Rock Valley College

Chapter 20: Flexibility with Attendance & Assignments

Students are expected and encouraged to attend class and meet deadlines for assignments and tests. Most course syllabi clearly outline the expected course assignments/exams and subsequent due dates for each. Students should regularly reference these dates and appropriately manage their time to ensure that work is completed by the expected due date(s).

Faculty have the right to establish attendance and late work policies. However, if a student has a disability with random or cyclical acute episodes that may occasionally impact their ability to meet a deadline, take an exam at the scheduled time, and/or attend class, flexibility with attendance and/or deadlines may be considered an appropriate accommodation. The use of these accommodations must always be directly linked to the student’s disability. 

Students requiring extensions for all/most assignments should explore options such as a Reduced Course Load. Planning, preparing work, and meeting deadlines is part of the expectation for college-level students. Unexpected illness or injury, recent diagnosis, onset or change in condition may warrant a withdrawal from a course, or when indicated, an incomplete grade.

The process for requesting the FLEX accommodation is through Disability Support Services (DSS). All requests are considered individually and on a course-by-course and semester-by-semester basis.  It is important to note that FLEX is approved very sparingly and is typically reserved only for extenuating circumstances in which no other resources or strategies are appropriate or effective.

DSS will consult with instructors in situations where there is a concern. The goal will be to understand the role attendance plays in the design of the course, as well as the impact or role timing of assignments and exams play in the interactive or participatory nature of the course.

If the Flexibility with Attendance & Deadlines accommodation is determined to be reasonable, an Agreement Form will be completed which will clearly specify how, and to what extent, flexibility may be applied to the class in question.


1. The student schedules a meeting with the Accommodations Specialist to discuss Flexibility with Attendance and Deadlines. Appointments can be scheduled by calling (815) 921-2371.

2. The Accommodations Specialist, following an interactive conversation with the student, determines whether or not the request is appropriate. All determinations (whether the request was approved or denied) are final and will be communicated to the student via E-mail within two (2) business days.

In situations where the request is denied, the Accommodations Specialist will discuss with the student other resources and strategies for addressing the student’s academic concerns. 

3. The Accommodations Specialist will send a Flexibility with Attendance & Deadlines Agreement Form to the faculty member.  The faculty member must return the completed agreement via e-mail to DSS within 3 business days of receiving the form. Professors should not provide the form directly to the student.

4. The Accommodations Specialist will review the completed form prior to E-mailing the form to the student for their review.  The student must contact the Accommodations Specialist within 3 business days of receiving the form with any questions or concerns. DSS will assist with resolving any issues collaboratively between the instructor and student. 

5. The form is considered active three business days from the date it was sent to the student.

6. The student and the faculty member will be E-mailed a final copy of the agreement form. 

Important Information

  • This accommodation is not a blanket reason to miss class.  Students are responsible for completing all required coursework and planning for how he/she will address any missed information.
  • Students are expected to contact instructors as soon as possible when flexibility is needed.
  • Absences that are not related to the effects of a disability are not included in this accommodation. The student is responsible for following the faculty member’s syllabus regarding absences due to non-disability related issues.
  • When deadlines are delayed, the potential for “snowballing” exists. In some cases an incomplete or withdrawal may be necessary.
  • Failure to request this accommodation within 24 hours of a deadline will void the ability to use the accommodation.
  • An accommodation in attendance is not reasonable if regular attendance is essential to the course and/or curriculum. Taking online courses may be appropriate in these situations.
  • Not every course component can be provided an extension, therefore it is possible that some course requirements may receive flexibility while others do not.

Any questions or concerns regarding this procedure should be addressed with the Disability Support Services office as soon as possible: (815) 921-2371.