3 Things Instructors Review before Granting an Extension

Your academic history could determine whether or not an extension is granted (Photo courtesy of BMTC Australia on flickr).

Your academic history could determine whether or not an extension is granted (Photo courtesy of BMTC Australia on flickr).

College is quite demanding and, at times, life can conflict with one’s academics. Whether a homework assignment may be submitted late or a test was forgotten before the deadline, be sure you understand that instructors will review a student’s course history before determining if an extension is justified. Remember, an extension can be defined, in academia, as an approval to submit an assignment after the deadline without penalty; this is different from submitting late work that will have points deducted for being submitted after the deadline.  

Attendance History

Attendance is an important car in the success train; in fact, it’s probably the engine, making you the captain. If you are regularly attending class and, because of an emergency or illness, you missed a class, your instructor may be more willing to allow an extension for an assignment. Based on your history as a hardworking and attentive student, your instructor could determine whether or not you have earned an extension.

Task Achievement List:

  • Commit to your studies
  • Leave early for class
  • Notify the instructor beforehand if you will be tardy or absent
  • Have a back-up plan for getting to class
    • Ride from a friend or relative (on-campus classes)
    • Access to another computer or internet-friendly establishment (online classes)

Assignment History

Have you been submitting assignments late on a regular basis and are now requesting an extension? If so, it may be unlikely that you are granted your request. Instructors often look for a positive academic history before approving extensions. Instead of submitting work late all the time, how can you review and rework your schedule to manage your time more effectively? For example, to prevent multiple point deductions, instead of watching football pregame shows for 2 hours on Sunday, consider working on written assignments for 1 hour and then rewarding yourself with an hour of pregame programming. The compromise will allow you more time to complete assignments on time, but not neglect your love of sports either.

Task Achievement List:

  • Commit to your studies
  • Provide yourself with time each day for your studies (30-60 minutes minimum)
  • Notify the instructor beforehand if you will be submitting an assignment late
  • Have a back-up plan for completing your assignments
    • Access to another computer or internet-friendly establishment (online classes)
    • Attend tutoring if you need clarification on assignment guidelines/criteria

Communication prior to the Deadline

Like previously stated, communicating with your instructor is an essential piece of the academic pie. Without prior notification of your tardiness or absence, what’s stopping the instructor from thinking you are just skipping out on class and not taking your studies seriously? Because instructors teach so many students on a yearly basis, they may not get to know you as well as you know them; that being said, by communicating any issues, questions, concerns, or dilemmas you may be facing during class, he/she will see you are committed to your program and coursework.

Task Achievement List:

  • Commit to your studies
  • Always have a method to reach your instructor
    • Contact information is always listed on the class syllabus
    • Notify the instructor beforehand if you will be tardy or absent
    • Create a back-up plan
      • Internet is down: call the school
      • Cell phone dies: email your instructor or use a payphone/alternate cell phone

Ashley Benson is a distance education professional with five years of experience in the for-profit sector. She has worked coast-to-coast within the United States as an academic advisor, an adjunct teaching assistant and, most recently, a campus Registrar. Through formal education and industry experience, Ashley practices staying informed on the current events and changes within higher education and the students involved.

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