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Indiana University Northwest

Office of Marketing and Communications

IU Northwest to enforce new attendance and course commitment policy

Students who do not attend class or turn in assignments may be subject to administrative withdrawal


Media Contact

Emily Banas
Office of Marketing and Communications

Erika Rose
Office of Marketing and Communications

Students who are enrolled in classes at Indiana University Northwest beginning in the Fall 2012 semester may see some additional directives on their class syllabi pertaining to attendance and course commitment.

In an effort to encourage better attendance and participation, and to tighten standards pertaining to class withdrawals, IU Northwest has adopted a policy that enables a course instructor to seek administrative withdrawal of students who do not attend the first week of classes, or who do not attend or actively participate within the first four weeks, without having made prior arrangements with the instructor.

To enforce the policy, instructors must request to have their classes added to the list of courses that are adhering to the policy prior to the start of the semester, and they must include the following statement on their class syllabus:

“As a student in this course, you are expected to attend scheduled class meetings and actively participate in all class activities. Students who miss the first week of the semester, or who do not attend 50 percent of the scheduled class meetings before the end of the fourth week of the semester, may be subject to administrative withdrawal. Regardless of attendance, students who do not actively participate in this class by not submitting a majority of their assignments by the posted due date are subject to administrative withdrawal. Students who are administratively withdrawn from this class after the fourth week will not be eligible for a tuition refund. Administrative withdrawals may have an impact on the student’s financial aid awards and visa status.”

The course instructors must also provide additional clarification in their class syllabi as to what they define as “active participation.” Submission of course assignments and exams can be used as the primary means of documenting attendance and active participation.

Faculty may initiate an administrative withdrawal only during two periods -- after the first week of class, or after the last class of the fourth week through the fifth week. An instructor who initiates an administrative withdrawal may rescind it within one week of the original request.

Students who enroll in courses that enforce the policy will receive an email message informing them of the additional provisions..

The student appeal process for administrative withdrawal is the same as the process for appealing a grade.

Students are advised to communicate with instructors early and often about extenuating circumstances that may briefly hinder attendance or participation in order to avoid being administratively withdrawn.

Jeff Johnston, interim registrar for IU Northwest, said the policy is intended to help ensure student success and retention, as well as to preserve the integrity of an IU degree. It has also been implemented to ensure good stewardship in awarding financial aid, he said.  

A key point for students to note is that, under the new policy, if they are administratively withdrawn after the refund period, they will not be eligible for a tuition refund.

Johnston, who also serves in the registrar position at IU South Bend, said IUSB implemented this policy for the Fall 2011 semester with much success. He expects the list of courses that follow the policy will increase in subsequent semesters. Traditionally, this policy is enforced for lower-level and core courses.

The full text of the IU Northwest Attendance and Course Commitment Policy is available at