BELLINGHAM TECHNICAL COLLEGE
POLICY & PROCEDURES GUIDE
Student Absence for Reasons of Faith or Conscience
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INITIAL DATE OF POLICY:
Student Attendance Policy
THIS PAGE WAS LAST REVISED ON:
VP of Student Services
28B.10.039 RCW entitles college students to two days of excused absences per academic year for reasons of faith or conscience or for organized activities conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church, or religious organization. Students’ grades may not be adversely impacted by absences authorized under this policy.
Each holiday taken under this policy must be taken as a whole day, i.e. the day may not be divided into hours and taken piecemeal.
Bellingham Technical College recognizes the following State legal holidays:
New Year’s Day (January 1)
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (third Monday of January)
President’s Day (third Monday of February)
Memorial Day (last Monday of May)
Independence Day (July 4)
Labor Day (first Monday of September)
Veteran’s Day (November 11)
Thanksgiving Day (fourth Thursday of November)
Day after Thanksgiving Day (Friday immediately following the fourth Thursday of November)
Christmas Day (December 25)
Whenever a holiday falls on Sunday, the following Monday shall be considered a legal holiday. When a holiday falls on a Saturday, the preceding Friday shall be considered a legal holiday.
Bellingham Technical College requires regular attendance for students. If you have special circumstances and know you will be absent from class, you must notify your instructor prior to the absence.
1. Students must coordinate an absence with the Vice President of Student Services at least two weeks prior to the desired absence, unless the purpose of the absence was not known until later. All requests for authorized absences under this policy must be in writing and contain a concise explanation of how the requested holiday is related to a reason of faith or conscience or an organized activity conducted under the auspices of a religious denomination, church, or religious organization.
2. All absences under this policy must be approved by the Vice President of Student Services Office in advance of the absence. The college will not authorize an absence for a student after the absence occurs without compelling circumstances.
3. The Vice President of Student Services Office will provide the student with a document verifying the date of the approved absence and further instructions. In order to ensure that their absence does not negatively affect their grades, the student must comply with directions for notifying their instructors of their upcoming absence. The student is solely responsible for ensuring the documentation authorizing the absence is provided to each of the instructors whose classes or assignments will be affected by the absence.
4. After an instructor is notified by the student of an upcoming absence, the instructor will determine what adjustments, if any, will need to be made to the student’s scheduled classwork or assignments. The instructor shall inform the student of these adjustments within two days of receiving the student’s notification.
5. If the student’s desired absence date is on a day when a test was scheduled or an assignment was due, the instructor may require that the student take the test or submit the assignment before or after the regularly assigned date.
6. Regardless of an instructor’s class expectations or grading policies, absences authorized under this policy shall not adversely impact a student’s grades.
7. If a student fails to notify any of their instructors of an authorized absence (as directed by the Vice President of Student Services Office), the instructor is not obligated to make any accommodations for the student’s absence or treat the absence as authorized under this policy or the law.