The Dean of Students Office is able to work with students and families during extenuating circumstances to provide notice to faculty and academic deans when a student needs to miss class or is looking for flexibility with academic expectations. This communication is usually provided to faculty and academic deans via email following a conversation with the student.
A faculty notification from the Dean of Students Office is not required to allow for an excused absence or extension for personal or medical circumstances. We encourage students to work directly with their faculty whenever possible to discuss flexibility for extenuating circumstances.
It is important to note that the decision to adjust course expectations is held with each individual faculty member.
If a student knows they will be absent from class or unable to complete coursework, the student should email and/or speak with their faculty as soon as possible.
When the student is unable to contact the faculty member because of emergency circumstances (i.e hospitalization) or sensitive matters, the student or someone who is supporting the student should contact the Dean of Students Office at 413-545-2684 or submit a Student Support Request/Referral. The Dean of Students Office staff will determine if a faculty notification is appropriate and follow up with the student accordingly.
Information on Class Absences
Students are advised to review the University Policy on Class Absence before contacting the Dean of Students Office regarding a faculty notification for a class absence. Further, students are advised to review the course syllabus for the class regarding class absences.
Students are also advised that any decision to adjust the course requirements or excuse a student from class is at the faculty member's discretion.
Students are encouraged to obtain medical* and/or personal documentation when a class absence or exception to the stated deadlines for the course are going to be requested. Students may share this documentation with their faculty member as needed.
*Medical Excuse Notes from UHS: During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, verification of illness notes are not provided by University Health Services or by the Dean of Students Office, and should not be requested of students for acute illness. It is imperative that students with any symptoms of acute illness refrain from attending classes, for the health and safety of the campus.
Assistance working with Faculty
If a student encounters difficulty working with a faculty member regarding class absences, the student is encourage to contact their Academic Dean. The Student may also reach out to the Ombuds Office for assistance.
To view the full Class Absence Policy, please see the Academic Regulations.