Journal of the Indiana Academy of the Social Sciences

Document Type



The improvement of college students’ course performance is an important topic for instructors. Many researchers have found an inverse relationship between number of absences and course performance, suggesting that attendance matters for students’ course performance. The author considers that attendance alone is not the only determinant of students’ course performance. This paper investigates key determinants other than attendance to improve students’ course performance. Three factors—being an economics major, prerequisite economics course performance, and office visits to the instructor—were considered to help students to improve their course performance. In this research, data from students who attended intermediate microeconomics and macroeconomics courses over the past five years at a small liberal arts college were analyzed, using a pooled ordinary least square regression method, to examine these hypotheses. A main finding includes that two of these hypotheses, concerning prerequisite economics course performance and office visits to the instructor, were supported. This paper also found some other factors that had a significant effect on improvement of students’ course performance while it was observed that attendance was not always the key determinant.