For a professor to mark a student's absence as excused, the professor typically requires the student to provide proof, such as an obituary when a relative passes or a doctor's note if they feel sick. However, not everyone will be able to receive a note for their ailment, either due to not having access to a doctor or for their issue not meeting the requirements for one. Therefore, students should not be required to give a doctor's note to their professor for their absence to be excused.

Doctor's Note

Doctor's note with various school supplies surrounding it

Some students lack access to a physician. While UNC Charlotte requires students to have health insurance, many students' health care providers are in their hometown, not Charlotte. In addition, based on a student's schedule or how ill they are, they may not be able to attend an appointment. While we have medical resources on campus, they cannot help students get excused from class. According to the Student Health Center's website, the center "does not provide class excuse letters for routine illnesses or injuries."

Furthermore, requiring students to give a doctor's note when they do not feel they can come to class invalidates mental health issues. Often, you will not receive a note from a general physician for needing a day to take care of your mental health. Usually, receiving a note from your doctor requires an actual appointment with them, which is not always the case when someone is experiencing a mental health crisis. Some individuals who struggle with depression, anxiety, or other mental health issues are prone to feeling depressed on occasion and consequently cannot attend class when that happens. Mental illness is not less significant than physical illness.

Moreover, when someone is ill, their focus should be on healing themselves so they can return to their best self as soon as possible. This is the fastest way for a student to return to the classroom. Adding extra stressors such as reaching out to all of their professors immediately and having to contact their physician would only slow things down for them.

Many professors necessitate a doctor's note. They want to verify that students are not skipping class because they would rather do something else. However, a professor needs to trust their students the same way students trust their professors. Leniency can be a virtue in this case. If a student consistently does not attend many class periods, that may be cause for concern and worth investigating. But before that becomes the case, it would be beneficial for professors to trust their students to be responsible. As college students, we pay to attend school and pursue our desired majors and career paths. Many students value their education and want to make the most of their time here, including attending class to learn the material and earn good grades.

All things considered, students should not be required to provide their professor with a doctor's note to qualify their absence as excused. Instead, their priority when they are sick should be to focus on their healing. As long as not attending class is not a consistent issue for a student, professors should be able to trust them to monitor their responsibilities and health.