By Sam Kleese
The class attendance policy at Saint Mary's University states that students are expected to attend all class meetings, according to the student handbook.
The policy gives the student responsibility to notify the instructor prior to missing class and to submit work that is due prior to the missed class meeting.
SMU professor Peggy Johnson agrees with the attendance policy. Johnson’s goal is to help students succeed, she said.
“Attending classes teaches responsibility and discipline and establishes a stronger relationship with the teacher and other students,” said Johnson. Students are held accountable in attending classes through a private school, said Johnson, so teachers taking attendance become more mindful of a pattern. This can help the student make sure they attend class, said Johnson.
The policy is reflected by student grades, Johnson said; they will be negatively affected if a reliable excuse is not given before the absence.
The handbook states that professors can lower grades if they aren’t notified prior to an absence. Instructors are under no obligation to provide make-up exams or quizzes or to accept late work if a student fails to speak with the instructor prior to the absence, according to the handbook.
Johnson believes that this policy is important to students because it can help them learn how to independently manage their work and start to take control of their academic lives. This policy also teaches students about respecting instructors and being courteous when informing instructors of absences.