Attendance isn’t mandatory, but you’re encouraged to go

Maria Nann

New requirement is all about student success

A new initiative issued by the College of Arts and Sciences has turned into what Dean Tim Moerland is calling a misunderstanding.

Moerland said that despite rumors, the college is not making attendance mandatory for all classes, but rather encouraging professors to take attendance.

And for Moerland, it’s all about student success.

“Roughly half of the students at Kent State are the first from their family to attend (college), and that means that success is very important,” he said. “It also means that in some cases, there are skills that, they haven’t been able to access.

“So we’re keenly interested in ensuring the success of all of our students, and especially the first-time students.”

Moerland said while the college is encouraging professors to take attendance, attendance requirements and consequences remain up to individual instructors’ discretion.

The Provost’s Office is also looking into links between attendance and student success, but focusing more on large, lecture-size classrooms, Moerland said.

Moerland said the process is simply for information gathering, pointing to studies that show direct correlations between attendance and academic success.

“There’s a rather predictable pattern among students that struggle and ultimately drop out in their first semester,” he said. “This is the set of students that we really wanted to make sure that we’re providing as much assistance as we possibly can.”

Moerland said classroom attendance is one indicator of student success.

“(We’re) interested in finding out students that simply aren’t attending class as a way of providing assistance to them,” he said. “You can’t force help on anyone, but you can certainly make resources available to them.”

Contact academic affairs reporter Maria Nann at [email protected].