Emergency Notification

When students are absent due to a crisis situation or unexpected illness and unable to contact individual instructors directly, the Dean of Students Office can send an Emergency Notification.

What is an Emergency Notification? An Emergency Notification is NOT:
An email notification from the Dean of Students Office to a student's instructor(s).  A copy of this message is also sent to the student. Appropriate for non-emergency situations such as car problems, minor illnesses, or a past absence
An announcement that an emergency prevents a student from contacting their instructor directly and may also prevent the student from fulfilling academic responsibilities. A request or mandate to excuse an absence; this decision belongs to the instructor.
A source of information so faculty can anticipate a student's absence and (sometimes) know when to expect the student to return to class. A requirement for students. If a student contacts instructors about an emergency directly, it is not necessary to involve the Dean of Students Office. Instructors are always welcome to share any concern about a student with the Dean of Students staff.
A written reminder that students should work directly with instructors to determine how to complete any missed coursework during an absence. Verification that the information the student has provided is true. Upon request, the student should provide necessary documentation.

Each instructor has the authority to make decisions about student absences and how an absence will affect students' grades. The Dean of Students Office is unable to require faculty to excuse absences or grant make-up work.  However, the Dean of Students Office staff encourage faculty to keep in mind that students who utilize the emergency notification service are typically recovering from a crisis and would benefit from appropriate consideration.

Requesting an Emergency Notification

Contact the Dean of Students Office at (215) 204-7188.  Be prepared to provide a detailed description of the emergency circumstances. If possible, please include the length of time the student is expected to be absent from class.

When the Student Returns to the University

  • The staff in the Dean of Students Office will contact the student to offer support and assistance as the student resumes their academic responsibilities. 
  • Instructors may also contact the student directly to discuss the student's responsibility for completing missed course work, as well as any documentation required when the student returns.
  • Because the staff in the Dean of Students Office does not investigate prior to sending out an Emergency Notification, students should be prepared to provide documentation verifying the reasons for their absence when requested by instructors.

We inform students that it is their responsibility to have appropriate documentation available when their instructors request it.