Do you remembering registering for Laurier’s small, quaint, Brantford campus? Do you remember the selling feature “one-on-one time with professors” being drilled into your ambitious grade 12 mind? And despite the mid-sized first year classes, you’re still anticipating the discussion-based seminar-style classes that exude an aura of academia.
I made it to those seminar classes of the academic promised land- its a shame that my anticipations were for naught.
The well-marketed one-on-one style of teaching that brands Laurier Brantford is slowly diminishing, at no fault of the professors but the direction in which universities are heading. Though I am the first to celebrate the growth of our little campus that could, I wish an accompanied growth in faculty paralleled the expansion of the student body.
Professors are getting bogged down. They are hired because of their academic works and progress. Ever-expanding class sizes and therefore essay-marking are leaving them with little time for any personal research. Its understandable that they would move to ScanTron based exams that rely on regurgitation rather than an greater understanding of ideas.
The quality of your education is at stake. Imagine getting to that fourth year seminar that partners perfectly with your discipline. Imagine the idea-stirring discussion or a rapport with your peers and professors, putting you on a nearly horizontal power structure. Now imagine doing all of this while looking at a professor speaking on a TV screen, or reading a discussion online. The push towards the more cost-effective method of distance education is leaving students, (tuition payers) in the dust.
It is necessary to take into account the managerial need to budget effectively and the growth of a campus with little surplus classroom space at the moment. But those are long term factors, therefore a rebuttal should be long term as well. Talk to your Dean, students. Talk to your department head. Let them know you came to Laurier Brantford for the type of mind-expansion one simply cannot get from a 500 person lecture. Enough attention brought to the matter from those paying for this university (you) will result in a shift of campus direction.
And if not, you will find yourselves paying $7,000 a year to sit on the aisle stairs of a lecture hall, scrolling through Facebook on your Macbook.
At least right now you have a chair.
I think we can, I think we can