Attendance Policy and Make-Up Policy & Leave of Absence

In order for students to be making satisfactory academic progress towards our certificate program, absenteeism must be kept to a minimum to maintain specific grade averages and proceed through the program at a pace leading to completion in a specific time frame (one and one-half times the length of the program). Satisfactory progress is measured in clock hours.

Each week you are expected to sign in the attendance forecast sheet and clock in our attendance tracking time clock system. Students must circle the days and nights they will be attending class. We expect all students to adhere and honor your forecasted commitment. If students find that they must miss a class, they are expected to notify the school prior to the start of class or on the day of the absence. Graduation requires the completion of 600 clock hours and any missed time will extend the length of (months) of your program. Students must make up all hours missed to satisfy the 600 clock hour requirements. If you have reached 500 hours and are not ready for your externship, or your test dogs have not been completed, you must attend classes as scheduled.

Students that are absent for 14 consecutive  days without an official written notice will be withdrawn/terminated from the program.

A clock hour is based on an actual hour of attendance, a 60 minute period with one hour of non-instructional time for lunch. The students will attend from 8:30am – 2:30pm, or 5:30pm-8:30pm, dependent upon the student’s contracted schedule.

Leave of Absence

A leave of absence (LOA) is a temporary interruption in a student’s program of study. A leave of absence must meet certain conditions, for it not to be considered a withdrawal which requires Return Calculation.

  1. Merryfield has a published LOA policy, which states that all requests for leave of absence must be submitted in writing, including reason for request to the Registrar or a designated administrative staff for approval.
  1. An approved leave of absence cannot exceed 180 days within a 12-month period. The effects of failure to return from leave will have on the student’s loan repayment terms, which impact the expiration of the student’s grace period.
  2. If the student requesting LOA and is a Title IV loan recipient, it must be made clear prior to Merryfield granting LOA. The effects of failure to return from leave will have on the student’s loan repayment terms, which impact the expiration of the student’s grace period.
  3. A student that has been granted leave of absence is not considered to have withdrawn, and upon return within the approved timing, continues to earn financial aid previously awarded for the period.
  4. Once the student returned from his or her LOA, the loan period will be extended and the graduation date will be updated.

Please note: Any “Leave of Absence” will shorten the “Grace Period” as to when your loan repayment will start.  Loan repayments start 6 months after your graduation date.

Example: If you  had to take a LOA for 30 days, your grace period to start repaying your loan would start in 5 months rather than 6 months.

International Students

All international students are required to complete a minimum of 22 lab hours per week in any combination of the published schedule. All International students must have their High School Diplomas translated and authenticated by a recognized translation company prior to acceptance. International students must attend a minimum of 22 hours per week, and may accelerate their time if they choose to a maximum of 25 hours per week.    The school will allow you 150% as a maximum time-frame, which is 10.25 months. If you go over the maximum time-frame allowed, the hourly school rate of $18.00 per hour will be charged. There is a list of equipment* and  textbooks that are needed for the program. The equipment and textbooks are required to be purchased before the start of class.

Make Up Policy

Students may make-up failed or missed course work with the permission of a school official.  It is the student’s responsibility to request make-up time, as well as to complete any assignments,  exams or other work missed.  Students may be allowed to attend an alternative schedule as long as the maximum time frame for completion has not been exceeded.  For example, a daytime student may be allowed to attend a night-time schedule and a night-time student may be allowed to attend a day-time schedule.  Student’s requesting make-up time must first register a request with the school’s Registrar.

Veteran’s Attendance Policy

Early departures, class cuts, tardies,etc., for any portion of a class will be considered as one absence.   VA students exceeding 20% total absences in a calendar month will be terminated from their VA benefits for unsatisfactory attendance.

In order to show that the cause of unsatisfactory attendance has been removed,students must show good attendance (as defined) for one calendar month after being terminated for unsatisfactory attendance.  After such time, the student may be re-certified for VA benefits.

The student’s attendance record will be retained an the veteran’s file for USDVA an SAA Audit purposes.

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