Generally, Student Health Services (SHS) does not provide notes for brief absences due to illness or injury. If students must miss class, they are strongly advised to communicate directly with their faculty in a timely manner to determine how they can make up work or get course notes. SHS encourages personal responsibility and accountability for class attendance decisions.
After a visit to Student Health Services, students will receive a secure message to their Patient Portal that confirms that they were seen in our office. Students also have access to a visit summary that has further information on their current diagnosis and discharge instructions from their provider. Either of these documents may serve as proof of their encounter at the health center. Please note that this document is not an excuse for missed classes and should not necessarily imply that an absence from class was recommended by health care staff.
Extenuating circumstances may arise where students are not able to attend class for several consecutive days (i.e for prolonged illness or hospitalization). In these cases, a SHS provider will alert Academic Services to disseminate pertinent information to faculty. However, please note it is ultimately up to the faculty to excuse these absences. Decisions about ability to make-up classwork and assignments are made solely by the instructor.
Be advised, documentation from SHS does not exempt students from course requirements and class attendance policies. Students are encouraged to communicate with faculty about how to best work around absences caused by illnesses or injuries in order to continue academic efforts and activities.
Not all illnesses require a visit to Student Health Services. Self-limited illnesses are healed by the body's immune system and can be treated at home without seeing a medical provider. If a student is feeling unwell, but is able to use self-care measures to treat their illness, they may complete a self-care note to communicate an absence with instructors, supervisors or others. For more information please see our Self-Care page.
Frequently Asked Questions
If I have documentation from SHS, will I automatically be excused for an absence from class and/or be allowed to make-up a missed assignment or test?
Not necessarily. SHS can provide documentation that you were seen in the health center, but even when there is a medical need for an absence, all students must complete course requirements and abide by course policies. Instructors may or may not take SHS documentation into consideration when determining if an absence can be excused or an assignment/test can be made-up. This is why it is very important to remain engaged with your instructor about needing to be away from class.
May I get documentation for an illness or injury that happened in the past?
Generally not. SHS can only provide documentation if a student is medically evaluated at the time of an injury or illness.
May I provide my instructor with a medical note from an off-campus medical provider?
Yes, you may provide an off-campus medical note. Instructors, however, may or may not consider a medical note when making decisions about absences.
Do I have to disclose specific medical issues to my instructor?
No. Class attendance policies are written with the understanding that there may be a need for students to miss classes due to injuries or illnesses. There should be no need to disclose personal medical information. If there is the need to validate that there is a serious medical condition requiring time away from school, SHS will provide support.
Will SHS automatically disclose specific medical issues to instructors?
No. SHS can validate the need for time away from school due to a medical condition without disclosing specific medical issues. SHS respects the privacy of students and abides by HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). SHS releases health information to faculty only with the consent of the student.