If you go to class, you will pass

January 14, 2011 Commentary Print Print

To the editor:

First let me commend Morgan Beard for his thoughtful editorial in the last issue of the Pioneer.

He asks a legitimate question: If students can pass a class without attending, should they be penalized by the attendance policy if they don’t go? The writer contends the answer is no.

He reasons that students who make the decision not to attend class should face the consequences.


Those students who can pass all the tests and complete all the homework should receive the grade they earn, regardless of whether they attended regularly and without losing points for absences.

Class attendance should be up to the students. It’s their freedom of choice, the writer argues. This argument would carry more weight if students paid all the costs associated with the courses they enroll in.

At OCCC, that is rarely the case. Oklahoma residents pay $265.80 for a three-credit-hour class.

The total cost for that class is closer to $800. Who pays the rest? The taxpayers of Oklahoma, for the most part.

Why are Oklahoma taxpayers willing to pay almost 65 percent of the cost of a student’s education at a state-supported college or university?

The thinking goes something like this.

Education pays off, not only for the individual, but also for society.

An educated population also enjoys other rewards, in addition to economic benefits.

Aside from state funds going directly to the college, many OCCC students pay their tuition and fees through the support of scholarships, financial aid, parents or employers.

So many parties have a stake in our students and their academic success. It’s not just an issue of individualism.

All students should do everything they can to complete their courses and finish their degrees.

This includes attending class. It’s the best way to express appreciation to the taxpayers and others who have underwritten their endeavors.

And besides, going to class greatly increases a student’s chances of success. That’s why many professors choose to encourage attendance through class policies.

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