New health center policy does not excuse student absences


Emily Neria

The health center will no longer provide excuse notes for absences of three days or less

The WellCat Health Center has adopted a policy that no longer provides excuse notes for medical absences that span three consecutive days or less. 

According to the WellCat’s Clinic Administrator Jill Cannaday, the policy is intended to streamline access to the health center for students who are in need of medical assistance. Prior to the recent change, 20% of students on the WellCat schedule had already treated their illness at home but needed some form of documentation for class. 

“We were seeing students who were no longer too sick to be in class and didn’t need medical intervention, just paperwork,” Cannaday said.

In 2010, The American College Health Association recommended campuses assume a “no excuse note” policy for this very reason. 

This change to the health center’s policy is accompanied by discussion between the health center, university faculty, and Vice President of Academic Affairs Debra Larson. The goal of these conversations is to universalize a tolerance for three days of unexcused absences in all university classes. 

“We are hoping that allowing students to miss up to three days without needing an excuse note will actually decrease the stress and added burden of obtaining an excuse note,” Cannaday said. 

The clinic will still provide documentation for students expected to miss more than three consecutive days of class due to a prolonged illness.

Emily Neria can be reached at [email protected] or on twitter @NeriaEmily.