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While interviewing candidates during the recent scholarship competition held on campus one question my team asked all applicants was Why are you interested in Xavier The responses we heard ranged from Good academic reputation to Attractive campus to Near home No matter what other reasons they listed however nearly all of our interviewees also cited small class size as an important factor in their decision to apply to Xavier They stressed their desire to be more than just a number and to have one-on-one relationships with their instructors In my office in Albers Hall I often hear student tour guides tell prospective freshmen that small class size is a valuable part of a Xavier education The average class size is 22 students and the studentteacher ratio is 17 to 1 the usual tour goes typically while the group is being shown Albers 103 a lecture hall that seats 102 people I am very happy that the small class experience where students receive individual attention from their instructor is something that is valued here at Xavier But the reason we have lecture halls like Albers 103 is because some of us especially in the introductory science courses are teaching large classes I have several concerns when teaching a large class both for the students enrolled and for myself as their teacher I want the students to have that Xavier experience they have been promised and for which they are paying I want to get to know my students as individuals and as much as possible to have a one-on-one relationship with them These desires on my part are not purely selfless because I believe that the learning environment in the classroom is improved when the students realize that they and the teacher are members of a team working together toward a common goal This realization on the part of the students is only possible if they are comfortable in their relationship with their teacher
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