Monday, February 11, 2013

Think Small and Intimate for Higher Education

Davis and Elkins College
Davis and Elkins College (mikemac29)
by Becca Bryan

Class Size and Student to Teacher Ratio

As a graduate of a small liberal arts college, I can verify that a smaller class size is better for learning. It allows the student better opportunities to join class discussions, debates and activities.

Instead of large lecture halls filled with a hundred people, the smaller number of people in a classroom means student projects will be given more time.

The student to professor ratio is much better and the professor has more time to spend with each person. The chance for getting help with a tough course is much greater and therefore the student is more likely to get a better grade.

One of the best aspects of attending Davis and Elkins College, a small school in West Virginia, was the ability to get to know my professors well. This led me to work harder in the class instead of feeling invisible as I would have in a larger university.

Choice of Degrees and Cross Training with a Larger University

The traditional degrees offered are standard at every college and university in the United States. Smaller colleges offer them also. In addition, many great schools offer niche degrees in fields their bigger cousins do not. Degrees can be tailored to the student's interest also.

It is a good challenge to mix up courses in different fields to find the best one and then zero in on it. Also, the chance to take a class at a larger school is available at some small colleges. If the course is accredited, it applies toward the degree.

Military, All Women, All Men, Consortium Schools

Among the choices for small higher ed schools are the nation's military academies. These are hard to get in to but once in, the military branch pays for the student's education as long as they go on active duty after graduation. They are some of the most respected and prestigious schools in the country.

If a military career is not on the horizon, there are also great all women and all men's colleges. While they may seem restrictive, these schools really are more social. Students in all women and all men schools take classes at their own college and since most are a part of a consortium, can take classes in other colleges nearby.

These colleges are very selective with applicants but once in, the opportunities to grow and learn are incredible. Many of them are highly respected look good on the graduate's resume.

It's Your Life - What Do You Want To Do With It?

As said, it's your life. What do you want to do with it? Most high school juniors are close to making their minds up about what they want to study. It takes good guidance to find the best educational facility.

Apply to the schools which have the best programs in the fields you want to study. Visit the campus, talk to current students and find out what extra curricular activities they offer. Look at the dorm rooms. Check out where the dorms are located.

Is there a class you want to take at a sister school? How will you get there and back? Is public transportation safe in the area? How far away is the school from home? These are some of the questions to keep in mind while still in high school. Enjoy searching for the best hidden gem school.

I graduated from a small liberal arts school many years ago. It was only 3 hours from home, tucked in to the Appalachian Mountains and had the best professors. Blogging for Editions TV gives me the chance to toot Davis and Elkins' horn because it let me toot my own.

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