Best Practices: Apprenticeship School Attendance Policies

February 10, 2016

Best Practices: Apprenticeship School Attendance Policies

While it varies by state and/or locality, apprentices typically are required to attend 144-156 hours of related instruction per year of apprenticeship to meet DOL standards.Late Clock

Attendance policies are a must for an apprenticeship school to help apprentices ensure they have met the requirements to progress to the next year. Best practices include offering make-up sessions, adding extra classes into each semester for emergencies, and adding paid alternatives for make-up sessions beyond the normal course.

Here are some sample attendance policies to consider for your program.

  • Mechanical Skills, Indianapolis, Ind.: An absence is when a student fails to attend class or is more than 30 minutes late to a class. Each student is allowed four (4) absences per school year, but not more than 3 in one semester. There may be a one-time make-up class provided. If no attempt is made to schedule this make-up class, the fifth absence will be cause for termination. In all other cases, the 5th absence will be cause for termination from the program. The make-up class must be scheduled with your regular instructor.

  • Cincinnati Master Plumbers Association, Cincinnati, Ohio: Students may have two (2) absences for the year. Four (4) extra nights built into the program with two (2) intended for emergencies or weather-related cancellations. If the two (2) emergency/weather-related cancellations are exceeded, make-up nights will be added. The program also offers two (2) make-up nights at the end of the year for students who exceed the allotted absences; however, students are required to pay a fee to attend these sessions. Code is usually the topic of instruction at make-up sessions since students of all levels are the in the same session. Students missing more than they can make up must add a quarter to the end of their year of apprenticeship; typically they are put in a code class for that make-up.

  • Philadelphia Suburban PHCC, Philadelphia, Penn.: Students are allowed a total of four (4) absences per year. After four absences, they will be unable to meet the DOL mandate of 144 classroom hours per year. Students missing a fifth class are required to repeat that year of instruction.
  • PHCC of the Greater Sacramento Area, Sacramento, Cal.: Students are required to make up all missed classes, whether excused or unexcused, at the school’s discretion. Excused absences are defined as sickness or death in the family and require a written letter from the apprentice to the school within 10 working days from the date of absence. Absence for sickness requires a doctor’s note. Determination of whether an absence is excused is made by the school.

    If the apprentice misses class, the apprentice must contact the training facility via phone prior to the class to be missed stating the reason for the absence in addition to a written letter explaining why class was missed. Absences are entered into the school’s absences log.

    Three (3) tardies is considered a full absence from class. Tardy is defined as not being in the proper class within fifteen (15) minutes of the designated start time. A tardy becomes an absence if the apprentice is not in class after break. Any apprentice who fails to return from break or who leaves class on his/her own at any time during class will be marked absent for the entire class period. A letter of explanation will be reviewed by the school for consideration.

    All tardies and absences are counted during the school semester in which they occur and do not carry over from one semester to the next.

    It is the responsibility of the apprentice to make up all sessions and work missed due to absenteeism, to the satisfaction of the school.

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