Attendance policies benefit students

Nathan Zoschke

Imagine a scenario where all class attendance was optional. Teachers posted all useful information online and no pop quizzes were assigned. The UMKC Attendance Policy states students are required to

attend all class sessions except in the case of an unforeseen circumstance. This includes death of an immediate family member, student illness or involvement in a UMKC event.

 

This policy may seem stringent, but professors have good reason to enforce it. According to journalism professor Peter Morello, “I am very strict about attendance. In my view, it really isn’t a question of freedom of choice. It’s more like a contract between student and professor. You can’t fulfill the terms of a contract if people don’t show up.” The majority of professors understand the need for sick days as well as personal days, but the main issue occurs when students skip class because they don’t believe attendance is necessary, and their time could be spent elsewhere.

 

This logic, rooted in pure laziness, occurs when a student simply doesn’t feel like attending class, so they make up an excuse as to how class isn’t necessary and believe the attendance policy is stupid. Yes, there are some students who manage to never attend class or mess around on their phones all period and still cruise by with a passing grade. However, little actual knowledge is attained. Only so much can be

learned from reading the book, and grades will eventually suffer.

 

Psychology professor Kymberley Bennett believes there is a direct correlation between attendance and grades. Students who come to class most often walk out with the best final grade. She also is a strong

supporter of working with students and hopes other professors do the same.

 

“I think the policy is fair and allows for students and instructors to work together to make up

work/assignments when absences are excused. The policy seems to be fairly straightforward on what

is considered an excused versus unexcused absence,” Bennett continued, “I think this is very helpful

to students and faculty— no guessing is needed. It’s been my experience that most UMKC instructors are happy to work with students who have excused absences to reschedule exams, assignments, et cetera.”

 

While students who do not regularly attend class may gain knowledge of the concept, they may

have little idea of how to apply this concept to the real world. Will employers really want to hire an employee who only proves to be book smart? Where is this student supposed to get recommendations?

Without regular class attendance, how can the professor know a student well enough to recommend them for any level of higher education or career path?

 

A student may argue how they waste their time in this required intro-towhatever-boring-subjectcomes-to-mind class, but fact is, it’s required. Get over it. Instructors use class to enhance critical skills as well as provide a unique outlook on their subject. Throughout every student’s college education, he or she will encounter some classes that are excruciatingly painful. However boring, classes like this are a part of life; without bad classes, it would be hard to appreciate the good ones.

 

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