Attendance Policy of University

Attendance Policy of University

Attendance policies in universities and other educational institutes are developed to make sure that the students are regularly attending the course they are enrolled in and carrying out their responsibilities regarding that course - Attendance Policy of University introduction. It is also a way or a solution that is introduced to overcome the problem of shortage of attendance in universities. It may be a forceful way to bring students to class but it is beneficial and helpful for the students themselves. It is also very essential that the university has high attendance rate of students which is an important factor for any university to flourish. A course can be fruitfully completed and the objective of the course can be achieved if the attendance rate of students registered in that particular course is high. It boosts the quality of the learning process for an individual student and as well as for those working in groups. Students tend to learn well and fast if they have a proper group co-ordination with other pupils and for that all the students must have to attend the classes on time and on regular basis so that a proper learning and teaching environment can be established. Punctuality and commitment are the two things that the students have to fulfill so they may get a beneficial and desired outcome of the course. (Attendance Policy from Nottingham Trent University, 1)

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 Attendance Policies are also a way to make students responsible for their actions regarding to the participation in course activities and the result they get from the course. If a student fails to attend classes or is unable to reach the class on time then it is solely the responsibility of the student to answer the related authorities about his actions. (Attendance Policy from Nottingham Trent University,1)

Students getting absent without notices, taking the university at ease, attending the class when they wish, spoiling the study environment of a university are the major reasons for introducing attendance policies. Instructors are also humans who also have their own commitments students should not have the advantage of taking a class and skipping the next one at their own will. If a strict attendance policy is observed in a university it is an indicator that the university believes in quality education. The university students must be well aware of the policies or should be notified of any changes if made in the policies. It is very important that the students should clearly be informed about the policies from the very start of the course or they must be published in the university booklet. As different courses and different instructors may have different attendance policies the students should be alert of them and must make sure that they meet the requirements. (Faculty Senate-University Attendance Policy, 1)

The main problem which became the major reason for making an attendance policy was the increasing number of absentees and low attendance of students in classes without any prior notice. If a student has some genuine reasons for being absent from the classes there are rules related to such students in the policy but mostly these policies are for students with non serious approach towards their education and the university so that the university can take actions against non serious students and save the reputation of the university. Also the university authorities can observe the demand for a particular course by seeing the number of students registering and attending the course. (Attendance Policy from Nottingham Trent University, 1)

A regular attendance in the course may develop a sense of participation and confidence among an individual student. This will help the student to understand a professional work environment and studying in groups will help him cope with other people in the work place. Secondly it also builds a sense of discipline and punctuality in a student that fulfillment of commitment and punctuality should be the topmost priority anywhere. Thirdly the grades of a student tend to rise if he attends a class rather than studying on his own. Courses which involve creative work like art work, group discussion helps enhance the creative skills of a student. (Naomi Rockler-Gladen,1)

The university expects a student to attend the classes and lectures regularly for the course they get registered in. Insufficient attendance of a student includes the students failing to attend classes, lectures, seminars, examinations, workshops, laboratory sessions or any other sort of activity related to that course which may also include failure to submit assignments and projects on time, without providing a reasonable explanation for being absent. Not attending the classes for a long period of time or lack of participation in class may lead to investigation and the higher authorities looking into the matter and calling the student for a meeting. Failure to show up in a meeting also counts in as being absent without notice. In extreme cases the lack of attendance may also lead to termination from the course. Irregular attendance affects greatly on one’s learning process and lowers his interest in the course. Attendance of a student is also an evidence of the student’s dedication and interest towards the studies. (Faculty Senate-University Attendance Policy, 1)

Many instructors make attendance of a student a weighted component of their final grade. Short attendance, which in such case, will highly affect the grades of the student. If a student is unable to make for a class the student then afterwards must decide with the instructor and arrange for a makeup class to cover up the missed class. The student must inform the instructor with proper reasons and solid evidences for failing to show up on time in the class.

The instructor has the authority to excuse classes that have been missed, any tests or examinations that have been missed or assignments that have not been submitted on time.

Attendance Policies are set up by individual course instructors for individual courses which generally highlight the following factors:

1) The students are expected to be in the class for the course in which they are enrolled on the scheduled time. If the student fails to show for a class on proper time the Head must be informed about it, if possible the instructor must be informed before hand. Other than classes the student is also expected to attend the related seminars, lectures, workshops and laboratory sessions. The makeup classes will be only conducted if the instructor allows it.

2) If a student wishes to go on a leave for a long period of time or if the student returns from a long absent time period he/she must provide a documentary evidence to prove the reason for being absent.

3) An absence is an absence; there is no such difference between excused absence and unexcused absence.

However there are some facts which should be considered when penalizing a student for an absence, which may include serious or contagious illness, death of an immediate family member, student is away from the campus to represent an official university function or showing up for an active military or jury duty. For all absences the student still has to provide a document or an application.

4) Observance for holy days. In such case student must inform the instructor about his absence with a prior notice indicating that he or she will be unable to attend the class on a particular day.

