Class attendance is obviously important for academic success, but from time to time you may need to miss a class. Sometimes it can’t be helped. Since college classes have fewer sessions than high school, missing one class means missing more work. The following strategies can help you minimize the academic impact when can’t attend a class:
- Plan in advance: Although nobody can plan to be sick, students should give their instructors advanced notice if they know they will need to miss class for something like a doctor’s appointment. This is not only respectful to the instructor, but he or she may be able to give you any handouts or assignments that you might otherwise miss. If you anticipate that class will be canceled on account of bad weather, etc., make sure you have all the materials, notes, etc. that you need to work at home. In college, “snow days” are rarely “free days”—i.e., expect that you will be responsible for all the work due on those days when school reopens.
- Talk to fellow students: Ask to borrow class notes from one or two classmates who are reliable note takers. Be sure to also ask them about any announcements or assignments the instructor made during the class you missed.
- Do the reading assignment(s) and any other homework. Take notes on any readings to be discussed in the class you missed. If you have questions on the reading or homework, seek help from your classmates. Completing the homework and coming prepared for the next session will demonstrate to your instructor that you are still dedicated to the class.