Attendance and Credit

Attendance, Participation, Communication

Please do not require a doctor's note for an absence or excused absence; requiring a note will create undue pressure on students to come to class even if they have symptoms. It will also place more strain on Student Health and Counseling Services (SHAC). SHAC is the response site for all main campus student illness and for student symptom screening. That is, if a student reports symptoms in response to the daily covidscreen email and/or self-reports a COVID-19 positive test, or seeks medical advice or care, SHAC provides follow up and medical care. 

Best practices for protecting the UNM community in Spring 2021 through attendance, participation and communication procedures:

  • evaluate students on their completion and understanding of course material, rather than on physical presence in the face-to-face component of a class and days of attendance; 
  • retain a record of who attended face-to-face meetings of class on specific dates; in the event of a possible exposure to your class, this will speed up the process of identifying who should receive rapid intervention testing. See, "If a student tests positive" for more information. Note: UNM did not have any documented cases of COVID-19 transmission in a classroom in Fall 2020.
  • remain in close communication with students via e-mail (or e-mail) and UNMLearn (or another learning management system selected for your course);
  • be prepared to provide alternative ways for completing time-sensitive graded course assignments to students.  Many of our students are experiencing significant life challenges, including possible positive COVID-19 diagnosis, diagnosis of a family member, loss of work or income, absence of childcare, food insecurity, lack of access to reliable internet, isolation, depression or anxiety.
  • if you are concerned about a student's health, be supportive, provide them with information about how to contact SHAC at tel: 505-277-3136, and remind them that they will not be penalized for a health-related absence from class and that you do not require a doctor's note.


During the first three weeks of any semester, students may switch their grading mode to CR/NC. However, many pre-requisites and requirements for the major or for a college must be taken for a letter grade, so students should consult with their advisor to make sure that a switch in grade mode will not affect their progress toward degree. In Spring 2020, the U.S. Department of Education and the State of New Mexico Higher Education Department provided a one-time grace period allowing students to take courses on a CR/NC basis without implications for financial aid eligibility.  This grace period has not been extended to Fall 2020 or Spring 2021.  If UNM creates a comprehensive semester-long CR/NC option similar to the one offered in Spring 2020, UNM might place the many students who rely on financial aid at risk by seeming to suggest that there are no financial and enrollment consequences to switching to CR/NC.For Pros and Cons of switching to CR/NC, see