Points for showing up
Students who attend class regularly rewarded for their time
Tyler Breedlove | reporter
While it varies from class to class, professors seem to treat students who attend class regularly with more leniency than those students who do not.
“If a student is on the point between two grades, I feel better about bumping the student up if I can see them attending and working in class,” said Paul McCallum, professor of English.
Aside from giving students a chance at a better grade, some professors offer extra credit to students who attend class regularly.
Thomas Gregory, teaching assistant for the Department of Communication, says he is likely to offer extra credit to students who attend class on days when weather is unfavorable. Rewards do not usually get much larger than extra credit.
However, there are a few exceptions.
“Since I had perfect attendance, I was allowed to skip the final and keep the grade I currently had,” said Laura Allgood, freshman in English education.
Teachers might offer alternatives to taking rigid attendance, such as assignments in class. These assignments cannot be made up, and the student must be present to receive credit.
Delia Lister, instructor of biology, says she uses in-class assignments in place of attendance, while Don Judd, professor of English, says he uses pop quizzes for the same reason.
Benefits such as extra credit aside, there are drawbacks to missing a class. Xiaolu Wu, assistant professor of biology, says she notices the difference between students who attend class physically but are absent mentally, and says those who do not attend either physically or mentally can lose important instruction.
Missing a class can also cost students a great deal of money, based on the cost of tuition. When confronted with this fact, many students simply say it is their money to lose, says Mark Peterson, who calls the statement incorrect.
“Most students are on a form of welfare,” said Peterson, assistant professor of social science. “By not attending class they are basically wasting taxpayer money.”
One student says that she knows the benefits of attendance, but she believes professors should not take attendance at all.
“It’s a waste of time. If we don’t want to show up then we aren’t going to show up,” said Savannah Dowling, freshman in marketing management.
Another student says that she believes attendance is irrelevant if a student is learning a subject.
“I feel as if it’s unnecessary. Whether or not the student is familiar with the material and has the ability to complete assignments is independent of attendance,” said Jessica Keys, senior in exploratory studies.
However, some students support professors taking attendance.
“I believe that it rewards dedicated students for their hard work and dedication,” said Heather Jensen, sophomore in exercise science.
One teacher says there’s some validity to the claim that an attendance system is a waste of time because students will disregard the system.
“Students will usually attend class or skip it regardless of any attendance policies,” said Jamie McDaniel, assistant professor of English.