Words @ War 09.21.11

Should attendance be mandatory in college courses?

There are many reasons college students should attend class: to learn, get used to a rigorous schedule, and meet new people.

But that doesn’t mean class should be mandatory for students. The one thing that should never be taken away from students is their choice. Much of what a student learns in college is not necessarily learned in class. Students learn many life lessons, become responsible and truly get to know who they are outside of class.

Allowing an optional attendance policy should not be regarded as a blatant approval of irresponsibility, rather more of a safeguard for students who realize college has more than just a professor’s lecture to offer for life experiences.

A mandatory attendance policy imposed by colleges and universities discourages independent thinking rather than the perceived justice referred to as “enhancing students’ performance.”

Students are adults; imposing something against an adult’s preferences that is akin to the imposer’s beliefs forms a habit of dependence in a person. Many traditional students come to college to get away from depending on people.

Traditional students come to college to become more self-reliant, independent of their parent’s rules to live by their own rules.

Unfortunately, students have very little control over what a professor or college mandates for their students. Thankfully, student government and student voices can be heard when such events occur, though changing a sole professor’s class requirements will be more difficult than a campus wide rule.

If a student misses class, that does not mean they do not study well. An independent learns that he must be able to effectivly study at home in order to perform well in school rather than relying solely on what a professor says in class.

I’ve seen students who write down everything a professor says while half listening and who go to class each day and fail the exam they took notes for simply because they have poor preparation at home.

The true key to success is managing time effectively and learning from everything that occurs in one day. If you’re offered a chance to do something you’ve never done before, grasp that opportunity. Just know what you’re getting yourself into and manage everything in life accordingly.

Class attendance does not directly correlate to better grades and performance. It is important to attend class, though it does not mean you will ace the class if you did not miss a day.

When students learn that, then they will be successful no matter their class attendance.

Students will make the best decision for themselves and they should preserve the right to decide for themselves as individuals.