6 Perks of Being in a Small Class

With a student-to-faculty ratio of just 13:1 and an average class size of 17, students at Carthage will not get lost in the college crowd. Here are six reasons why being in a small class is such a big deal.

Prof. Andrea Henle helps a student with a research project.

1. You will bond with your professors.

At Carthage, professors know your name and genuinely care about your success. You can expect a concerned email in your inbox if you have to miss class. Forming these bonds opens the door for future projects and research opportunities with your professors.

“My first-year advisor, Professor Yan Wang, helped me figure out my four-year plan so I could graduate on time. Without her, I would have no idea how to figure out what classes I needed for graduation,” explained Mira Parker ’23, a Japanese major. “It is easy to talk with her and get advice on the best classes to take. Since my relationships with my advisors are more family-like than business-like, it is super easy to reach out to them with any questions I might have.”

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“My relationships with my advisors are more family-like than business-like.”

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Student participate in a class discussion, observing #StaySafeCarthage guidelines.

2. You will engage in class discussions.

Class discussions will become an integral part of your classes and curriculum — an advantage that larger classes can’t offer. These dynamic discussions lead to interesting and intimate learning experiences that help every student succeed.

Nervous about speaking up in class? Don’t be. Your professors and classmates want to hear what you have to say.

“My favorite class so far has been Thinking Like a Dickens Scholar with Professor Alyson Kiesel,” said mathematics graduate Andrew Dorst ’21. “This class has been unlike any other I had taken before because each day was purely based on class discussion. Because of the small class size, the flow of it felt very natural. I became close with a lot of people in the class and I looked forward to meeting with them each day.”

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“Because of the small class size, the flow of it felt very natural.”

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Prof. Tracy Gartner leads a class outside at the Lincoln Hayes Statue during nice weather.

3. You WILL go to class.

Let’s face it: There will come a day when you just want to skip class. Maybe you’re exhausted. Maybe you’ve got a huge project due later in the week. But skipping costs you more in the long run, and at Carthage, class size is a big motivator to get you in your seat.

Why? Well, if you don’t show up, people will notice. You will find that you are an important contributor who will be missed. All students benefit from everyone being in class. Many professors include attendance in their grading. Above all? You will go to class because you want to go to class.

“The faculty in my departments are such amazing professors. Each professor teaches in unique ways that are so intriguing that I almost hate when I have to leave at the end of class,” expressed sociology and criminal justice major Luisa Nava ’23.

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“Each professor teaches in unique ways that are so intriguing.”

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Students hang out together in the Science Center between classes.

4. You will connect with your classmates.

Small classes allow for strong relationships to form among classmates in and outside of the classroom, which makes learning more comfortable, the learning process more productive, collaboration more meaningful, and college life more enjoyable.

“I chose Carthage because of the small class sizes that would allow me to build close relationships with my peers,” said biology major Gianna Apostoli ’23. “I have been able to get to know so many people who are interested in the same career path as me, and the professors have helped me immensely with making decisions for my future. Everyone has been very supportive!”

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“I have been able to get to know so many people who are interested in the same career path as me.”

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Prof. Jean Quashnock helps students in a physics class.

5. You will get the help you need, without waiting for office hours.

When your class is small, you can ask questions the moment they arise — and have them answered immediately, increasing your productivity and improving your overall experience in a course. Professors check in while teaching to make sure everyone understands the content.

Professor Stephanie Mitchell’s class wasn’t a cakewalk for me, but I learned so many valuable lessons that I will need to be successful throughout college” explained business and marketing major Ayanna Crenshaw ’24. “Her class taught me the importance of communicating with professors, taking advantage of the small class sizes, being open-minded, and exploring classes outside of your major. The work you put in outside of the classroom is just as important as in the classroom.”

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“I learned so many valuable lessons that I will need to be successful throughout college.”

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A student gives a presentation in Lentz Hall.

6. You will want to do well, and you can.

A small class brings big opportunities for success. You won’t be lost in the crowd. You will feel more motivated to work hard. Professors will support your pursuits. And you will be exposed to learning styles that could not exist in large classes. With closer attention and heightened focus, learning is fun and fruitful.

“I wouldn’t have my current internship without Professor Erlan Wheeler and Professor Mark Snavely supporting my transition from actuarial science to data science,” said Noah Jensen ’23, data science and mathematics major. “All of the mathematics and data science professors I’ve encountered are outstanding individuals and will bend over backward to help you get the results you want from your education.”

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“I wouldn’t have my current internship without Professor Erlan Wheeler and Professor Mark Snavely.”

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