Can Professors Cancel Class - prioritylearn

Can Professors Cancel Class

We’ve all experienced this at some point in our academic journey. You wake up early, rush through any chores and make your way to class only to find out the class has been canceled at the last minute.

It can be annoying especially when you had to rush to make it to the class on time. On the other hand, you understand that unexpected circumstances can make it difficult for professors to stick to their schedules.

And while students may be excited about getting a day off, it can be concerning when a professor keeps canceling their classes.

You’re not sure what to do about it but you start wondering whether you’re getting your money’s worth. After all, a college education isn’t cheap anywhere in the world.

So, do professors actually have the authority to cancel classes and under what circumstances are they permitted to do so?

The truth is that while professors have the authority to cancel classes, colleges only permit this action in the event of an emergency, unforeseen circumstances, or inclement weather like a snowstorm.

Outside these conditions, canceling classes simply because they’re running late is considered unacceptable. Let’s take a look at the various scenarios under which professors are permitted to cancel classes.

When Can Professors Cancel Classes

So, under what conditions can a professor cancel a class?

Personal Illness Or Emergencies

In the event of some form of sickness, the professor would be permitted to cancel their class to go for a doctor’s appointment.

In such cases, professors are expected to alert students as soon as possible and also make alternative arrangements to ensure their students do not miss out due to their absence.

That said, we all know it’s impossible to determine when you’ll fall sick. In the event of such eventualities, the professor would be permitted to cancel their class.

Family Emergency

Maybe a child or wife suddenly fell sick and they had to take them to the hospital. They would need to alert the class as soon as possible to avoid any challenges.

Other forms of emergencies such as bereavement may also require the presence of the professor. In such cases, they’re expected to make alternative preparations to ensure that students keep up with the course content.

Inclement Weather

Unexpected or unpredictable weather conditions such as snowstorms or rainstorms can result in professors canceling their classes.

Additionally, these conditions may also affect transportation and other infrastructure necessary for commuting.

In such cases, most educational institutions would announce school closures and the cancelation of all classes. The duration of this may depend on the extent of the incident.

Alternatively, some institutions in such situations may recommend that professors leverage alternative means of instruction including online.

Campus Closures

Unforeseen circumstances like a pandemic can result in campus closure. Naturally, all class schedules would be canceled to avoid any issues.

Depending on the severity of the issue, means of transmission, and various other factors, schools may not be able to provide prior notice to students.

That said, educational institutions would alert students in cases where they can notify students early.

Consequences Of Cancelling Classes

Irrespective of the reasons behind a professor canceling a class, students are usually the ones who face the most consequences. That said, we’ll be taking a look at the overall consequences for both teachers and students.

Missed Instruction

While professors may allocate the majority of reading for students to do in their personal time, students still learn a lot from their classes.

They get to ask questions and gain a better understanding of concepts they previously had a hard time understanding.

Unfortunately, this becomes a problem when the professor starts canceling classes. This means students need to do all the work without the professor’s help. Additionally, underperformance can lead to students losing their financial aid.

Frustration And Confusion

Imagine waking up early to get to class on time only to be informed after waiting for the professor that they wouldn’t be showing up.

This can be very frustrating as the time wasted could have been used for something productive. Some students may have even missed the day’s wage to make the class.

In cases where the professor has a habit of missing classes, students may end up missing some classes as they’re never sure which classes the professor may end up coming to or missing.

Decreased Credibility

Professors can lose their credibility with students when they develop a habit of canceling their classes.

This can result in absenteeism from their classes as students lose interest in coming to class especially when there’s a higher likelihood that the professor wouldn’t show up.

Unfortunately, the students end up facing the most consequence for the professor’s actions, in this case, as they may end up underperforming.

Disciplinary Actions

Some educational institutions have policies that mandate professors to hold a minimum number of classes within the semester.

And while students may think professors don’t answer to anyone, professors who cancel classes simply because they didn’t feel like teaching could face disciplinary actions from the institution.

What To Do When A Professor Keeps Canceling Class

So, what do you do when your professor keeps canceling classes? Do you simply keep silent or make a move?

Talk To The Professor

The first step to take is to talk to the professor. Don’t approach them in an angry tone as that may simply backfire.

Talk to them and try to understand their reasons. Keep in mind that professors were once students and understand your concerns.

In most cases, the professor would have a good reason for their actions. You can then let them know how important the class is to you and then discuss alternative arrangements with them.

They don’t want their students to fail and would be glad to know how much you care about the course.

Students can also discuss with their peers to identify and suggest the best ways to improve the situation to the professor.

Consult To Department Chair

If you already spoke with the professor but things remain the same, you can reach out to the department chair or academic advisor.

Keep in mind that you’re paying for the class, so you deserve your money’s worth. They would be able to coordinate with the professor to identify the best way to resolve any issues.

Consult School Policies

Check the school’s policies to determine whether the professor’s actions violate class cancelation policies. Once this has been determined, students can consider filing formal complaints.

Peer Support

Class cancelation doesn’t only affect a single student. Seek support from your peers by forming study groups and leveraging other collaborative learning opportunities.

Chances are some of your peers may have a better understanding of the class than most. Engage them in online discussions and tutorial sessions to gain a better understanding of the class.

Drop The Class

This should only be considered as a last resort as it could lead to unwanted consequences. Simply dropping a class without considering the deadline for dropping a class may end up impacting the student’s academic progress as well as their financial aid.

It’s advisable for students to first consult their academic advisors before they make the final decision to drop the class as it could result in a failing or other negative consequences.

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