Personal Thoughts about Compulsory Attendance for College Students
It is my opinion that attendance in college should not be compulsory. I believe the expectation that college attendance be compulsory is carry-over from K-12 schooling, where mandatory attendance is a legal matter, and where students who skip classes are given a name to capture how naughty they are. That word is “truant.”
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Yet chronic absenteeism still has college professors and their administrations very upset.. This disappointment is particularly evident from the tone and facial expressions of professors and administrators as they say things like, “Only three students attended my class this morning.” Therefore what is most interesting to me are the beliefs that said professors and administrations hold about the purpose of college, and how attendance fits into those beliefs.
Here is how the cycle goes:
- University wants to increase retention, so it makes graduating easier by reducing the number of credits that students need.
- Students relax because their school’s standards have relaxed. They relax until the retention rate returns to its original level.
- University again wants to increase retention, so it makes graduating easier by eliminating the college algebra requirement.
- Students relax because their school’s standards have relaxed.
- And so on.