Small classes lead to increased success

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Image of young woman in white lab coat at safety goggles transferring liquids between beakers while a grey-haired man looks on.

A new Cornell University study has shown that small class size lead to improved success in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses, especially for females.

Using data from 44 science courses at multiple institutions, researchers found that larger class sizes have a negative impact on learning and participation. Female classroom participation, especially, is influenced by the number of students in a class, with “smaller classes leading to more equitable participation”.

This study bolsters what we already see at College of the Rockies. Our smaller classes provide more one-to-one interaction with our highly knowledgeable and qualified instructors. That is likely one reason why a 2014/15 BC Council on Admissions and Transfer (BCCAT) report showed that students who began their education at College of the Rockies before transferring to a university completed their degree with an overall higher grade-point-average than students who started at a larger university.

College alumna Haley Pelton took University Studies courses at College of the Rockies before transferring to the University of Lethbridge to complete a degree.

“I had no problem getting full transfer credit at the University of Lethbridge,” she said. “I also found that I had a much better experience of first and second year science courses than other students who completed them at university, especially labs, because of the smaller class sizes and individual attention from instructors.  I was able to complete three different animal dissections in my vertebrate biology class. That would not have been an option at a larger university.”

College of the Rockies offers a full range of programs, including: skilled trades, university studies, adult upgrading, early childhood education, health and human services, business, office administration, tourism, hospitality, recreation, and fire services. No matter what you come to study, you can benefit from the highly personalized instruction our amazing faculty provide.

PHOTO: Former University Studies alum Rachel Green with Chemistry instructor, Dr. David Dick.