The attendance policy at ACU is a pain when the semester wraps up and winds down.
Understanding the material and making good grades on all of the tests isn’t enough to keep up the grade point average anymore. If students miss class, they are in danger of losing their chance to get their desired GPA. By the end of the semester, students might find that their comprehension of the material and hard work outside of class paid off, only to discover that their attendance thwarted their overall grade. Therefore, the attendance policy at ACU is not fair.
In some cases, if a student misses more than two classes their final grade will suffer. Therefore a student who knows the material and got an “A” will instead receive a “B” because of the few class periods they were marked absent.
Teachers argue that there is a direct correlation between a student’s success in class and their attendance, which, admittedly, is probably true. However, it’s also easy to assume that the reason for this is because the people who are attending aren’t being docked a letter grade at the end of the year. The same attempt to maintain class attendance to create successful students is also keeping students from being successful; punishing the GPA of students with good grades. The tragedy here is that even hard-working students are docked a letter grade, not just students who don’t care and never attend class.
Some classes on campus are not jumping on the unfair attendance policy bandwagon. Students in these classes are able to learn the material and pass the class without having to attend at all. You often hear schools calling for strict attendance policies, but what about just the opposite? What if ACU made it’s attendance policy a little more lenient?
Given this dilemma, the obvious rebuttal would be that students would stop going to class altogether if the attendance policy ceased to exist. However, those who care about their grades are likely to attend class when they do not understand the material, or work hard to understand the material on their own. If a teacher is concerned about class attendance, it wouldn’t hurt to consider a practical luring trick; extra credit. Students love extra credit and practically beg for it, like dogs begging for a bone. If extra credit seems a little inhumane, there is nothing wrong with a few points added to the final exam for perfect attendance.
Students care about the strict attendance policy not because they would prefer to skip class every day without being punished but because they know that something isn’t right if they can recite the class material in their sleep like Highways and Byways in Chapel and still get docked a letter grade for attendance. Sometimes the attendance record has nothing to do with how much a student knows.
If students know the material, let them be. Everyone learns differently. The attendance policy frustrates those who have worked hard but can’t seem to make it count with attendance holding them back. The tragedy is this; students who work hard are still under the thumb of a rough attendance policy that could potentially send their hard work down the drain. Good grades and comprehension of the material isn’t enough anymore, and once the semester wraps up, students will look at their grades and will not see how well they did, but how well they followed the rules.