Mandatory Attendance Policies

You may have seen it at the beginning of the semester in your syllabus, you may have read about it on ratemyprofessor. com, or maybe one of your friends who have previously taken that same class has told you about the attendance policy. Either show up every day, or it’s okay to miss a few classes; all of the notes are posted online anyway right? Either way, mandatory class attendance in college has always been a highly debated subject.

As semesters go by, it seems the attendance policy becomes increasingly strict. Most professors will inform you of the total number of classes you can miss before they start deducting points from your letter grade, and others may simply state that it is your decision to show up to class, which in the long run will affect your grade. One of the few main goals in college is to learn responsibility. Some students choose to learn this lesson the hard way and will have to pay for it later.

As young adults in college, we make our own decisions. Whether they are good or bad determines if they will help or hurt us in the long run. Choosing to attend class every day is very beneficial to students, but at times we are often inconvenienced with the responsibilities that come along with being an adult. This forces us to make temporary decisions that may have a long term affect. Many students bring up the point that they are paying the tuition to attend these classes, so why should they be punished for missing one?

When asked how they felt about mandatory attendance policies, sophomore Briana Bailey said, “They’re stupid. We’re grown; we shouldn’t be told we must go to class!” When asking more students the same question, very similar answers were given.

In the views of professors, they may have these mandatory attendance policies in place to avoid any misunderstandings of grades. Many professors find other ways to implement the attendance policy by including participation points in daily lectures. This allows students to still get the in-class instructions and also allows for more room for extra points added to their grades. Students who do attend class regularly often come out more successful than those who do not.

According to an article in the Daily Sundial, Zain Shammas said, “one of the biggest problems is students are under the impression they will do well by just showing up to lecture. But a student’s final grade should be reflective on their overall knowledge and understanding of the material, not their ability to show up to every single class.”

This, in a sense, is true because our being absent from a day of class and missing a piece of valuable information does not necessarily determine our overall knowledge of the material. In “Class Attendance in College”, a report by the American Educational Research Association, it was said, “attendance has strong relationships with both class grades and GPA, however mandatory attendance policies seem to have a small positive impact on average grades.”

It seems that whatever the situation may be, the deciding factor is based on the students. Just like older adults who have to make decisions based off of priorities, students do as well. This will always be a debatable topic because students and professors will always have their own opinions about mandatory attendance policies.

 

Carleesha is a junior and a Communication major