View Full Version : Leaving in 11 days and missing college classes

09-07-2008, 01:05 AM
I am leaving in 11 days for our annual disney world trip. I have come across a dilemma. I am first and foremost a mom and family is important to me. I am also a college student. Up until 2 weeks ago I was at another college and was comfortable with the idea of going to wdw during classes. Due to certain circumstances I ended up transferring to a new school in the last two weeks. A new school and new professors do not help me at all in this situation. I told one professor who has a family so she was very understanding and willing to work with me. My big dilemma is my professor for my two other classes. His attendance policy states that if I miss class I can make up the work only if there is a reasonable excuse for me missing the class. I have no problem with working ahead because I have already started, but my dilemma is there is a test the week that we are gone. My husband says to just lie to the guy, but he seems nice and I really do not believe it would be right to lie. This man does have children of his own but he seems like a stickler when it comes down to attendance. I need to tell him by tuesday that I will missing his two classes for two days. I just do not know how. I thought of just saying that I am going out of town to take care of a personal family matter, but if he asks what that personal family matter is I am not sure it would be wise to say I am going to miss your test because I am going to visit with mickey. So I am a little stressed because I carry good grades and this move was not in the picture when i made my ressies. Anyone have any advice at all?

09-07-2008, 07:17 AM
Don't lie. Simply tell him that you have a prearranged and paid for family vacation. If it goes farther than that, explain to him the situation that caused you to change schools. Assure him that you mean no affront to him or his classes, and that you are more than willing to make up any missed exams. (If you are so inclined, you may even suggest taking the expected exam prior to your trip.)

09-07-2008, 09:51 AM
I wouldn't expect him to be any more lenient on you than on a younger student missing class to go away for the weekend with a boyfriend. You're choosing one commitment over another, understandable, but also understandable that there are consequences.

Some professors work with you and let you make things up or do work in advance. Others will say that's life and expect you to follow the policy. You could lie, if you're comfortable with that. You could tell him the truth and hope it falls under his acceptance as a reasonable excuse. Otherwise, he could very well fail you for the time you missed, and if that is his policy, I don't think he would be wrong to do so.

09-07-2008, 10:10 AM
Last fall, we scheduled a family trip in mid-December, starting a few days after my grad school classes were over. Then, just before school started, they changed the schedule and my trip fell on the last week of classes.

I explained to the prof as soon as I learned what had happened (second class), and asked if there was a compromise. I took work to WDW with me and completed my final online (he emailed it to me - essay questions). Of course, it was critical that I got family support - and it helped that I'm used to functioning on less sleep than the rest of the gang. I did the work while doing laundry (everyone else went swimming) and on the balcony while everyone else was asleep.

I'd definitely be prepared in your case to take a W in the class, and then hope for the best. The professor is perfectly within his rights to drop you from the class. I would NOT lie - chances are you may have this guy again and you certainly don't want to risk his good opinion of you. Also, don't wait until class on Tuesday - you need to communicate with him asap. Do you have an email address or phone number?

Good luck, and from someone who completed both undergrad and graduate degrees while working fulltime and being a wife and mom, I salute your commitment to education - you are setting a wonderful example for your kids!

09-07-2008, 12:39 PM
Check your syllabus for each class.

At my college (master's degree), we have 12 class sessions for each class (3 hours/session). We are allowed to miss 1 session without penalty. If we miss 2 sessions, the professor will give us a make-up assignment in addition to the class requirements. If we miss 3 sessions, we may be forced to drop the class.

Just talk to the professor the same way you spoke to us. Explain that you had this trip planned before the situation to change schools came up. You feel bad that you are missing two sessions together so early in the term, but you cannot change your plans and family is important to you. Explain that you understand the policy and ask how you can work within it to complete the work in a timely manner. Thank him for his understanding.

Disney Doll
09-08-2008, 02:36 PM
Be honest. Sadly many schools are not good at meeting the needs of adult students. Your professor should be able to let you know what your options are. I also agree that you should talk to the professor ASAP. Is there a free drop period? Usually the free drop period is the perfect time to address any scheduling conflicts. That way if you and the professor cannot come to an agreement you can drop without penalty. In the worst case you could take a "W", but that usually means loosing the money. Good luck!

