The Advance-Titan

Class attendance rules in college need to end now

Josh Mounts | The Advance-Titan

Life never stops, and college students know this possibly better than anyone.

Unfortunately, life doesn’t care that you’re in college, and so things continue to happen all around you all the time. Car accidents, illnesses, injuries, disasters and so much more could happen at any given time and there’s no way of telling.

Sometimes, when these things are occurring and life is happening, class seems like the last thing you want to worry about. For some classes, though, this isn’t an option.

Some courses have a section of the cumulative grade devoted to attendance in some way. Now, this doesn’t always mean there will be a physical sign-in sheet passed around, but there will be some method for the instructor to grade you based on how much you show up to class.

Sometimes it’s participation in class discussions, a required assignment turned in at the end of each class, random quizzes given to all present students or just a quick head count. Regardless of the method, this isn’t always fair.

Of course, students should be attending their classes every day, but as mentioned before, life just happens sometimes.

There are notes from doctors which can excuse students from certain activities or get them an extension, but not everything is as easy as going into a doctor’s office and getting a note from them.

Some professors are good about recognizing this fact and are willing to work with students, but that still only goes so far.

As a student at the University, you are expressing interest in furthering your education for one reason or another, and to do so you are paying an often hefty fee for it.

If a student is motivated enough to pay for these college credits every semester, they should not be penalized with a “pass or fail” mentality for not attending every single lecture.

There are aspects of a course which cannot be ignored or pardoned with the excuse that “life happened,” such as exams and projects, but if a student is failed because they missed one too many classes, then that is simply unfair.

It has been proven that attendance in class is linked with performance in said class. If someone skips every lecture, they will probably not perform well on the class’ exams, but just because a student misses a handful of lectures doesn’t mean they will fail the exams, so why punish them like they would?

Failing a student who is motivated to gain a college education because they didn’t show up to every last lecture, which they paid for, is not fair. If the person is really that bad of a student, then their assignments and test scores will display that, and for that they can be given a failing grade, but not before.

Sometimes this type of situation can really cost the student a lot if they have to retake the course in order to graduate; at that point they’ve essentially just wasted their time and money.

If things come up and someone can’t show up to class, but they manage to get notes or read the section from their textbook, complete the assignments given to them and score well on their exams, then what’s the problem?

We’re all adults in these institutions, and we all know why we’re here. It’s not fair for someone who is trying to create something better of themselves to be punished for things which are often completely out of their control.

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Independent Student Newspaper of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh
Class attendance rules in college need to end now