Limited Attendance Adjustments (LAA) may be appropriate for students who have a chronic physical or mental condition/disability with brief, periodic flare-ups that are unpredictable and legitimately impact course attendance on occasion. LAA provides limited flexibility to allow for equivalent alternative opportunities and removes point penalties. Students remain accountable for all academic activities (assignments, assessments, required readings, etc.) and evaluation standards specified on the syllabus.
LAA is not designed to comprehensively address or fully support a student with on-going absences, or who is unable to participate for extended periods of time. If a student has excessive absences, even with an approved LAA which impacts the student’s ability to complete essential course activities and requirements, the student should explore options such as a withdrawal, or request an incomplete directly with faculty. LAA is not applicable for seasonal illness (i.e. flu, mono), COVID, temporary impairments, conditions not on record with Support Services, or non-disability-related absences are not subject to limited attendance adjustments.
In most cases, class attendance is critical to a student’s mastery of the knowledge and skills that are taught in a specific course and students are expected to follow the attendance policy established by the instructor in each class. In general, courses that involve significant interaction, and in-class participation, or whose content mastery is reliant on attendance may limit what adjustment options are available. Examples of these courses may include labs, practicums, internships, foreign language courses, math, or public speaking and communications courses. It is not reasonable for the College to fundamentally alter, waive, or lower essential course requirements, academic standards, or educational experiences/outcomes when attempting to accommodate course absences.
Non-Disability Related Absences
LAA is for disability-related absences only that have been approved through the Support Services office and are different from absences due to acute events such as surgeries, hospitalizations, or the death of an immediate family member. For non-disability-related absences, refer to the A-B Tech Course Catalog on Attendance Policy and the specific course syllabus requirements.
How LAA Works
If a student is eligible for LAA per their Disability Support Services accommodation letter, the following steps are to determine essential attendance, and alternative options and document the course-specific Limited Attendance Adjustment (LAA) plan.
- The student discusses their Accommodation Letter which verifies eligibility for LAA with faculty prior to use of approved accommodations.
- Upon request from Support Services, faculty completes an LAA course-specific plan with Support Services staff.
- Faculty-approved LAA course-specific plans are issued to the student and saved on file at Support Services.
When Is Attendance Essential?
The Office for Civil Rights has provided the following guidelines when determining if attendance is an essential course requirement:
- Is attendance taken?
- What does the course description and syllabus say regarding attendance?
- To what extent is there classroom interaction between the instructor and students and among the students themselves?
- Do student contributions in class constitute a significant component of the learning process?
- Does the fundamental nature of the course rely upon student participation as an essential method of learning?
- To what degree does a student’s failure to attend class constitute a significant loss of the educational experience of other students in the class?
- What elements of the course are used to calculate the final course grade?
After a comprehensive examination of the essential course objectives and consideration of equivalent alternatives, the ultimate decision regarding attendance and the resulting influence absences would have on the course will be made.
A-B Tech Support Services office is available for consultation or guidance when needed.
Heather Pack, Director of Support Services, Phone: (828) 398-7141
Mindy Coleman, Support Services Advisor, Phone: (828) 398-7587