5) The policy must be made clear to the student from the beginning because absences are started to count from the very first day of the course.

6) Excessive absences from the class may result in lower grades due to lack of participation and slow learning process. It depends on the instructor if he or she makes the attendance as a weighted part of the final grade.

7) Excessive absences may be investigated by the instructor by sending notices to the student.

8) Punctuality of time is a very important and utmost factor. The student has to be there on time for the scheduled class. The student must have a valid and genuine reason for reaching late to the class.

The Instructor should clearly mention all the policies he wishes the students to fulfill. The instructor is responsible for attendances and he has to give report about the total number of students attending the course to the higher authorities including the reasons for students not attending the class. (Texas A & M Commerce University, 1)

The instructor must have all the policies in written form or published on the internet so that the students may have a clear look on them. If the student has a feeling that there may be many absences through out the course then he or she may discuss the matter with the instructor from before. (Swansea University- Policy on attendance,1)

The policy for submission of assignments and projects depends if the instructor allows late submission of assignments with negative marking or does not allows the submission at all.

There are some student who have some psychological or health problems they may inform the instructor before. Like a student who has problem in of morning sickness or nausea cannot attend classes in the morning he can request the instructor to shift or arrange a makeup class in the evening with a medical certification from the physician. If any student is going through psychological disorders which may result in lack of concentration and attention and is unable to attend classes the university may arrange sittings with a counselor.  If the counselor feels that the student has a serious psychological problem and will not be able to cope up with the course then he may inform the instructor about it without disclosing the whole matter as it is the personal matter of the student and only telling the information that is necessary for the instructor to know. If any student is unable to attend an examination due to serious illness then a proper medical certification is required for this reason. Many universities may allow the instructor to arrange for a re exam in such case but that would only be possible if there is a very serious problem regarding the students’ health, family, or other related issues. (Teaching Tip: Attendance Policies,1)

The student shall not be allowed in any case to attend the classes unless he or she provides a proper document or medical certificate proving the reason of his or her absence.

If any absences are then made it can be compensated by arranging extra classes for the student.

If the student wishes to go on a long term leave mainly to represent the university in any official activity or any sports tournament then he may have to obtain and submit an Absence notification form at least two weeks before the leave begins. (Teaching Tip: Attendance Policies,1)

To get the leave granted proper authorization of higher authorities is required. After that the student is required to join back in the specific time period. If he fails so it would be then counted as absences from the course. Many universities have the policy that a particular number of absences may result in a certain meeting among the instructor and the student.  If still after that absences are being made without prior notices then some strict actions like suspension from classes for a particular time period or some extra assignments or projects or if still absences takes place then the university can even terminate or expel the student from the particular course. Regardless of the type of absence whether be it excused or unexcused informed or urgent the student has to make up for the work that has been missed. It is better for the students to attend the orientation or the very first day of the term so that they may be aware of the policies regarding that course. If absences are observed on the very first day the instructor should inform it to the higher authorities. (Florida State University, 1)

A proper record of a student should be maintained to keep a track if the student is habitual of getting absent or he has a severe problem. These records are necessary so that to decide after how many absences action should be taken against the student. (Swansea University, 1)

My opinion regarding lack of attendance is that only attendance policies in such case are not helpful. The students may produce fake documentation regarding absences or leaves which leads into other problems of forgery or making of fake documents. Attendance policies force the students to show up for the classes which is somehow an appropriate way to make students study but attendance policies cannot ensure if the students are getting what they want from the course or not. The instructor should make the lectures or class interesting so that interest may develop among the students and they attend the classes without a feeling of being driven to the class. Anything that is done with interest shows more fruitful results rather than anything that is being done by force. Attendance policies should have flexibility in them like allowing students for 3 absences per term and any fourth absence should immediately be reported to the person in charge of the course. (Naomi Rockler-Gladen, 1)

The university should also conduct a weekly or biweekly meeting system between the teachers and the Head of the departments to take appropriate actions in response to reports regarding continuous and unexplained absences from the students. Students with immature behavior who are persistently absent from a course without notices should be notified first and then expelled from the university to avoid the negative affects on other students. (Texas A&M Commerce University,1)

Works Cited.

Naomi Rockler-Gladen, Mandatory Attendance Policies, <http://campuslife.suite101.com/article.cfm/mandatory_attendance_policies>, Accessed November 26, 2008

Teaching Tip: Attendance Policies, <http://www.bsu.edu/otla/article/0,,59107–,00.html>, Accessed November 26, 2008

FLORIDA STATE UNIVERSITY,< http://www.fsu.edu/~fasenate/attendance.html>, Accessed November 26, 2008

Attendance Policy from Nottingham Trent University, <http://www.ntu.ac.uk/studenthandbook/rights/rules/24370gp.html>, Accessed November 26, 2008

Swansea University, < www.swan.ac.uk/registry/A-ZGuide/U/UnsatisfactoryStudents/Attendancepolicy/>, Accessed November 26, 2008

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