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'Show up': is that the recipe for success?
Students are most likely to achieve in an enabling program when they are fully present and strongly engaged. Student non-attendance in class is a major concern for enabling educators at institutions of higher learning. Failure by students to regularly attend face-to-face on campus classes has potential to hinder the establishment and maintenance of a dynamic and engaged learning environment as well as negatively affect individual student performance. Preliminary findings from an online survey identified a strong statistical relationship between high attendance rates and passing grades and a correlational between low attendance rates and fail grades (Seary, James & Conradie, 2014). Additional research investigating the student’s perceptions of the value of attending face-to-face classes at CQUniversity’s Skills for Tertiary Education Preparatory Studies Program (STEPS) have been further supported by feedback gathered from focus groups and personal interviews. The student voice points to a diverse range of factors influencing the decision made by internal STEPS students to attend or not attend face-to-face classes. Employing the student voice, this paper identifies the elements most beneficial for students who attend classes, and highlights factors that hinder attendance. Additionally, it offers suggestions to address these factors in the quest for establishing a learning environment that more effectively encourages and facilitates optimal attendance at scheduled on campus, face-to-face STEPS classes.