Inclusion & Accessibility: Inclusion Late Assignment Policy


Instructors seeking flexible and inclusive policies may consider creating late assignment policies that support a wide range of learners. It’s never too late to communicate a new late assignment policy for just one or all assignments. This flexibility can create a support system that accommodates students' well-being during moments when they're noticeably feeling stressed, lacking focus, turning assignments in late, or if something significant happened in the world.

Resources and Tools


  • Consider a grace period of 2 to 5 days that does not require a student to explain. 
  • Communicate to students that the original deadline should still be their goal. This grace period is intended as a gesture of trust, support, and responsibility, offering flexibility to accommodate unforeseen circumstances.
  • Make it clear to students that if they anticipate needing more time than the grace period allows, they must email you as soon as the grace period begins. The grace period is intended to be an opportunity to seek support or flexibility if needed.
  • Encourage students to take advantage of office hours and to request appointments if they are struggling with course content. Remind them that office hours are “student hours” and are specifically designed to provide them with the help they need.
  • We recommend communicating expectations in multiple ways:
    • Add policies to the syllabus.
    • Discuss expectations with the students and invite questions. 
    • Include expectations in assignment instructions.
    • Instructors can practice flexibility and communicate a new late policy with reasoning.
      • Here is a sample statement:
        •  Based on recent observations and conversations with our class, I’ve decided to update our late assignment policy to include a 2 to 5-day grace period. This means you now have an additional 2 to 5 days to submit assignments without penalty. I am making this change to offer you more flexibility and to help minimize stress, accommodating your various commitments outside of class. I recommend using this grace period judiciously, only when you truly need it while continuing to strive to meet the original deadlines. This adjustment is a gesture of trust and partnership, reflecting my high expectations that you will continue to submit your assignments promptly. Please, use my office hours or email a request to me if you’re struggling with an assignment. My office hours are for this reason and I'm happy to support you. Should you anticipate being unable to meet a deadline, even with the grace period, it is your responsibility to email me before the grace period expires to avoid a penalty.


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