Many people who attend college classes with a large number of students don’t enjoy the experience. “I felt like I was just a number” or “I felt lost in the shuffle” are common complaints. The benefits of small class sizes at the elementary and secondary levels are well known, but those benefits translate to the college level as well.
“I like being in the smaller classes because I can get more one-on-one time with the instructors. This spring will be my third semester at Chatfield and I like it a lot,” said Business Management student Marco Torres. “A couple of my friends go to larger universities and they complain about the high number of students in the class. I just think learning is better when you have a smaller group.”
Most classes at Chatfield have an average of 11 students. It’s enough to have a diverse mix of personalities and learning styles but still allows everyone to get to know each other on a personal level.
“Shy students come in all class sizes. There are strategies that you can employ to bring them out of their shells, but it’s much easier to do that when you can get to know them better in a smaller class environment,” said Dr. Farzaneh Naseri-Sis, the English Department Chair at Chatfield.
Naseri-Sis said that the students also benefit from the relationships that are built in a smaller class. “They get to know their classmates and how to work with them. With large classes, many times students don’t get to interact with every individual, which is a shame.”
She added that students also tend to perform better when there are fewer people in the room. “In large classes, sometimes the students can get distracted with electronics instead of staying involved in the class. It’s a lot harder to do that in a small class,” Naseri-Sis said. “You get to work with students one-on-one and they are generally more focused.”
That one-on-one attention is also the major academic benefit to smaller classes. “I teach writing, and sometimes during class, students will ask me to read something they have written and give them immediate feedback. That is possible in a small class, but it would be impossible in a class with 100 students or more,” Naseri-Sis said. She added that a smaller number of students can get more out of classroom exercises by actually participating instead of just listening to others.
Nasari-Sis also explained that being able to get to know her students and their needs allows her to pair someone that is struggling with someone who is more comfortable with the material. “When they get engaged with each other, the time flies by and they both get something out of that experience,” she said. “The confidence level grows in both students when they work together like that.”
If you or a family member would like to know more about our small classes, caring instructors and safe environment, please give us a call. You can reach our Brown County campus at (513) 875-3344 and our Cincinnati campus at (513) 921-9856.
For more information or to schedule a visit, visit our website at www.chatfield.edu.