In an ideal institution, professors would have only a few students in each class. All course work would be tailored to meet a student’s individual needs, and students would graduate having fostered great academic relationships and having learned all their professors have to share.Unfortunately, if an institution like this existed, it would either be bankrupt or too small to provide students with a “normal” college experience.
In an effort to strike a balance of faculty and students, the Board of Trustees recently advised TCU officials to set an enrollment cap for the next five years in what they say is an effort to maintain the integrity of a TCU education.
Recently, class sizes have crept up in certain colleges of TCU as the number of faculty hired has not been proportionate to the increasing number of students enrolling.
Mary Volcansek, dean of the AddRan College of Humanities and Social Sciences, said the school has had to add chairs to classes in Reed Hall because so many freshman enroll for these courses.
TCU does a good job of keeping the number of large classes down, but the university should never be in the situation where it has to squeeze more students into a room than is recommended.
In the academics section of the admissions Web site, TCU’s undergraduate size is listed at 6,800 and the average class size at 27 – a slight misrepresentation since this year’s undergraduate enrollment is 7,160.
It seems inconsistent to advertise one thing and then have to add chairs to the first class a freshman attends.
TCU prides itself on small classes and a community feel that allows students and professors to build relationships.
Since officials have to accept more freshmen than will actually enroll, it’s hard to know exactly how many applicants to accept in order to reach that optimum size. But small classes are a worthy goal because that is one of the traits that differentiates TCU and gives it a quality many other universities don’t have.
News editor Kathleen Thurber for the editorial board