Does (Class) Size Matter?


Hayley Cross

Schools get more money the more students they have enrolled and the more money they get, the bigger and better their stadiums can look.

Bigger is not always better in terms of class sizes for students at various universities. One student’s experiences at a large public university shows that colleges that have bigger class sizes tend to not give the personal attention that a student may need while other schools with smaller classes have relationships with students and help them succeed.

To get a better understanding of large classes compared to small classes, the Delta Statement spoke with a student who has experience with both types of settings. Due to the fact he will be giving personal information about grades and experiences, the student would like to remain anonymous.

The student attended the University of Mississippi, commonly known as Ole Miss, in the fall of 2017 and the spring of 2018 as a freshman. While at Ole Miss, he quickly learned that his name was not important unless it was signed on the check being given to the school.

“Most of my classes were over one hundred students,” he said. “We would swipe our student ID when we came in and sit down. If you didn’t swipe your ID, then you would be marked absent because the professor didn’t know your name to say you were there nor did he care.”

The student says that his grades began to drop and that if there were tutoring opportunities, he did not know about them because no one brought any attention to them. According to the student, there were no signs or announcements showing when events were or when things were due. The professors did not make any announcements unless a question was asked.

There was only one class in which the student says the teacher knew his name, his grade, would talk with him and would work with him one-on-one. The class only had somewhere between fifteen and twenty students. This small class made it possible for the teacher to give individual help to the students who needed it.

Being at the very large University of Mississippi made the student feel as though he did not matter and neither did his grades. They began to slip to the point where he lost his scholarships, and no one on campus cared or tryed to ask what was going on. How can you ask if you do not know your students’ names or care to check up at all?

Now, the student attends Northwest Community College, and his grades have made a miraculous comeback. He has teachers who show interest in not only his name but also how well he is doing in class.

If he makes a grade that is not the best he can do, the professors notice and offer help. They check on the students and advertise tutoring that is offered at the school. His largest class now is less than thirty students. He is doing better and is the first to tell anyone who asks that class size matters a lot more than the attention brought to it.

Some schools are unable to afford enough teachers to support students with individual help. Also, it is not the professors’ jobs to hold the students’ hands. College is the time between being a child and being an adult where students must learn how to support themselves and live in the real world. While it is true that teachers are not paid to teach small classes to make their students’ lives easier, it does not hurt to go the extra mile for those who put forth the effort.

Class size matters no matter which way a student learns. Some prefer bigger classe while others need something smaller. Everyone is just trying to get an education.