For Students

Instructor Notification of Student Absence

If a student knows they will be absent from class, or unable to complete coursework the students should email, and/or speak with their faculty as soon as possible.

When the student is unable to contact instructors directly because of emergency circumstances (i.e. hospitalization) or sensitive matters, the Office of the Dean of Students can send instructor notifications.

An instructor notification informs faculty of the unexpected absence due to the emergency preventing them from contacting them directly and the student’s ability to fulfill their academic responsibilities. 

In some instances, instructor notifications can inform faculty when to expect the student to return to class. Students are expected to work directly with instructors to determine how to complete any missed coursework during an absence. Lastly, each instructor has the authority to make decisions about a student’s absences and the subsequent impact on the students’ grades.

The Office of the Dean of Students is unable to require faculty to excuse absences or grant make-up work.  However, the Office of the Dean of Students encourages faculty to keep in mind that students who are approved instructor notifications are typically recovering from a crisis and benefit from appropriate consideration.


Requesting an Instructor Notification

Contact the Office of the Dean of Students at or  Be prepared to provide a detailed description of the emergency circumstances, as well as a reasonable explanation as to why the student is unable to contact their instructors directly. If available, students are also encouraged to obtain medical and/or personal documentation to share with the Office of Dean of Students.


Wellness Checks

Occasionally a parent, friend, colleague or instructor who is concerned about a student's well-being asks the Office of the Dean of Student to look into the welfare of a student. If you have reason to be concerned about the imminent health and safety of a student, please call the appropriate police department:

University Police Department (on-campus students)

(805) 756-2281

San Luis Obispo Police Department (off-campus students)

(805) 783-7867

The Office of the Dean of Students can attempt to contact the student via their University email address, and/or contact the student by phone.  The Office of the Dean of Students will use its discretion to determine appropriate outreach to the student. 

Please recognize our responsibility for student privacy and understand we will use our discretion to appropriately contact the student. If you have questions, please contact us at or and we will determine the best course of action given the circumstances.


Financial Resources for Emergency Needs

The Office of the Dean of Students provides oversight to the Cal Poly Cares emergency grant which provides limited financial assistance to currently enrolled Cal Poly students who are unable to meet immediate, essential expenses because of temporary hardship related to an unexpected situation. The grant is designated to offset a short-term financial need and is not intended to replace or supplement financial aid.

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