The Independent Student Newspaper of Northern Kentucky University.

The Northerner

Attendance policies up to professors

Matt Popovich, Contributing Writer

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Have you missed a few classes so far this semester? Do you think your chances of passing the course go down the drain if you miss several classes? Well don’t lose hope just yet.

A recent study published on www.facultyfocus.com states mandatory attendance policies in college classes may not necessarily result in increased test scores. Researcher Jonathan Golding administered multiple choice tests to 5,150 college students over 11 years and found mandatory attendance policies for students did not always result in better test scores.

The use of attendance policies did result in increased attendance from students; however, most professors understand attendance does not always increase a student’s retention of information.

According to the Dean of Students website, the university leaves classroom attendance policies to the discretion of professors, giving them the ability to create an attendance policy for each individual class.

“Different faculty members balance the content of the class differently,” Northern Kentucky University history professor Jonathan Reynolds said. “Some people put a lot more emphasis on readings and outside work or group work, and some faculty put more emphasis on classroom participation.”

Some students feel NKU attendance policies are too strict and professors should adopt more flexible policies.

Student Kayla Wiwi said, “I don’t really like attendance policies because sometimes there are situations which require you to miss days … so what if you’re sick and in the hospital for a week and you get kicked out of class? It’s not really fair.”

Other students feel attendance policies are unnecessary because college students pay for their education.

“When I went to college, I thought there wasn’t going to be any kind of attendance policy. I was under the impression that we were all adults,” said Chad Fagan, a student at NKU. “I think it’s pretty stupid, I mean I’m paying for the classes and I’m an adult. If I don’t want to go, I won’t go.”

Faculty members have a different outlook on attendance policies. For journalism professor Matt Baker, attendance policies are different for every class.
If students miss a certain number of classes, their grade is lowered, but it is flexible.

“The problem is whether you’re sick, whether you’re at the doctor, whether you’re at a funeral, you’re missing something that’s going on in class … More than losing points for attendance, they don’t get the content, they don’t get the discussion, and they don’t get the interaction you get in the classroom,” Baker said.
Some faculty members argue class absenteeism affects more than just students’ grades. Although students can argue that “I am an adult, I get to decide not to come to class, and if I do poorly as a result, it’s my business,” Reynolds said he does “believe college students, while adults, are not simply consumers who get to pick and choose when they come to class and when they don’t.”

Instead, Reynolds attributes not going to class as wasting Kentucky taxpayer money. According to him, roughly one-third of your college education is paid for by Kentucky taxpayers.

A majority of NKU students agree there is a strong need for attendance policies.
“I think attendance policies are good because they keep everybody accountable to come to class,” student Ronald Mosby said. “We pay here, so we should be here.”
Some students find that attendance policies prepare them for their future careers. “If you don’t go to work you get penalized for not going to work, so it’s still the same concept. You can’t just skip work, so you can’t just skip your classes,” said Ryan Hiltierand, a pre-engineering student.
In general, most students accept attendance policies and see the importance.

“I think the attendance policies are good the way they are. Some of my teachers allow students to have a couple absent days where there are no questions asked, but after a certain number of days they start to crack down a little bit,” student Parker Phillips said.

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Attendance policies up to professors