Sunday, 17 May 2015

Engagement or attendance

The engagement / attendance issue 

I spend a lot of time chasing students who do not attend classes. I keep a register of every seminar but not of lectures. I go for a sort of zero tolerance here. I chase every absence. The first one gets a a friendly email, the second something slightly sterner and the third the first of four official letters.
Official letter one points out that absence is not acceptable, letter two invites the student to meet with their personal tutor, the third sets up a meeting with their programme leader and the fourth asks them to withdraw. I'm personally not keen on letter four and try to avoid it. It goes against our retention agenda.  Letter three is prompted by a further absence or a lack of response to letter two and four by a lack of response to three or a further absence. The official letters become part of the student's record, which in turn informs references we may be asked to write.