Attendance Policy

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E. F.:
Okay,

I teach at a community college, and we are encouraged to "work with students" in terms of attendance. Six years into this gig, and I'm still not sure exactly what this means. We are also required to record attendance for financial aid purposes.

I tend to be a "level playing field" kind of guy (a concept for which I have received some flack within other threads in this forum).

I am getting some grief from students regarding my attendance policy. Even this early in the semester, I have a significant number of students who are in danger of failing the class due to absences.

At the end of this post is my attendance policy for a MWF literature class; if they simply show up and draw breath, they receive 1/5 of a letter grade in extra credit. I think my policy is exceedingly generous. Some students seem to feel I should take into account the sad stories that apparently dominate their lives and that they should have an unlimited number of "excused" absences.

Please pardon my need for affirmation, but can I please get some commentary on this issue?

------------------------------------------------
Attendance and Tardiness Policy:

Attendance is assumed; there are no “excused” absences. An absence occurs when the student misses more than half of a class. If you know you will miss a particular class, let me know in advance so you don't fall behind. If you miss a class, it is your responsibility to come to me and learn what you missed. If you miss more than 9 class periods, you will fail the class. Also, 2 tardies equal 1 absence. A tardy includes arriving late for a class or leaving a class early. Depending on your attendance, the following points will be added to your final grade at the end of the semester:

Days Absent       Points (based on 1000 pts. for the class)
0-1                      +20
2                         +15
3                         +10
4-6                      – 0 –
7-9                      not eligible for extra credit
10+                     fail the class

E. F.:
Sorry about the formatting in the previous post.

The policy should read as follows (based on 1000 pts. for the class):

0-1 absences = +20 pts
2 absences = +15 pts.
3 absences = +10 pts.
4-6 absences = 0 pts.
7-9 absences = not eligible for extra credit
10+ absences = failure.

40P:
Seems VERY generous to me.  The only time I have ever required attendance is in my small (

moominoid:
I have exactly the same policy as 40P but then I am at a research oriented university. I treat students as adults who can make choices. If they don't show up and it hurts their performance that is their problem. They are paying.

DF:
I teach studio art, so we have in-class critiques/discussions/reviews of homework assignments. Students are expected to show work, participate in the discussion, and help their classmates. (My classes generally have between 15-20 students.) For a class that meets 2 days per week I allow 3 unexcused absences. Even then, homework must be turned in on time to be counted at all, so students must send their work to me before classtime in order to receive a grade. Excused absences require a doctors' note or evidence of some other major life-altering occurance. I count class participation as 40% of the final grade, and students who aren't present obviously can't participate.

I think that since attendance is required in the workplace and college is a training ground for professional practice (of whatever sort), then students should be expected to attend classes. If an employee just didn't show up for work with no advance notice or explanation, he would be fired. I don't see why it should be any different in the classroom.

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