Monday, January 24, 2011

Not a suckup—just a fearless advocate!

Why I think attendance in Communication Law and all classes is important:

Organized structure is the backbone of all great institutions. Having a standard set of rules that is followed by all members of the institution creates a foundation upon which order can be maintained. I think the college classroom—the stepping-stone to the outside world—should be no different. I feel attendance should be required in order for the goal of the classroom to be fulfilled: to prepare and educate students for a successful life and career. Daily attendance builds a discipline that will be expected the second students leave the classroom and enter the workforce. It also creates a respect for the professor and subject being taught.

The material learned from textbooks is only a portion of the valuable education one takes away from college; the other part includes lessons on workforce etiquette and professionalism. There are few employers who accept tardiness or unexcused absences from their employees, and therefore, professors should enforce similar policies. By creating a standard of uniformity and commitment, students can begin learning to be prompt or accept the consequences—and a lowered grade is much better than the future alternative of being fired. Also, it forms consistency in what to expect each day. A firm schedule can lead to healthier habits in all aspects of one’s life.

Next, the professor should demonstrate the importance of the material being taught by requiring attendance to lectures. If students are not obligated to attend, they may loose interest—or never gain interest—in the subject. The course may become second-place to other tasks and activities student’s face. No attendance policy can express to students that the material being taught is of little added value to what can be learned from the textbook or outside materials. If failure to attend class becomes a habit without consequence, the material is never learned; thus, the goal of the course unsuccessful.

While it is true that an 18 to 22-year-old should be accountable and responsible for his or herself, college is a time of learning, and increased structure is often necessary. A professor is in no way obligated to hold a students hand, however they are compelled to create standards to which their students are held. Another argument that may arise stems from the fact that students pay to go to college, and it is their right to decide whether or not they choose to attend a class. Their payment, however, does not lessen the privilege they have of attending a top-noche university. The knowledge they gain, or do not gain, reflects upon the professors, as well as the university as a whole; each professor should encourage students to seize the opportunity they have to attend class and learn.

Due to discipline gained by the student, respect earned by the professor and a positive image given to the university, attendance should be mandatory for all courses. A professor is doing a disservice to the student, him or herself, as well as to the university by allowing students to slack off and be lazy. It is too easy for students to rely on their friends or outside sources in order to cram and pass an exam or course without learning the material. There is no doubt that a attendance policy should be a part of the rules that make of the structure of the great institution of the University of Georgia.

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