Purpose Statement

This procedure informs students, faculty and staff of which South Central College (SCC) staff that students should meet with if they experience an extended absence from classes. This procedure also explains expectations for further communication from the SCC staff person after they have met with the student.


This procedure applies to all students. All staff and faculty can be referral resources for students utilizing this procedure.


Accommodation: A change to the way something is usually done so that a person with a disability can be afforded equal opportunity.

ADA: The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a civil rights law that ensures that people with disabilities has the same rights and opportunities as other people. The ADA prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities.

Title IX: Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance.

Extended Absence: An absence from class of two weeks or longer.


Students may be absent from classes due to a variety of reasons. This procedure outlines for students, faculty, and staff what resources are available to students experiencing an extended absence. South Central College expects students and instructors to communicate regarding expectations related to any absence of less than two weeks. Regardless of the length of absence, students should contact their instructor as soon as possible.

Subpart A. Absence due to personal medical emergencies:

Students experiencing medical emergencies leading to extended absences from the college should contact Disability Services (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 507-389-7222) because students with a temporary or ongoing disability may be eligible for disability accommodations under ADA. 

  • Students should contact their instructors as close to the absence as possible, regardless of whether or not they have met with Disability Services. If instructors learn of a student absence and have not yet heard from Disability Services, the instructor should refer students to the office.
  • Disability Services staff will collect information from the student, document the reason for the absence, and contact the student’s instructors upon determining that the absence is valid. It is the responsibility of the student to provide documentation to Disability Services. Communication from Disability Services to instructors serves to validate the reason for the absence and indicate that communication between the student and each instructor is necessary.
  • Student and individual instructors will need to discuss the student’s status in each class to clarify if, given the extended absence, successful course completion is possible, or if other options-such as course withdrawal should be considered.

Example of when to contact Disability Services:

  • Medical emergencies, such as surgeries or major illnesses requiring hospitalization or extended absences from the college.

Examples of when NOT to contact Disability Services

  • Regularly scheduled medical appointments.
  • Cold, flu, communicable diseases, and pandemic outbreaks, or other short-term illnesses not requiring medical treatment.

Section 1. For any absences related to communicable diseases and pandemic outbreaks as defined by the Minnesota Department of Health or another qualifying state or health agency:

Instructors should work directly with their student to make adjustments that will allow the student to finish the term when possible. If reasonable arrangements cannot be made for the student to complete the term, faculty should consider if an incomplete is reasonable. If it is not, the faculty will refer the student to their advisor to discuss options such as withdraw or no-credit grade and the potential consequences of these options. Faculty can consult with Disability Services about reasonable adjustments.

Subpart B. Student who is absent due to Pregnancy/Childbirth

Students that anticipate or have given birth during the semester should contact the Director of the Academic Support Center at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 507-389-7339. Pregnant and parenting students have rights under Title IX to be accommodated in the classroom and to complete their coursework.  

Examples of when to contact the Director of Academic Support Center:

  • Student has been absent due to pregnancy-related sickness for more than two weeks.
  • Student is not able to fully participate in class due to pregnancy (e.g., unable to sit in chairs or access lab equipment).
  • Student anticipates giving birth during a semester when enrolled in classes.

If you learn that a student is pregnant, regardless of the circumstance, make a referral to the Director of the Academic Support Center. This will ensure that the student receives a communication about their Title IX rights.

Subpart C: Students with Family Emergencies

Students experiencing family crises and emergencies that are not related to a medical emergency involving the student, and which lead or may lead to extended absences from classes, should contact the Director of Academic Support Center This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or (507) 389-7339. The director of ASC will collect information from the student to verify the reason for the absence and notify the student’s instructors. No documentation will be sent to instructors from ASC. The information provided by the director of ASC does not mandate any action on behalf of the course instructor. The information provided will allow the course instructor to know that the absence is legitimate.

Example of when to contact the director of ASC:

  • Family emergencies or crises, such as family-related medical emergencies or a death in the family, when these will or may lead to extended absences from class.

Example of when NOT to contact the director of ASC :

  • Family vacations or other non-emergency family-related events.

Any student or instructor is welcome to consult with the Director of the Academic Support Center or the AVP of Student Affairs to gain clarity regarding these procedures.

Supplementary document: See Extended Absence Student Document for a summary of this information that can be shared with students via email, syllabus, D2L or other platforms.


No forms are necessary for students to contact the offices and or staff people outlined in this procedure. Students may be asked to fill out forms once they have contacted Disability Services, Academic Support Center, and the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs.

Date of Last Review: 4/14/2020