Students in field

Small class sizes provide valuable opportunities for students

August 17, 2018

When it comes to student-faculty ratio, the smaller the better. Fewer students per class means more individualized attention, feedback from professors, better networking opportunities, and it allows you connect with classmates and build friendships that will last a lifetime.

For Finlandia University students, the average classroom size was eight students during the 2017-18 academic year. 

“Unlike other schools where faculty may appear inaccessible, our faculty know students on a first name basis, cheer on the Lions at home games and connect struggling students with academic support staff by walking them to an office after class,” said Dean of Students & Enrollment Erin Barnett.  “I often joke that it takes more work to fall through the cracks at Finlandia, as those students need to work really hard at finding ways to stay anonymous.”

While eight is the average class size across the entire university, some schools have fewer students in their courses. For example, FinnU’s International School of Art & Design (ISAD) programs boast an average of five students per class.

“Art & design is a personal journey for each student,” said ISAD Coordinator Gini Brewer. “We pour our hearts in to our work. Small class sizes make it possible to form lasting connections between faculty and students that would not happen in a larger institution. When all of us know each other we are better able to support each other on that journey. Everyone looks out for each other and helps to push each other to be the best artist/designers we can be.”

Brewer, an alumna of the Fiber and Fashion Design program, felt the small class sizes enhanced her learning experience and provided her with valuable connections.

“Because we are small, we are like a family,” said Brewer. “Even now, five years after graduation, when I walk through the doors of the studio I feel like I’m home.”

This is the second article in our Small is Beautiful campaign at FinnU. Read our May 7 article or watch our video to learn more.

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