Health Services

Excuse Note Policy

Health Excuse Note Policy

Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota encourages students to take responsibility for their own well-being, including their health. The Wellness Center encourages students to function independently and to be accountable for their own academic performance. The Wellness Center does not provide notes for routine illness, injuries, or mental health concerns that may lead to missed classes, exams, assignment deadlines, work, or athletic activities.

It is the responsibility of the student to communicate directly with their instructors when illness impacts their ability to attend class or complete assignments. It is up to instructors to determine the impact this will have on the student’s ability to meet course outcomes.

In many instances, it is difficult or impossible for Wellness Center staff to conclude an illness or injury precluded attendance or work completion. Furthermore, when students are required to provide a note from the Wellness Center, it obligates the student to schedule an appointment regardless of whether treatment is needed. Eliminating visits for the sole purpose of obtaining excuse notes helps to ensure appointment access for students in need and prevents unnecessary transmission of illness. This policy reinforces the student’s responsibility to communicate with their professors and make mature decisions to support their own recovery. A focus on respect and appropriate utilization of resources encourages a shared code of values
and promotes trust among students and faculty.

Our response to excuse requests will be to advise students of their responsibility to notify professors, supervisors, or coaches and make arrangements for missed assignments, work, or practices. This approach encourages students, as emerging adults and leaders, to advocate for themselves and take responsibility for their health and actions. This practice is consistent with the recommendation of the American College Health Association and with local and national standards of care within college student health offices.