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University Counseling Center

The Absent/Disappeared From Class Student

You may notice a student that has been missing/absent from class and has not made contact with you or a student who is missing significant work or assignments.

What You Can Do:

  • Initiate contact with the student: Get in touch with Academic Support or his/her advisor.
  • Share observations / facts: “I noticed you missed X# of classes” or “I haven’t seen or heard from you in 3 weeks.”
  • Share concern: “Sorry you are having difficulties.”
  • Offer to talk: “Would you like to talk.”
  • Be clear and direct about your expectations and the consequences for not meeting expectations
  • Be open/listen to the students’ perspective about why they missed class or assignments.
  • Ask how the student believes he/she can better meet expectations for attendance or work.
  • Find out how he/she is doing in other classes.


  • Disregard/invalidate the students feelings.
  • Minimize concerns.
  • Feel pulled to change expectations and make accommodations immediately. It’s ok to say “I’ll consider an alternative.”
  • Lecture/scold: “You know you really should come to class.”
  • Use scare tactics, threats/bribes: “If you don’t come to class you might fail” or “I might fail you” said in a threatening way.

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