Attendance and timeliness is a demonstration of professional behavior and conduct which impacts all members of the healthcare team, including fellow learners and patients. Any absence from the clinical rotation may have a direct impact on learner performance, the broad- spectrum clinical experience, evaluation of professionalism, overall grade, and the successful completion of the clinical rotation.

The PA learner should be involved in all activities that the preceptor would engage in during the clinical day. Learners are not exempt from on-call, evening, weekend, or holiday clinical responsibilities unless the preceptor has determined these activities are not contributory to the learners’ learning experience.

Learners are expected to attend all scheduled clinical rotation didactic conferences, lectures, workshops, and daily patient rounds. Mandatory sessions and participation requirements in the clinical phase are determined by the individual clinical rotation. Recognizing that situations arise that require learners to miss time from their lectures/clinical responsibilities, the procedures presented below will be followed when an unplanned absence is necessary.

  • In the event of an illness or emergency necessitating absence from the clinical rotation, learners must notify both the Director of Clinical Education (DCE) and the clinical preceptor by 8:00 a.m. on the day of the absence. Learners should make every effort to reach, by phone, the clinical preceptor and DCE rather than utilizing voicemail and email. Learners are required to submit appropriate documentation supporting the reason for any unplanned absence(s).
  • If a learner fails to report an absence, they will be required to make up the time missed from the clinical rotation and receive a 5-point deduction on the Clinical Preceptor End of Rotation Clinical Performance Evaluation.
  • Learners are required to submit a written request for approval of any anticipated absence, to the DCE, prior to the absence. The DCE will communicate with the learner regarding details of the anticipated absence, preceptor notification and preceptor approval. Learners should not seek approval from the preceptor without prior approval by the DCE lest this be considered an unexcused absence.
  • If a learner misses up to five (5) days on any rotation, he/she/they must discuss with the preceptor ways to make-up the missed time. If there is no opportunity for the learner to make up the missed days at that clinical site, the learner must discuss make-up time at another clinical site with the DCE. If there are no available clinical rotation site contiguous with the current cycle, the learner will receive an Incomplete-grade until the hours have been made up.
  • In the event that a learner misses more than five (5) days on any rotation for an excused absence, they will be required to repeat the rotation.
  • Learners may be required by some clinical sites to engage in clinical or educational activities during the evenings and/or weekends.
  • If the preceptor or his/her/their designee is unavailable to work with the learner for 2 or more scheduled clinical days (e.g. vacation, scheduled days off, etc.), the learner is required to notify the DCE so that an alternate assignment may be made.
  • Learners are required to return to campus at the completion of each rotation for academic and professional activities such as case presentations, End-of-Rotation Exams, OSCEs, and other designated program endeavors.


  • If a learner arrives to the clinical site 30 minutes late or leaves the clinical site 30 minutes early, he/she/they is required to notify the Clinical Preceptor and the DCE immediately.
  • If a learner accumulates lateness hours totaling 5 hours this constitutes 1 unexcused absence. The procedure and policy for unexcused absences will then be applied.

Professional Activities

  • Absence from a clinical site during a PA educational conference (e.g., AAPA, NYSSPA) for the purpose of conference attendance may be permitted with the permission of the DCE in consultation with the Program Director. The learner is still responsible for ensuring that any rotation benchmarks are not compromised by conference attendance.

Consideration will be given for activities such as elected learner representation to various committees and/or organizations. The learner must provide the documentation requested to DCE. The DCE will respond to the learner’s request in writing. Learners who miss scheduled hours are expected to acquire the same level of competency as other learners involved in the clinical rotation. Lectures, reading assignments and work load will not be re-created or offset to accommodate any absences.

Tardiness during an Examination (Didactic and Clinical Phase)

If a learner arrives late for an examination, the examination will commence upon his/her/they arrival. However, no allowances for extra time will be given. The learner who is tardy will still be required to end the examination within the same timeframe time as the rest of the class. Tardiness is considered unprofessional behavior and will result in deduction of 5 percentage points in the Professionalism portion of the course.

Missed Examinations or Assignments Due to an Absence (Didactic and Clinical Phase)

Learners are expected to be present for all scheduled examinations, written or practical, and any assignments. Assignments include but are not limited to clinical facility visits, interprofessional activities, interactive case based sessions, and professional development sessions.

  • Documented Absence
    • Only urgent medical or emergent absences will be excused on exam days. Absences where learners will miss a written test or practical examination, learners must provide a reasonable form of evidence to the Course Director and the Director of Didactic Education (didactic phase learners), or the Director of Clinical Education (clinical phase learners). The Director of Didactic Education and the Director of Clinical Education will take the evidence presented in consideration and determine if a make-up exam will be granted.
  • Unexcused Absence*
    • Unexcused absences from an examination will result in a score of 0 (zero) for the examination. Whether the learner is permitted to complete a make-up examination or assignment, is at the discretion of the Course Director. The date and time of the make-up will be determined by the Course Director. The content and format of the make-up examination or assignment may differ from that of the original examination or assignment and will be determined by the Course Director. The maximum score a learner can earn on an UNEXCUSED make-up examination is the minimum passing score for the examination (70%). If the learner is not present for the scheduled make-up, he/she/they will receive a grade of zero for that examination or assignment. The Director of Didactic Education, Director of Clinical Education and the Program Director will be informed. The learner will then be referred to the APPRC for disciplinary action which may include dismissal from the program.

*NOTE: If a learner is absent from a scheduled examination or assignment more than twice during a semester in any course(s), the learner will be referred to the APPRC (even if a make-up exam was completed successfully). Excessive absences, even for documented illness, injury, or family emergency may interfere with the learner’s ability to successfully complete a course or remain enrolled in the program.

Religious Observances

All learners, faculty, and staff at Ithaca College have a right to expect that the College will reasonably accommodate their religious observances, practices and beliefs. The College, through its faculty, will make every attempt to schedule required classes and examinations in view of customarily observed religious holidays of those religious groups or communities comprising the College's constituency.

No learner shall be compelled to attend class or sit for an examination at a day or time prohibited by his or her religious belief. Learners are expected to attend all sessions at assigned times unless granted an excused absence by the Course Director.

Learners are expected to notify the Course Directors if they intend to be absent for any lecture, Team-Based Learning (TBL), and/or clinical assessment session, in accordance with this policy, prior to the scheduled religious holiday. Learners absent for religious reasons will be given reasonable opportunities to make up any work missed. Any learner who believes that he/she/they has been treated unfairly with regard to the above should contact the Ithaca College Office of Academic Affairs.