Editorial: Beware of professors’ own attendance policies

Editorial Opinion

Finally Missouri Western gets smart and decides to eliminate the mandatory attendance policy for 100 and 200 level courses. This means that the FA (failure due to absences) grade will be eliminated. Well, it’s about time! But, don’t just think that students can waltz into class whenever they feel like it. Though the mandatory attendance policy will be eliminated, attendance will still be an issue as professors will now have the power to create and enforce their own policies.

Starting the Fall 2011 semester, attendance policies will strictly be a professor’s personal decision. This means that every Missouri Western educator will have to personally develop an attendance policy that they feel is reasonable for students. Though this gives educators more freedom, it can also become problematic. A professor could require students to miss no classes without a valid medical excuse, or simply fail the course. Then students that have a busy schedule, or that work, or that have children will have an extremely difficult time abiding to this policy.

This new policy also means that a student must pay very close attention to the course syllabus. This will now be the only way a student will know how many classes they can miss before he or she actually begins missing them. Students will have to make sure they are printing off their syllabi because professors have stopped printing them off for us. Students will definitely need to think twice before missing the first day of classes. This might only be absence they have; or at least one of the few.

Though Missouri Western have taken a firm step in the right direction involving attendance, professors should take an even bigger step by eliminating their policies. Professors should not be forced to hold students accountable for being in class. Instead of professors holding students accountable, students need to hold themselves accountable. Then, when students graduate and go into the work force, they will understand what self-accountability truly means.

Checking attendance also takes a huge amount of time from class work, especially with courses that have around 50 to 70 students in them. So with a 50 minute class and 10 minute time to take attendance, students are really only getting 40 minutes of actual useful class time.

If any student thinks they could miss numerous classes and still pass, then let them. Ultimately, it will be nobody’s fault but his or her own. Professors have enough responsibility involving class work, lecture, and creating, checking and grading tests and quizzes. Why don’t we take a little stress off of the many things they have to do on a day-to-day basis? Frankly, no student deserves to be at Missouri Western if he or she can’t be in class in a proper manner. We don’t need any professor to tell us that.

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