Attendance Initiative


Attendance Initiative

Sam Houston State University, adhering to federally mandated guidelines has instituted the following guidelines defining the way in which student attendance data is recorded.

A. Initial Enrollment Verification (first day of class through twelfth class day)

For each class, faculty members will need to verify enrollments from the first day of class through the census date on the twelfth class day.  Around the twelfth class day, faculty will have access to a computer program which will allow identification of those students who have never attended class.  Student(s) will be contacted by the Registrar’s Office and informed about the consequences of not attending, as well as the consequences of attending the incorrect section. This will help reduce the number of students not attending at all or attending the incorrect section.  The University does not receive any state funding for students registering after the twelfth class day.
Required Action:
1)  Around the twelfth class day, use the computerized rosters to mark the students who have “never attended” class.  
2)  If there are students attending class who are not listed on the roster, please have them visit the Registrar’s Office to correct their schedules before the twelfth class day.

B. First Alert a support program of the SAM Center(twelfth class day through last day of class)

The First Alert program, established by and maintained through the SAM Center, is designed to work with faculty-identified students who appear to be performing poorly in class. SAM Center staff will contact these students who have been identified by a faculty member as needing help because of difficulties with attendance and/or grades.  Faculty can contact the SAM Center electronically or by paper to alert the Center of their concerns.
Required Action:
Use the respective class roster and identify any student(s) of concern.  Inform the SAM Center staff about the student behaviors causing concern.  This process can take place anytime throughout the semester.  Past research has suggested that early identification is associated with greater degrees of success. 

C. Title IV Funding Requirements – grading period

As an institution that participates in federal student aid programs, Sam Houston State University is required to track student attendance. According to federal guidelines, the University must return any unused financial aid funds if the student receives grades of “F” in all courses. Financial aid is disbursed at the beginning of each semester and is to be used to pay for educational expenses throughout the semester. Once the student ceases enrollment, the unearned portion is returned to the U.S. Department of Education. Students who receive all grades of “F” are considered “dropouts” by definition of the United States Department of Education. We are therefore required to determine the student’s last day of attendance or “dropout date.” Once the last day of attendance is determined, the institution and the students are required to return the unearned portions of their federal financial aid.  Title IV guidelines provide for the calculation of funds that need to be returned. Under these guidelines, the University is required to return the unused Title IV funds to the Department of Education.  Although the student account will be charged, SHSU will only recoup their funds if the students repay them.  Thus, the University is potentially liable for a large amount of money.
Required Action:
When assigning a student a grade of “F”, the online grade entry program will require the faculty member to enter the student’s last day of attendance.

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