Successful college students attend classes regularly. Most failures, dropped courses, and poor grades result from poor attendance. The College has designed a schedule of classes for each course, one that meets the Carnegie unit definition of class time necessary for an average college student to complete the course. Time spent at the College, under the supervision of professional educators, contributes to a student’s academic success. Students who cannot attend scheduled classes or laboratory hours should notify the instructor and seek ways to keep up with the material. In all cases, students should notify their instructors of all absences. Absence for any portion of a scheduled class may constitute an absence. In some cases, students must keep their own attendance records for financial sponsors, who require this information to advise them and recommend them to employers. Instructors appreciate advance notice of absences because of college events and/or emergencies. Ultimately, it is the student’s responsibility to make arrangements for missed assignments, tests, lectures, deadlines, and other academic responsibilities associated with absences.
WMCC encourages class attendance for several reasons:
- A strong correlation exists between one’s attending classes and one’s academic success.
- Material may be available in class that is not in the textbook.
- The College assigns class time to students for them to receive instructor assistance, which is critical to the successful completion of course requirements.
- Important learning takes place between faculty and students during class time. This time is also a chance for students to think, question, and clarify ideas and information.
- All students are expected to make satisfactory progress in their classes. Attendance allows faculty to assist students in making satisfactory progress.
Students who are not making satisfactory progress should, in consultation with the instructor and advisor, drop the course during the drop period.
Barring mitigating factors (such as a major illness, an accident, or a family emergency), faculty will issue an administrative failure (AF) if students have missed three consecutive classes or if the students’ absence rate effectively precludes them from making up missed coursework.
Online Education Attendance
In online classes, attendance is vital for student success. Students must actively participate in an online class at least two times during the add/drop period. If students do not adhere to this online attendance policy, they are automatically dropped from the class.
In online distance education, documenting that a student has logged into an online class is not sufficient for faculty to verify attendance. Faculty must be able to demonstrate that students are participating in class and are engaged in online academic, course-related activities (such as contributing to an online discussion or initiating contact with the instructor to ask course-related questions).
Examples of acceptable evidence attendance during an academically related activity in a distance education program include:
- Student submission of an academic assignment.
- Documented student participation in an interactive tutorial or computer-assisted instruction.
- A posting by the student showing participation in an online study group assigned by the course instructor.
- A posting by the student in a discussion forum showing participation in an online discussion about the academic subject matters.
- An email from the student or other documentation showing that the student initiated contact with the instructor of the course to ask a question about course content and requirements.