“Eighty percent of success is showing up.” —Woody Allen
According to the United States Department of Education, only 59% of students graduate with a 4-year degree in 6-years.* This means that many parents pay thousands of dollars in additional tuition and living expenses for four extra semesters than they’d planned. Even more concerning, this means that 41% of students do not earn a degree at all within 6-years.
In college, attendance isn’t just important, it is the number one factor that determines a student’s success. A 2010 study by the State University of New York at Albany found that, “class attendance is a better predictor of grades than SAT scores and studying skills.”
Most parents and students know that consistent class attendance is a critical success factor. Despite this fact, many students still regularly skip class, putting their chances to graduate on time significantly at risk.
Many high schools notify parents when a student misses class, but because of the FERPA law, parents of college students have no way of knowing whether or not their son or daughter attended class.
Ironic Technology created an app to solve this problem. KnowYouGo is a mobile GPS tracking app that alerts parents when their college student misses class. The goal is to provide students accountability for their attendance and parents assurance that their son or daughter is actually attending class.
The KnowYouGo app provides parents with important information and students with extra motivation to go to class. Parents sign up for the service and the student downloads the free app, then the app checks the student’s location ONLY at class times based on the student’s schedule. The parent is notified when a class is missed and receives a mapped location of where the student was at the class time. Other than class times the app does not report the student’s location. This allows the student to enjoy the freedom of college with the responsibility for attending class.
Realizing just how important class attendance can be for student success, many college Athletic Departments track athletes’ class attendance similarly, and have had outstanding results. Student Athletes often graduate at much higher rates because of the academic accountability from the Athletic Department. The KnowYouGo app makes this kind of attendance tracking accessible for parents too, so that their student can have the same kind of accountability and results.
Besides just monitoring your student’s attendance, take time to talk about why class attendance is so important with your son or daughter. Here are few reasons to help your conversation.
In college, many instructors will grade student’s participation. This could be based on attendance, engagement during class, and asking and answering questions.
Class discussion is also another critical reason to attend class regularly. Often, these discussions will help you better understand the course material because your peers may ask something that you’re also wondering, or explain something in an easier way to understand.
Attending class also means that you’ll have a better chance of getting to know your instructor. Besides having a better experience in the class, getting to know your instructor can have major benefits. Professors may introduce you to future educational opportunities, career possibilities, and will also be able to provide more support, especially if they’ve seen that the student has put in effort by consistently attending and participating in class.
Class attendance also gives you the opportunity to get to know the other students in the class. This will help you build a stronger community on campus. This can also make class more fun because you’re excited to show up to see your friends, and have someone to rely on if you’re struggling with a particular area.
Going to class in itself is important, but aside from just showing up, students should make the most of class time through active listening, participation, and note-taking.
According to the College Board, the average cost of attending a public four-year institution for out-of-state students is approximately $23,890, and the average cost of attending a private four-year institution is $32,410. This means that a typical student taking 15 hours of class per week for 30 weeks, wastes $53 per missed class at a public institution and $72 at a private institution.
If you want to set up an attendance accountability system with your son or daughter, check out the KnowYouGo App:
● Simple account setup with easy to follow procedures for inputting student schedules.
● Limited checking minimizes battery drain common to other location apps.
● Classroom checking rather than building or campus level accuracy.
● Adjustable range to allow greater accuracy and reduce incorrect absent reports.
● Users select the frequency of notifications including real time, end of the day, or end of the week options.
● Detailed and customizable dashboard view of attendance history.
● Summary view for all students for administrators or groups.
● App works in background and requires no input after initial setup.
While all opinions are my own, this article is sponsored by KnowYouGo.
*The 6-year graduation rate for first-time, full-time undergraduate students who began seeking a bachelor’s degree at a 4-year degree-granting institution in fall 2009 was 59 percent. SOURCE: U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2017). The Condition of Education 2017 (NCES 2017-144), Undergraduate Retention and Graduation Rates.
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