What if ... ? (absences, holidays, missing homework, snow days, and course drops)

Policies to Know

  • Absences: Students are graded on attendance. If you are ill, have a job or graduate school interview, a religious holiday, or some other school-sponsored activity, you can be excused from the session so that you are not penalized for missing a session. A student who needs an excused absence should e-mail the FCCSWL staff AND his/her conversation partner. A student who misses a session will not get a makeup session and needs to arrange to spend more time on the material on his/her own.
  • Extended absences due to health or personal emergencies:
    Students who experience serious health problems or other personal emergencies need to consult with home campus health services and/or deans. If an extended absence is necessary, the program director/associate director will work with the student and appropriate deans to determine the best course of action.
  • Schedule changes:
    If you develop a schedule conflict with your conversation session time at any time during the semester, you will no longer be guaranteed a space in the course. If there are alternate spaces available, you may request a change, but changes are not guaranteed and the opportunites to change to a different time are extremely limited. Schedule change requests should go through the program director/associate director, not through your conversation partner. Conversation partners do not organize schedules.
  • Logistical questions:
    Address questions about course logistics to the FCCSWL staff, not to your conversation partner. FCCSWL language courses each have a staff member assigned as the course organizer for the course. The course organizer for all Spoken Arabic courses is Theo Hull. They are the person to contact about issues such as difficulties purchasing or accessing materials, scheduling problems, evaluation scheduling, and questions about meeting course requirements. They can be contacted at fcmlp2@hfa.umass.edu or 413-542-5264.
  • Snow emergencies and snow days:
    Winter snow emergencies occasionally cause delays and cancellations of Five College bus service, early closings of campuses, or snow days being declared on one or more campuses. Because we do not want any students or mentors to get stranded away from their home campus, we will generally cancel tutorials and conversation sessions if 1) the National Weather Service has issued a warning for severe winter weather for the time period of the sessions; and 2) the students and or mentors affected would have to travel to a campus other than their own. We will not normally cancel if the conversation partner and the students involved live on the same campus. If a snow day has been declared in the morning, tutorials and conversation sessions may still take place late in the late afternoon or evening if the weather has cleared and the buses are running. Cancellations due to weather will be sent by e-mail. If you have weather-related questions, e-mail your course organizer. If the office is open you may also call 413-542-5264.