Students should not be penalized for absences

Professors should not penalize students for not attending class. The University of Central Arkansas states in its handbook that “attendance and tardiness are student-teacher-class relationship.” This means it is up to the professor of the course to decide if students will receive a penalty for being absent. Most professors choose to exercise an attendance policy resulting in consequences for the student such as losing a letter grade, or even failing the class. The usual number of classes allowed for students to miss is around 4-6 per semester. I believe this is unreasonable.

 Professors claim this should allow students to not attend in case of a family emergency or sick days, but since life is unpredictable, students should not be penalized when life happens. Students can get sick, experience a loss, have a family emergency, or even just feel overwhelmed by the demands of college. 

As mental health awareness has been on the rise, more people have been advocating taking days off to prevent becoming burnt out. This can be easy for the average college student who deals work from multiple classes, part-time jobs, extra-curricular activities, and more. So at times, not attending class can be necessary for one’s peace of mind.

It is acknowledged that attendance can be waived for students suffering from a severe disability by contacting the Disability Center. However, that only accommodates individuals “chronic and episodic in nature.” This can exclude students with common mental illness such as deprssion or anxiety. Even if a student dosesn’t suffer from a mental illness, they can sometimes need a break. As long as the student keeps up with their coursework, not attending class should not have any consequences. In higher education, professors are meant to guide students in their academic work. However, for some students, professors do not effectively teach the material. So students have to learn the material on their own. Also, with some professors, what is being discussed often has no relevance at all. Some students even believe the pace of their classes is extremely slow and they could effectively complete the work on their own time.  So sometimes class can feel like a waste of time. Therefore, going to class for lecture is pointless if there isn’t an assignment due or an exam.

It is also unfair for students to have a limit on absent days for higher education because the students are paying for the classes. Therefore, it should be the student’s choice to or not to attend class. It is understandable for students attending a public primary and secondary schools to be punished for not attending class since the education is paid by the government and tax dollars. However, if one is paying for their own education, it should be up to them whether or not they want to indulge in their purchase. We are all adults who should be allowed to make this choice.

Yes, it is true we attend college to gain education and learn the skills that will be a foundation in our career. I am in no way advocating that students should not go to class at all, because it is sometimes necessary. However, life happens, and when it does, students should not have to worry about the fate of their grade in the class when it does. As long as there is effective communication between the student and their instructor and the course work is completed there should not be a problem.

If the student misses important instruction or information it is the student’s responsiblity to get it. If the student can not recieve that information, they will just have to accept that risk if they choose not to attend class. That is understandable. However, extra penalties are unnecessary.

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