Class Attendance: Your Key to Success

During your time at Tennessee Tech, we want you to be successful and earn a degree to assist you in your career endeavors. The easiest, yet most beneficial thing that you can do to ensure your success is attend all of your classes. However, as you go through your first semester of college, you may begin to question if going to class is worth it. Why do I have to go to a class not in my major? The professor puts everything online, why should I attend lectures? While these thoughts may loom your mind at one point or another, it’s extremely important for you to continue going to class and be engaged in the classroom. In fact, research shows that “attendance is a better predictor of class grades than any other known predictor, including high school GPA, SAT scores and study habits” (Crede, Roch & Kieszczynka, 2010, p. 286). Regular class attendance and participation (in-person or online depending on course delivery) is a major factor in determining the academic success of freshmen.

Here are some examples of what you could miss out on when you skip class (in-person or online).

1. Learning what you need to know. Your first college exam will be difficult compared to your tests in high school. Professors will sometimes emphasize specific items or specifically state “this will be on your exam.” On the other hand, you may have a professor that briefly touches on one topic and then says that “the information is important to understand but you will not be tested on it” which would save you some time when studying.

2. Fully getting your monies worth. An in-state student taking 12 credit hours could be paying around $5,415 per semester. That means every time you miss one class, you’re wasting about $30. You’ve already paid, so why not get the full value of the cost!

3. Learning something interesting. There are many courses offered at Tech in a variety of subject areas, and each class offers different information. Even if that art class you are required to take doesn’t seem related to your major, you may learn something interesting that could change your college experience or how you view the world.

4. Saving yourself SOME of the studying. If you are going to class and are engaged with the professor and material, you most likely will understand the material better which will save you some time when studying.

5. The difference between an A and a B. Sometimes attending class can mean the difference in a letter grade at the end of the semester. If a student is right on the border between an A and a B, a professor will be more likely to bump up the letter grade of the student that put forth the effort to attend class over the student who didn’t.

6. Making connections. During class, you will meet all types of people that can open your mind to new perspectives. You may meet your new study group or just a new friend. You should also get to know your faculty. Not only do they want you to be successful, but you may eventually need a faculty recommendation for graduate or professional school later on down the road!

7. Missing class because of illness. People get sick and you should stay home or in your residence hall room if you are sick instead of going to class. It allows you to rest and helps prevent others from getting sick too. If you are sick, contact Tech’s Health Services to setup an appointment or get guidance about what treatment you may need. Just make sure you contact your instructor as soon as you know you are going to miss class because of illness to see what you may have missed. They want you to be healthy and take care of yourself.

Flight Path LogoThe University is committed to your success and has developed the Flight Path initiative. The goal of this initiative is to identify first-year students with documented course absences or course participation concerns, ensure they are aware of resources to help them navigate their experience and help them form habits that will contribute to their overall success.

If you do have to miss class, make sure to notify your instructor, check the syllabus for that course’s attendance policy, and identify what you may need to do to make up any missed work, if allowed.