By: Jeanne Winton
Attendance policies have been used for many years and by many teachers, but what’s the purpose behind them? Perhaps even more important than that, what effect do they actually have on students and their morale as well as their attendance.
“It’s either you show up or you fail,” said FM student, Krissy Pryzblyo. Attendance policies can sometimes seem harsh, with some professors setting a limit on absences that result in complete failure of the class if exceeded. However, these policies do have a purpose.
Mr. Youngs, an English professor at the college, said that the reasoning behind his attendance policy is “to encourage students to attend class to receive the full benefit of its educational opportunity and to maintain a professional college experience.” He also believes attendance policies are important because the credit system is based off of in class contact hours, which a student must be present for in order to actually get the desired credit.
Mr. Venette, the head of the English department said, “If the college had an overall attendance policy it would be much easier to enforce our individual policies. Professors are always torn in regard to how strictly to enforce policies.”
Some teachers like Mrs. Vanderpoel, a math professor, choose to use positive reinforcement in their attendance policy. She gives students extra points for good attendance as opposed to deducting points when they’re absent. She said, “I have found that rewards usually work better than punishments.”
Ethan Menconi, a student at FM, said, “When [students] miss class, they’ve already missed enough.” He also believes that students at this age should be responsible for their own attendance and for how much effort they choose to put into their education.
Overall, the main purpose for attendance policies is to encourage students to get into class so they can be exposed to the material and do well. Mr.Vennette concluded, “Sometimes a student does all of the work and does it well, but just doesn’t come to class. It’s not easy failing a bright student because they are irresponsible.”