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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Quality or Quantity of our College Education?

A good question for you, what is better for everyone? A quality college education or quantity for big bucks?

That's an argument that was put forward by one of my professors on Tuesday. He argued that his class a few semesters back was supposed to be a small one with less than 35 students. Currently, his class holds 70+ students! What's the big idea?

The CSU system is focused more on providing smaller, more intimate classes (like my graduate classes), not mega sized classes so that the state can rake in on your tuition/fees that keeps rising so high.

Think about this: Why is SFSU's Human Sexuality course has so many students (a TON OF STUDENTS)? You could think that it's because of the GE requirements, or because the students gets to watch some "amusing" videos, or maybe because the idea of sexuality is so attractive (it sells!).

I like small classes because it provides a more intimate environment for everyone, and you really get to know your professors much more (just don't get caught sleeping in class). I also enjoy that I can visit their office hours with little or no wait, and really get the help that I need. Mega sized classes feel so odd to me because there is always a wait for help, they prefer doing things online, and multiple choice tests is no help either!

I guess it is all about the money these days. Is it cheaper and profitable to have two professors teach 35 students each for the same course in separate sections or have one professor teach 70 students in one class section?

Maybe the Simpson's are right. In the future, school will be taught in triple decker seat classrooms and only one teacher on the TV will be communicating to hundreds of schools at once.

Let's summarize my rants:
Please don't break down our classroom walls to make mega-sized lecture halls.
35, maximum!
Stop raising our student tuition/fees!
I want quality, not quantity. It's like graduating from Berkeley with 50,000 other students at the same time; sure makes that name sound so pristine.

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