The Truth Behind the Student/Faculty Ratio

Sam Crankshaw

People always hem and haw about Transylvania’s small school size and excellent faculty to student ratio, but it isn’t very often articulated why that matters.

First off, our educators know when we get off track. If you are sitting in class glazed over while a professor explains some theory of calculus that not even Einstein would understand, (ok, that might be a stretch) he or she will notice and bring you up to speed. Sure, this sounds intimidating, but it is actually one of the greatest benefits of small classes. At Transylvania, the classes and professors will certainly challenge you and keep you busy, but you have to try to fall behind.

Secondly, the intimate class setting fosters great relationships among professors and students. It isn’t uncommon to run into a professor somewhere on campus or at a local coffee shop and not only have them recognize you, but have a fun conversation with you. Our classrooms aren’t halls in which the professor may never get the opportunity to meet all of his or her students.

The close relationships that we have with our professors is not only great for us on a personal level, but also professionally. Because we have such a diverse faculty, you never know what connections one of your professors may have. For instance, my business professor, Dr. Acchiardo, worked in Washington, D.C., in a field in which I am very interested. Consequently, she has mentored me, helped me choose what internships to apply for, edited my writing samples, and even sent my resume to contacts in DC.

Last, these small classes give every student the chance to voice their opinions. As we are a liberal arts school, we have many topics that don’t involve concrete science and have plenty of room for debate. Instead of having a political science professor lecture how things work, or even worse, how he or she thinks they should work, we have cordial discussions in which we examine our past, present, and what we think should be the future. Class discussions have really opened my eyes to varying views and have forced me to question the world in which we live even more than I already did.

These are just some of the numerous benefits of Transylvania and its tight-knit community. Our classes aren’t small for recruitment’s sake, but for the betterment of our intellectual community and development of personal relationships. Don’t take my word for it, come visit and see if the pioneer life is for you.

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