5 Benefits of a Low Student-to-Teacher Ratio
- Individual Attention
- Professor Led Classes
- Greater Student Involvement
- Professor Availability
- Social Perks
When choosing the right college, many factors come into play. Cost, distance from home, and course offerings are all important factors when choosing a college. However, one little regarded issue can make a big difference in the quality of education a person receives: student-to-faculty ratio. The student to teacher ratio is the number of faculty members available to each student. On average, the faculty ratio for colleges across the United States is eighteen to one. Large universities may have a student to faculty ratio that is twenty to one or higher, while small colleges could run a ratio as low as nine to one. So, how does a low student-to-faculty ratio make a significant impact on your education? Let’s explore five reasons why this impacts student learning.
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Should you choose to attend a college with a low student to teacher ratio, you will be enrolled in classes with fewer students. This can be extremely beneficial, especially in classes where you may struggle with the content. In a small class, the teacher is able to spend more one-on-one time with you. He or she can somewhat tutor you during class. He or she is not so busy disciplining the class or spending time with other students that time can’t be spent on those truly struggling. No one wants to be stuck in freshman English Composition with 200 other students. You will never get one-on-one time with your teacher.
Professor Led Classes
Should you find yourself in that English Composition class with so many students, you are likely to have a graduate assistant as your instructor, not a professor. Small classes negate the need for teaching assistants. While some graduate assistants are great teachers, they simply do not have the experience of a seasoned teacher. Also, one can reasonably expect not to have any one-on-one time with a graduate assistant teacher.
Greater Student Involvement
In smaller classes, you can expect to be involved in more classroom discussions and have the opportunity to ask more questions as opposed to being in a class with a large number of students. This can benefit your learning experience and make your time spent in class very valuable.
At colleges with low student-to-faculty ratios, you will be better able to schedule meetings with your professor should you find it necessary to do so. His or her workload will be less of a burden, and your teacher will be much more able to meet with you during office hours. There is a definite benefit to having a good rapport with your professors. He or she will be more aware of your strengths and weaknesses, and can suggest tips to help you achieve the best learning outcome possible.
A final benefit to attending a school with a low student-to-teacher ratio is actually more of a social benefit. Statistically, colleges with a low student-to-teacher ratio have a lower number of students enrolled. This fact almost guarantees you will have the opportunity to get to know more of your peers. For many, this makes students feel safe and much more comfortable, not so anonymous as you might be on a larger campus.
Considering these factors, choosing a college with a low student-to-faculty ratio can have many benefits, both academically and socially.