New Record Keeping for Attendance Policy

There has been a diligence in many of the teachers’ attendance taking procedures this semester. Many of the instructors are beginning class with taking attendance on their new computer software. This new record keeping system had helped the instructors and the school to be able to compare and see discrepancies and produce accurate records.

“Two years ago ECC became an ‘attendance taking institution’ in compliance with the Department of Education,” Jean McCann, Vice President of Instruction for ECC said.

This means all attendance records for students getting financial aid and Pell grants are now sent to the federal government. This was brought about by a law claiming the right to deny federal funds for school aid if the student was not in attendance. This law cuts off money to schools who had students drop out. Instructors took attendance before but the reporting wasn’t the same. It could happen that three teachers would report a student who had dropped out of their classes, but two teachers may not report. This caused the federal aid to continue for those two classes when the student was no longer in attendance. The law to report all attendance closed the gap in the flow of money that was being misused.

The attendance policy has restrictions for absences of fourteen consecutive days or two intermittent weeks. The instructors have some discretion in applying these rules based on the reasonable requirements for their class. For instance, these rules may apply easily for a computer class where the students do the work in or out of class. Faculty in some cases may request students to communicate absences and have an option of recording it differently if it is for a good reason.

“Specific programmatic restrictions align with specific learning goals. That’s why faculty have autonomy in what their attendance may require,” McCann said.

Some courses require attendance for the necessary grade and may have less options available. Making up a lab in a biology class or a nursing clinical may not be possible, where work completed at home may be accepted without attendance in another class.

If a student has any difficulty with adapting the attendance policy, be sure to address the situation with the instructor or for further assistance contact Jean McCann.

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