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Project Description

Reporting Absences

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Project Director: David McMillen

On-Campus Coordinator: Ty Abernathy

Technical: Nell Valentine


Reporting Absences

This fall Pathfinders begins its 20th year of service to MSU. The goal of Pathfinders has been to increase academic performance, retention and graduation by emphasizing the importance of regular class attendance. Pathfinders has been remarkably effective in reaching these goals. Pathfinders aim IS NOT to catch students missing classes; however, the best early indicator of freshmen with academic problems is missed classes. We use this indicator to help students. If we can intervene early in the semester with freshmen having difficulties, we can help many of them get on track.

Our contact with students is intended as a "wake-up call". The contact is “face-to-face” in their residence hall room by Residence Hall Assistants. We emphasize the need for self-motivation and personal responsibility in a college environment that is vastly different from high school. We do not function as "attendance police". With the help of Residence Hall Academic Assistants, we will make personal contact with the students you report. In a positive manner we will make three points to students:

• Attending class regularly is virtually essential for freshmen academic success.
• A freshman missing classes is often an indicator of academic difficulties or other problems.
• Please talk to your instructor if you are having any academic problems.

Although there are a variety of other programs to assist freshmen, Pathfinders is the only program that relies on “face-to-face” contact with students. We believe that this personal contact is a major reason the program has been successful.

Reporting Absences – Spring 2018

If you are teaching classes which are small enough to actually call roll, we need timely reporting of absences to the Banner system.

Reporting absences for smaller classes in Banner is easily done (see instructions below) by going to your class roll in Banner. Our goal in Pathfinders is early identification of freshmen accumulating absences. To best help these students, they must be contacted as soon as possible after an absence problem is identified. In order to facilitate this, we ask that you update your absences in Banner by the following dates:

January 16th, January 23th, February 2nd, and February 16th

After February 16th, please continue to update absences in Banner at least once every three weeks until March 23rd.

If you are teaching in a classroom with scanners, daily reporting to Banner is automatic once the scanner is activated at the beginning of the semester.

Most classrooms with space for 65 or more students now have scanners. Attendance will be taken automatically if students scan their IDs properly. Information Technology Services (Help Desk 325-0631) can provide directions for operating scanners. Scanners must be used at each class meeting to provide accurate attendance reports.

It is essential you and your students understand that once scanners, once activated, will scan each meeting for the entire semester. You must tell students to make certain that they scan their ID at each meeting or they will be counted absent. A green light always indicates a successful scan; however a red light infrequently occurs with a successful scan. Please do not tell students not to use the scanners. When students or instructors do not understand how the scanners operate, excessive false absence reporting will occur and freshmen will be contacted about classes they have not missed.


Procedure for Recording Absences in Banner:

1. Log on to Banner with NetID and Net Password.
2. Click on “Banner” from the alternatives of Main, Campus, Classroom, Office, and Banner.
3. Under Grades and Absences, click on Absence Reporting.
4. Enter subject, course number, and section number.
5. Update absences on your class roster (boxes should display cumulative absences).

With the absence reporting link in Banner you can either manually input absences or copy and paste absences from a delimited file.

The manual input option allows you to change the number of absences either by typing in each student’s cumulative number of absences or by using the arrows to increase or decrease the number of absences.

The copy and paste option allows you to simply copy and paste the data from your delimited file or spreadsheet, such as excel. Two data items are required for the copy and paste option, the students NetID in the first text area and the number of absences for the student in the second.

1. You must first enter how your data is delimited (comma separated, space separated, tab separated, etc.),  
2. Next, copy the data from your data file and paste it into the text area in banner.
3. Lastly, click on the submit button.

If you have made a mistake you can copy and paste the information again or manually make changes to the number of absences.