In movies, you always see college classes being held in huge lecture rooms with 100+ students. People are dozing off or watching videos on their laptop, not paying attention to what the professor has to say. While some people may not mind those larger classes, we have small, intimate classrooms at Nazareth that allow you to really get to know your professors and classmates. This defining feature of Naz is one of many reasons why I chose to go here.
I come from a small town where I graduated with 78 other students. I was used to walking into a classroom and seeing the familiar faces of people I had grown up with. I was used to teachers knowing me on a personal level and this was something I wanted to continue in my collegiate career. I wasn’t interested in a big college where I would get lost in the crowd and would be just another name on a list to professors. I wanted to be at a place where I knew the people I had classes with and could really form a bond with the professors I met and, as I discovered from my tour guide when I visited as well as from online research, Naz is the perfect embodiment of what I was looking for.
With a 9:1 student-faculty ratio, it’s easy for your professor to know your name and care about your wellbeing. Professors at Naz truly want you to succeed. If you’re having problems it’s easy to reach out and get help from them. Many professors even give students their cell phone numbers in case the need to contact them immediately arises. Also, many students have gone to a professor’s house and had dinner with them and their class as an end of the semester celebration. You won’t find these types of intimate connections at a bigger school with large lecture halls.
Because of the small classes, what a student says matters. If you ask a professor to make a change in the classroom or in how they’re presenting course content, it’s easier for them to make that happen than it would be at a larger school. Also, Naz students get hands on experiences many students at other colleges don’t. In my marketing classes, we have often worked with real life clients in the community who need help solving their marketing problems and have gotten to tour many local agencies. If I was in a class with 500 other students, these opportunities would be difficult to come by. Along the same lines, when speakers come to a class or to campus, we can actually meet them and ask our questions, rather than just being a single face in a crowd of hundreds.
Another unique aspect of having smaller classes is that almost all professors take attendance and factor your participation and attendance into your final grade. This wasn’t something I was thrilled about at first, but the more I went to classes, the more I realized why many professors at Naz have this policy. It really holds students accountable and responsible for coming to class and ensures they get the best learning experience possible. Professors understand that things can come up and usually just want to be notified ahead of time if you won’t be there. At many other colleges, it’s easier to skip classes unnoticed, but that really makes life harder in the long run because you’re missing out on valuable learning time and have to catch up on that content in your free time. So while an attendance policy may seem like a burden at first, it’s actually a great way to ensure students are getting the most for what they paid for. Even if your professor doesn’t count attendance, it’s well worth your time (and money) to go to class!
Lastly, walking into a classroom and knowing almost everyone there is a very welcoming feeling. The vast majority of people at Naz are so friendly and enjoy talking to each other in big or small groups, since we’ve all had so many classes together. While this does happen in core classes as well, I’ve found this to be especially true in ones for my major and minors. Being comfortable with who you’re around makes it easier to join the conversation and express your ideas, especially if you’re more on the shy side. Having friends in every class also ensures you’ll always have someone to work with or take notes from one day if you need to miss a class. Having close relationships with both students and professors really helps make the classroom a more interesting and exciting place to be!