By: Kaila Trowbridge
The fall 2018 semester has brought a record breaking 140 freshman and 115 transfer students to attend the University of Saint Mary. The enrollment at Saint Mary has been steadily increasing over the past few years, so it was not a shock to some of the professors that class sizes have been reaching 30 or more students. Dr. Karenbeth Zacharias is the division chair of liberal arts and humanities at the University of Saint Mary.
“We are excited about larger class sizes as it provides a dynamic learning environment for a diverse group of students,” she says. With more students, there could potentially be more perspectives brought to light in student discussions.
Having diversity and large numbers in the classroom can have both pros and cons according to Saint Mary English professor Sister Rosemary Kolich.
“When everyone contributes, large class sizes bring different experiences and backgrounds that can help students learn more about the topic we are discussing,” she says. On the other hand, Sister Rosemary thinks that the challenge professors will face is really getting to know students and their skill sets which can help point out the thing’s students struggle with.
“Students will often disengage more easily in a large classroom, but you just have to have a lot of energy when you’re up in front of so many people to keep everyone’s attention,” she said.
Students who have been at Saint Mary for at least a year or two know that there are usually about 10-12 students per class. Sometimes a student may have an upper level class with five to six students and he or she might have a level 100 course with 25-30 students.
“I have already noticed that a few of my classes are larger than previous years at Saint Mary,” senior Samantha Torres said. “I like that I can get to know so many new faces, but I hope that I can still get the direct one on one attention I have always been able to get here.”
A growing campus will bring in new students that are full of potential. The University of Saint Mary has great expectations for any new students coming in, and old students who are here to stay.
Kaila Trowbridge is a Junior at University of Saint Mary where she majors in Digital Communications.