FC(LEGAL) - ATTENDANCE
Each institution of higher education, including each college district, shall develop and include in its official bulletins, catalogs, and other appropriate publications a statement regarding its policies and procedures for all excused absences. 19 TAC 4.4(b)
Religious Holy Days
A "religious holy day" means a holy day observed by a religion whose places of worship are exempt from property taxation under Tax Code 11.20.
An institution of higher education, including a college district, shall excuse a student from attending classes or other required activities, including examinations, for the observance of a religious holy day, including travel for that purpose. A student whose absence is excused under this section may not be penalized for that absence and shall be allowed to take an examination or complete an assignment within a reasonable time after the absence.
Policies and procedures for absences due to religious holy days shall be consistent with (or no more arduous than) the institution's policies and procedures relating to other excused absences.
If a student and an instructor disagree about the nature of the absence being for the observance of a religious holy day as defined above, or if there is a similar disagreement about whether the student has been given a reasonable time to complete any missed assignments or examinations, either the student or the instructor may request a ruling from the chief executive officer of the institution or his or her designee. The student and the instructor shall abide by the decision of the chief executive officer or his or her designee.
A student who is excused under this section may not be penalized for the absence, but the instructor may appropriately respond if the student fails to satisfactorily complete the assignment or examination.
Education Code 51.911; 19 TAC 4.4, 9.24
This section applies only if a student enrolled in an institution of higher education, including a college district, fails to attend classes or engage in other required activities because the student is called to active military service that is of a reasonably brief duration, as determined by rule adopted by the Coordinating Board, and the student chooses not to withdraw as authorized by Education Code 54.006(f). [See EGA(LEGAL)] Education Code 51.9111(b)
Active Military Service
"Active military service" includes active service in the Armed Forces of the United States or in the National Guard or the Texas State Guard. Education Code 51.9111(a)(2); 19 TAC 4.3(1)
Excused Absence for Active Military Service
Upon notice from a student, an institution of higher education shall excuse a student from attending classes or engaging in other required activities, including examinations, in order for the student to participate in active military service to which the student is called, including travel associated with the service. A student whose absence is excused may not be penalized for that absence and shall be allowed to complete an assignment or take an examination from which the student is excused within a reasonable time after the absence. An instructor may appropriately respond if the student fails to satisfactorily complete the assignment or examination within a reasonable time after the absence. Education Code 51.9111(c); 19 TAC 4.8(a)–(b)
Policies and Procedures
Each institution shall adopt a policy that includes:
- The retention of a student's coursework completed during the portion of the course prior to the student being called to active military service;
- The course syllabus or other instructional plan, so that the student will be able to complete the course without prejudice and under the same course requirements that were in effect when the student enrolled in the course;
- A definition of a reasonable time after the absence for the completion of assignments and examinations;
- Procedures for failure of a student to satisfactorily complete the assignment or examination within a reasonable time after the absence; and
- A dispute resolution process regarding the policy.
Institutions are directed to develop and publish policies and procedures to ensure that students enrolled in distance learning, self-paced, correspondence, and other asynchronous courses receive equivalent consideration for the purposes of determining acceptable duration of excused absences and time limits for the completion of coursework following an excused absence under this section.
19 TAC 4.8(c), (e)
The maximum period for which a student may be excused under this section shall be no more than 25 percent of the total number of class meetings or the contact hour equivalent, not including the final examination period, for the specific course or courses in which the student is currently enrolled at the beginning of the period of active military service. Education Code 51.9111(d); 19 TAC 4.8(d)
Notification to SEVIS
A public institution of higher education, including a college district, that is certified by the U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security to enroll a foreign student admitted into the United States under a nonimmigrant F or M visa shall promptly notify the federal Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) or a successor program if:
- A student enrolled under an F or M visa withdraws from the institution or withdraws from all courses in which the student is enrolled; or
- The institution dismisses a student enrolled under an F or M visa for nonattendance or takes any other official administrative action in regard to the student as a result of the student's nonattendance.
Education Code 51.9091