There are many options available for those seeking higher education and many to wonder with so many large colleges if there are advantages of attending a small college. Small colleges are unique and those who can appreciate their specific characteristics are often quite pleased with their educational experience.
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Smaller Class Sizes
One of the main reasons students select small colleges is for the class sizes. The learning process in a classroom setting has many components which include students being able to ask questions and instructors being able to converse with students to address any deficiencies that prohibit adequate comprehension of the material. Larger colleges regularly hold courses in huge lecture halls with hundreds of students. These vital components of the learning process simply cannot occur on the same level as at a small college as there are hundreds of students with only one instructor. Students at larger colleges are often allowed to ask questions, but many go unanswered due to the number of students with questions or even because students are afraid to ask a question in front of such a large crowd. The smaller class sizes at small colleges allow for questions answering and conversing with the instructor to occur naturally as a smaller number of students receive a greater level of focus and attention from the instructor.
More In-Depth Relationships
The smaller number of people at a small college allows for more quality time spent with those on campus. In the classroom, students spend more time with and get to know their professors better, often even on a personal level. This is helpful not only for success in the classroom but also during post-graduation when letters of recommendation are often requested. Students at larger colleges often have to search for professors to write letters of recommendation because many professors never even get to know their students’ names due to large class sizes. Students at small colleges can also get to know their peers better since they are limited in number on campus and everyone utilizes the same facilities. It’s not uncommon for students to see the same familiar faces in class, at the library, at the on-campus eating facilities, and in the on-campus housing. Students becoming familiar with their peers often results in a greater level of camaraderie which can be healthy for students’ social and academic lives.
Less Travel Time Between Classes
Another advantage of attending a small college is the smaller campus size which usually results in less travel time between classes. Large college can have thousands of acres which leave students needing to make detailed routes for getting to class on time which can easily take up to around 15 minutes for classes that are on opposite ends of campus. Small colleges tend to have a few building close together where classes are held leaving students with extra time that can be used for extra studying, socializing or simply taking a mental break in between classes.
The Carnegie Foundation classifies a four-year institute of higher education as small if it has between 1,000 to 2,999 students enrolled full-time. Students pursuing their education at institutes of this size will be able to experience the many advantages of attending a small college that will help contribute to a quality education.