/practicum training, and other similar experiences. Students are expected to meet the requirements of coursework as assigned, including completing assignments as scheduled. For courses in which some of the meetings are asynchronous, e.g., remote or blended learning, students are expected to participate in a similar manner.

While attendance itself is not used as a criterion for academic evaluations, grading is frequently based on participation in class discussion, laboratory work, performance, field experience, or other activities which may take place during class sessions. In addition, attendance is required for in-class assessments. If these areas for evaluation make class attendance essential, the student may be penalized for failure to perform satisfactorily in the required activities. Grading based on participation in class activities must be explained in the course syllabus.

In all circumstances, it remains the student’s responsibility to promptly initiate discussion about absence and arrangements for making up any missed work with each instructor. Students are encouraged to work directly with their instructor for any needed flexibility, and with the Program Chair for supplemental support as needed. Absences from class are handled between students and instructors.

Class Absence

Absences from class are handled between students and instructors (in the case of the clinical training between students and the clinical instructor or clinical preceptor). The instructor may request documentation to substantiate the reason for the absence and consider said documentation at their discretion, while maintaining a student’s right to privacy. Students are expected to provide requested documentation in a timely manner.

Advance Notification for Non-Emergency Planned Absence(s)

A student may need to schedule a planned absence from class. The student should discuss the planned absence(s) with the appropriate program representative and receive approval two weeks prior to the day(s) of absence. Table 1, Notification Policy for Non-emergency Planned Absences, offers instructions on the appropriate program representative School of Health Studies students must inform regarding the planned non-emergency absences.

  • Upon advanced notification excused absences may be granted for situations specifically addressed below.
  • For Absence Due to Religious Observance
  • Participation or attendance at events sanctioned by College and/or the School of Health Studies.
  • Academic pursuits
  • Non-emergency medical reasons (e.g., elective surgeries or treatments). 
  • Planned Absence Due to Career Services Activities 
  • For Planned Absence Due to Active Military Duty

Outside conflicts need to be avoided; for example, students must not schedule work hours or other obligations during synchronous class sessions, which could be in person or online, during clinical/internship/practicum training, or during the final assessment period. Students should not schedule leisure activities/vacations during the scheduled academic session course dates and the final assessment period. It is expected that every student will be present, on time, and prepared to participate when scheduled class sessions begin.

Table 1. Notification Policy for Non-emergency Planned Intermittent Short Absences

Course Type & Who to Notify
Program Lecture Laboratory Clinical Training (including rotation, internship, practicum)
Medical Assisting Instructor Instructor

Clinical Site, and
Practicum Coordinator, and
Submit Excused Absence Request Form and
Receive approval prior to planned absence

Failure to provide advance notification will result in the absence(s) being considered unexcused. Advance notice is not expected in cases of sudden illness or other unforeseen conflicts. Refer to the section below for non-planned absences.

Excused Absence Criteria for Non-Planned Absences

In case of an emergency, sudden illness or other unforeseen conflicts, students may request for an absence to be marked as excused absence, by filling the Excused Absence Request Form. Excused absences are granted for situations specifically addressed below. All absence requests must be accompanied by contemporaneous supporting documentation. The following criteria are recognized for granting excused absences:

  1. The student has a death in the immediate family. An announcement of the family member’s funeral arrangements may be presented as supporting documentation. 
  2. The student is admitted to a healthcare facility to receive necessary medical care. In the case of an injury or illness, a physician’s note (and/or evidence documenting such an absence) is required. The Program Chair or the Clinical Coordinator reserve the right to ask for additional supporting documentation in support of the physician’s note. Seeing a doctor does not satisfy the requirement for a medical excuse. Late presentation of a note or retroactive application may affect the determination of whether the absence is excused. 
  3. Situations beyond the control of the student and related to exceptional circumstances.  
  4. Special Circumstances
    1. Should requests for academic flexibility be made by the Student Development and Campus Life (SDCL) and the Title IX Coordinator - from the perspective of a Reporter victim or a Respondent, on behalf of a student, instructors will work with the student and the SDCL as necessary/appropriate to determine the type of flexibility/accommodation the student may benefit from.

Table 2. Notification Policy for Emergency Intermittent Short Absences

Course Type & Who to Notify
Program Lecture Laboratory Clinical Training (including rotation, internship, practicum)
Medical Assisting Instructor Instructor

Clinical Site, and
Practicum Coordinator, and
Submit Excused Absence Request Form

Attendance and Participation During Clinical Training

Excused Absence

Due to the very specific nature of the student learning goals and outcomes, the number of absences during laboratory and clinical training is limited even when the absences may fall under the excused absence criteria. The table below shows the number of permissible excused absences for each clinical/internship/practicum course.

Course Program Total Clinical Hours Excused Absences Make-up Needed
MED2280 MA 165 2 Yes

Tardiness (Applies to Both Laboratory and Clinical Training)

Repeated tardiness is considered improper professional behavior and may result in disciplinary action, including dismissal from the clinical sites, failure of this course, and/or dismissal from the program Clinical or laboratory tardiness is defined as arriving after the designated start time of the clinical or laboratory experience. A student who anticipates being late to clinical or laboratory, must directly contact the College* representative as instructed (e.g., the clinical or laboratory instructor, the clinical site monitor, and/or the clinical coordinator), or a representative of the clinical site (students to follow instructions provided by the clinical coordinator). Student must inform (report to) the College representative (e.g., faculty, or the site monitor) or the Clinical facility representative as soon as they arrive at the clinical site.

  • The first tardy occurrence will result in a verbal warning and a note will be placed on the student’s record.
  • A second tardy occurrence will result in a written warning, student will be sent home, and an absence will be recorded for the component of the course (laboratory or clinical experience).
  • A third tardy occurrence will result in the student dismissal from the clinical site** and course failure***.

*Note: Students must inform the instructor of College Representative. Communicating being late to another student is not permitted.

**Note for Medical Assisting Practicum:  If a student is dismissed from the practicum site for cause, Berkeley College is not obligated to place the student at another Practicum site. Therefore, the student will be subject to dismissal from the Practicum training and course failure. In such cases, student’s graduation will be delayed.

***A course failure may result in program dismissal based on the maximum number of course failures allowed for the program.

Unexcused Absence

As stated in prior sections of the policy, students are required to inform representatives of the School of Health Studies (faculty, or the Clinical Coordinator, and/or the Program Chair) that they will not be at the clinical site. For specific programs students must notify the clinical facility as well. Instances when the student does not attend a clinical training day and fails to inform the College representative and/or the Clinical site representative (a.k.a. No Call, No Show) will result in dismissal from clinical training and course failure.

Extenuating circumstances that impede the student’ to provide the required notification will be evaluated by the Program Chair. It is the student’s responsibility to provide documentation that clearly demonstrates that the student could not provide the mandatory notification on-time.