Home Opinion Pro: Taking attendance in college

Pro: Taking attendance in college

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The prolific filmmaker Woody Allen once said that “Eighty percent of success is showing up.” Nowhere else is that more true than on a college campus.

Think about it, you have a course you attend once or twice a week for 16 weeks. You have a midterm, a final, and a handful of assignments sprinkled throughout the semester, and then you’re done. It’s not a massive amount of work or even much effort. If you didn’t procrastinate until the last second, you probably wouldn’t even give it a second thought. And after all your hard work, you get a little piece of paper that helps you get a job.

For a majority of jobs, a college degree is a requirement, no matter what the major is. Multiple studies show that the degree itself matters more to an employer than the major.

“College-educated workers are more plentiful, more commoditized and more subject to the downsizings that used to be the purview of blue-collar workers only. What employers want from workers nowadays is more narrow, more abstract and less easily learned in college.” The Declining Value Of Your College Degree published in The Wall Street Journal.

In the modern age, a college degree is not only a symbol of education, but also commitment. It shows that you can finish what you start, which is very important to an employer. So why wouldn’t the same be true for a professor? How can anyone be certain of your education if you weren’t there to receive the information in the first place?  Should colleges just pass anyone who signed up for the class? No. You put in the work and you receive the benefits of both your labor and time.  

To avoid excessive amounts of busy-work or excessive testing, the professors need a physical way of making sure you retained some of the information required to pass the class and there is no easier or more effective way to show that than by taking attendance. If you’re in the classroom during a lecture, common sense would say you heard some of the things that were being said.

If you want to skip your class go ahead, it’s your money and your choice, but to receive the same grade as someone who put in the effort devalues the accomplishment. Fair is fair and when you put in the time, you reap the benefits.