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Class Absence Notes

The Health Center does NOT provide absentee notes for missed classes.

The Health Center will NOT provide students with excuses for short-term absences from class, labs, studios, exams, or deadlines due to illness, injury, or other medical appointments. In the event of a prolonged illness or injury requiring medical attention and an absence of more than three days, the Health Center can provide students appropriate documentation through the Office of Student Life.  

It is our belief that part of the student’s college experience is learning to manage life circumstances in conjunction with their academic endeavors and that they should be able to do so by direct communication with the professor, just as they would, for example, with a supervisor in the workplace.  

There is no requirement for a student to come to the Health Center if they are sick. As they are entering adulthood, many students know how to take care of themselves and we support that as part of their personal growth and development. 

The policy expectation is that the student email the professor to report the illness or absence.  At that point it becomes the professor's decision regarding the believability of their report and whether or not to excuse the absence.

If a student is sick and chooses to rest rather than visit the Health Center, then later comes here to ask for a note for a professor, we have no way of knowing with any more certainty than the professor whether that student has actually been ill. In these situations, the decision is no longer a medical one, but an issue of trust.  Since a professor sees the student regularly and the health center staff much less frequently, it makes more sense for the professor to accept or deny the request for an excused absence.

Most jobs that our students will take in the future will not require a doctor's note for a single sick day. We believe that it does not contribute to the students' growth and maturity to provide medical notices for missed classes, especially when we have not treated them.

 The policy exists in order to encourage the learning of personal responsibility, accountability to others and the development of strong and trusting relationships, all important facets of the Gordon community and of becoming a responsible adult.  

The Health Center staff encourages students to make responsible decisions with regard to illness and class attendance. Students are to be aware of the attendance policy for EACH class and should contact the professor directly by email to inform and to request direction to complete missed work. Faculty and academic departments are responsible for decisions regarding the impact of absences on student grades, as well as any arrangements for making up work.

The HC cannot disclose if a student has been seen. The HC will not release medical records to faculty, only to students. This policy reflects the confidentiality and privacy rights afforded Gordon College students.