Since the start of last semester, new class attendance regulations at N.C. Central University have left some students and faculty members with varying opinions and more limited options.
Faculty are no longer permitted to assign students NW (No Work) and NF (Non-participatory Fail) attendance grades according to Class Attendance Regulation 10.01.5.
The purpose of this new regulation is to replace the previous policy that instructed faculty to assign either of the aforementioned grades when a student stopped attending class.
Interim Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Carlton Wilson said that the original policy was “unevenly implemented across the campus.”
“According to the (original) policy, a student with an A can get dropped on the last day of class if they miss the number of classes permitted to miss,” Wilson explained. “We are concerned about students and excessive hours — our goal is for students to graduate in four years or less.”
Two professors within NCCU’s Department of Mass Communication gave their opinion on how the policy change has directly effected their students’ behavior.
“I think the attendance policy is rather liberal in some respects, but it’s in line with the rest of the system,” said lecturer Brett Chambers. “The (main) idea was to get rid of that NW, which was also confusing and now we just have a little bit more confusion.”
Assistant professor Dr. Candace Parrish appreciates the fact that students being able to drop themselves from classes at NCCU means that the administration is catching up with the national standard.
“After all,” she explained, “you guys are adults and should be able to gauge whenever you need to drop a class. You know what you signed up for and you know what your circumstances are. The thing that I’m not so fond about on the policy is the overall statement about attendance not being mandatory.”
On the student side of the issue, most students never understood why NCCU had a mandatory attendance policy in the first place.
“Attendance policies remind me of high school,” sophomore Lydia Burks said.
“I like the new attendance policy; I think it was a great idea to get rid of the NF,” said senior Terri King. “Now I can decide for myself if I want to drop a class.”
Those intending to drop courses after the initial add/drop period is over must pick up and complete course withdrawal forms at the registrar’s office before Feb. 28 to ensure proper filing before midterm exams.