Class Size Matters: Top 5 Benefits Of Small College Class Sizes
There are a lot of factors to evaluate when you’re deciding what college to attend. Of course, one of the first considerations is choosing an accredited college that offers the type of academic program you want to pursue. After all, your degree should help you on your way to your future career success. While you’re comparing schools’ placement rates, locations and financial aid packages, you should also consider their average class sizes.
Sitting in a lecture hall with 300 other students may help you learn what you need to pass an exam. However, when you have the opportunity to attend a college with small class sizes, what you get out of the class will go far beyond merely meeting minimum academic requirements.
Here are the top five benefits of choosing a college that offers smaller class sizes:
1. INDIVIDUALIZED ATTENTION FROM INSTRUCTORS
The fewer students in your college classes, the better chance you’ll have of building a student/teacher relationship with your professors. Your instructors will get to know you as an individual, rather than as a faceless name in the grade book. Not only can this give you a better opportunity to learn while you’re in the classroom; you’ll also likely find it easier to obtain your professors’ recommendations for future internships or job applications.
2. CLOSER CONNECTIONS WITH CLASSMATES
Having smaller numbers of students in your classes also means you’ll probably get to know and interact with more of them. This interaction among students can help you make connections with people from different walks of life, deepening what you get out of your courses as you collaborate and help one another learn and understand course material.
3. CLASSES ARE MORE CONDUCIVE TO DISCUSSION AND HANDS-ON LEARNING
If there are dozens of students or more in a classroom, it can be difficult for instructors to effectively demonstrate skills or better ensure students are understanding what was taught. Unfortunately, this means instructors sometimes fall back on lectures. When instructors have smaller classes to teach, they can provide more hands-on learning opportunities. There is also a greater opportunity for classroom discussions when classes are limited in size. All of this adds up to a richer learning environment for students.
4. MORE TIMELY AND USEFUL FEEDBACK
If you work hard studying for a test or writing a paper, it can be frustrating to wait weeks or even longer to find out your grade. What’s more, you may find out you didn’t understand the material as well as you thought you did, but by then the professor has moved to the next item on the syllabus. When your classes are smaller, you’re more likely to get feedback on your submitted work or exams in a timely manner. Plus, because your instructor knows you, the quality of that feedback may be more useful.
5. ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE BENEFITS
The grades you earn in your college classes matter. Better grades can help give you an advantage over your competition when it comes to getting jobs or getting into another college, if you choose to continue your education by pursuing an advanced degree. Colleges with small class sizes may offer an advantage to students in the form of their course grades. A Cornell University study found a negative relationship between larger class sizes and grades. That is to say, students’ academic performance was better when there were fewer students in their classes.
Other benefits of smaller class sizes in college may include coursework that is specifically adapted to fit the needs of the class. Large class sizes do not typically allow this kind of freedom due to size constraints. Also, there is often more room for improvement in terms of public speaking and presentation skills when the crowd is smaller, more relaxed and less intimidating. Lastly, interaction levels between students and instructors are heightened in more intimate settings. Such increased communication provides further opportunities for ideas and opinions to be voiced, thus generating more thought-provoking conversations and open-mindedness.
When you choose a college with smaller class sizes, you are making a smart choice for your education — and future. At Generations College in Chicago, classes average just seven to 15 students. This gives students learning opportunities they just couldn’t get in packed lecture halls. To learn more about the many advantages of small class sizes in college and pursuing your degree through Generations College, contact us online or call (312) 922-1884 today.