EXAMINING THE EFFICACY OF ATTENDANCE AS A PREDICTOR OF ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE
Miller, Andrew P.
MetadataShow full item record
Recognizing that attendance is the most prescient indicator of student academic performance (Crede, Roch, & Kieszczynka, 2010), it would seem only logical that researchers would attempt to pin-point when absenteeism becomes a measurable deterrent to student success. The purpose of this study is to examine the extent to which cumulative absences at specific points in the semester (Weeks 4, 8, 12, and 16) affect final course outcome at one small-to-mid-sized, private, religiously affiliated 4-year university in the Midwest United States. A quantitative non-experimental design was employed to answer this question, as well as to explain the extent to which that impact is mitigated by the number of credits and the number of weekly class sessions for a given course. The target population for this study was a convenience sampling of students enrolled in traditional undergraduate courses during the Fall and Spring semesters for academic years 2016-2019. Research questions one through four explored the relationship between cumulative absences at given time intervals (i.e., weeks 4, 8, 12, and 16) and final course outcome (i.e., final grade and pass rate). Each accumulated absence, up to a certain threshold, corresponded with a drop in the pass rate ranging from a 6% when measured at Week 4 to 2% when measured at Week 16. Similarly, the per absence decrease in final grade average ranged from -.2 at Week 4 to -.08 at Week 16. The results of this study were not as strongly correlated as prior research (e.g., Crede, Roch, & Kieszczynka, 2010) and suggest other factors must also be considered to best inform the intervention of student success personnel. As a general principle however, the impact of absenteeism is largely detrimental to students’ success. This message should not only be shared frequently with students, but also heavily emphasized with faculty. Administrators trying serve an increasingly diverse student body with an ever-decreasing budget while also seeking a balance between academic freedom and accountability would be wise to support the development of an attendance-informed early alert system.