09-08-2008, 03:48 PM
I don't have a lot to add to the conversation here that hasn't already been said other than to say that honesty truly is the best policy. I was in Human Resources for 15 years which basically put me in the same position as your professor. I can tell you that I was ALWAYS much more likely to work with someone as far as I could when they told me the truth. Unfortunately though there were times when I ran into some immovable situation or policy that I couldn't do anything to change. My point is that even if your professor doesn't give you the answer you like don't take it out on them because there may be reasons you are not aware that cause them to be rigid.

As others have also already said the sooner you can contact your professor the better. Lastly, do take a few minutes before you contact your professor to make sure you have all your information clear in your mind such as, money that you can't get back, there is something special you are going for, you will do work in advance, you will take your test on line, etc. Again, as the person listening to your story I was always more comfortable when I knew that the person making the request had thought this through and they had no other option and were not expecting me to make all the suggestions on how to fix the situation, etc.

Good luck!!

And if it appears that this trip may somehow negatively impact your degree and your future the best option may be to bail on the trip this year and reschedule for next year. I know this not the option you or any of us want to hear but you have to weigh the long term impact vs. the short term gain.

09-08-2008, 07:22 PM
Contact the teacher ASAP and explain the situation. However, be prepared to be told that missing for a vacation would result in an F for any classwork that would be missed. Whatever you do, don't lie. That would likely result in an F for the course.

09-08-2008, 09:52 PM
Thank you everyone. I plan on talking to him tomorrow in person. I would much rather tell him face to face than over email or a phone call. I do not plan on lying about it at all. It was a suggestion made by my dh, which was a bad one. I am just hoping it goes smoothly. I have a good feeling that it will. I do not expect my professors to make special exceptions for me being a non traditional student, but i do appreciate an understanding of my different situation. Most professors have been so far. The syllabus for each of the classes say that if I miss more than 2 days the entire semester then i get points deducted on my final grade. I never normally miss more than one or two days a semster for a class that is two days a week. So i will be within that.

At this point I am in need of a vacation badly. My move to another school has caused drama at the last school and it has been a bad situation. So, I am very much looking forward to a break in the happiest place on earth.

09-08-2008, 09:57 PM
I would just be honest. I've found that teachers act stricter than they really are about attendance because they know if they don't, many will take advantage of them. I would just say that the trip has been booked for a long time but that you take full responsibility for finishing work prior to leaving and will take the test whenever they see fit (before/after).

09-09-2008, 09:53 AM
. . . Anyone have any advice at all? . . .

Change colleges.

09-09-2008, 10:20 AM
At this point I am in need of a vacation badly. My move to another school has caused drama at the last school and it has been a bad situation. So, I am very much looking forward to a break in the happiest place on earth.

Best wishes that it goes well. I think he'll understand if you explain to him just as you explained here. You're not really missing a whole lot, and you're obviously willing to work hard to make up for lost time. I hope you and your family have a wonderful vacation.

09-10-2008, 01:28 AM
Change colleges.

Haha not funny

Anyways... I went in today said what I said and he was alright with it. It actually ended up that one of those days that i was going to be gone he was going to cancel class anyways due to an important meeting. So I really lucked out.

Anyways thanks. I always like to hear from other perspectives. Thanks again.

09-11-2008, 07:43 AM
Have a Magical Vacation! :tink:

09-11-2008, 04:36 PM
glad that things worked out for you.
My DS just started college this week and on the first day told his Prof. that he would miss one class during the 24-26th. They were all fine with it and said they appreciated his honesty and telling them right up front. He also told them that he would email them a few days before he was going to miss class as a reminder.
We booked this trip awhile ago when things were REALLY bad for him at high school.
His schools policy is "you miss 3 classes and you are dropped."!
His school has trimesters though so he just can't miss any classes from now until thanksgiving. I told him to drag his butt to school if he gets sick. Another prof there told us that as long as he shows up they will mark him present and send him home IF he is REALLY sick.!
Have a great time

09-12-2008, 03:31 PM
You just transferred there and already had a trip scheduled, so I would hope the professor would be understanding. If not, go to the department head or dean and talk to them about it. Give the professor a chance, though.

09-12-2008, 11:05 PM
I am so glad that things worked out and I hope you have a magical vacation.