Imagine your student’s college endeavor as a dramatic play. There are many critical elements that may affect the success of the play: the script, wardrobe, props, etc…but what if the star of the show didn’t show up? No problem. In theatre, there is usually an understudy who is prepared to step in at a moment’s notice to take over the lead role in case of an emergency, so the show can always go on, as they say.
In college, it is the student who has the leading role—with professors, staff, coaches, parents, and others filling those critical supporting roles. What happens in college when the lead role is absent? Now we have a problem. In college, if the star doesn’t show up the show is destined to be a flop. In college, there is no understudy to step in for a student who doesn’t show up. What does it mean to show up in college? Students who show up in college are actively engaged with the whole of the college experience. Active engagement promotes academic and social integration into the college environment and leads to success.
For freshmen, showing up is a literal requirement. University Policy R-10 states that “Instructors/professors will automatically drop students from class and assign the grade of ‘FA’ (failure for absences) when students have missed 25 percent of the class meetings, excluding the final exam period. For example, in a class that meets three times per week, the professor may assign an ‘FA’ after a student has missed 11 class periods. For a class that meets 1 time per week, that ‘FA’ will happen after the fourth absence. The specific number of absences that would lead to the ‘FA’ will vary, depending on the number of class meetings per week for the particular course. CSU’s attendance policy promotes positive academic integration by requiring regular class attendance.
Many CSU faculty use the Attendance Tracker program in MyCSU to record student attendance. The absences recorded by the faculty using the Attendance Tracker also post to your student’s attendance record in MyCSU.
Tip: For Bridge Program classes - Math 099, English 099 and GNED 107 College Reading and Study Skills - a firmer scale applies. In a Bridge class meeting three days per week, the FA policy kicks in after the seventh absence or after the third absence if the class meets one time per week.
TIP: As a rule, students can expect their professors to include details about the attendance policy for every class on the course syllabus.
The old saying, “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink” applies perfectly here. All students have access to professor office hours, access to subject tutoring, access to help with writing projects, access to individual and group tutoring in math, access to coaching in academic success skills, access to free professional counseling services, access to spiritual guidance, access to career guidance, and access to wellness, social, and service activities. As a parent, you can facilitate the positive academic and social integration of your student by learning about all the resources available to CSU students and encouraging your student to take advantage of these services and opportunities.