At Furman, there’s a 10:1 student to faculty ratio. In other words, there are about ten Furman students per every 1 faculty member. On the surface, this number shows that we have relatively small class sizes! The smallest class I’ve had included about seven students, and classes here have a maximum of thirty-five students. But, what does this student-faculty ratio mean in practice? Do smaller class sizes–and fewer students per professor–really change one’s college experience that greatly? Yes! I wholeheartedly believe that the student-faculty ratio at Furman has impacted my experience to a great extent. It’s no secret that Furman professors are some of the best in the world; though, I may be a little biased! I’m delighted to brag about Furman’s faculty in this blog. I’m here to tell you all why Furman fosters a uniquely personalized learning environment, equipped with some of the best individuals that you’ll ever learn from or meet!
Not Just a Number
Standing at around 2,800 students, the average class size at Furman is 15 students. We only have about 4 lecture halls on campus, and these aren’t often used for academic classes–if they are, they’re definitely not full! I’ve found that when there are only 14 other students in your class, it’s difficult for professors not to notice you. In contrast, many bigger state schools have upwards of 50 students in each class, with as many as 150 students enrolled in introductory courses! Don’t get me wrong, everyone has different preferences–and some people might prefer to attend large classes–but I have heard from friends and faculty that it’s often hard for students to get to know their professors (or vice versa) when there are hundreds of students in each class! In these cases, students often become just a number and a blurred face in a lecture hall. At Furman, I know that I’m not just a number; I know each of my professors, and each of them knows me. My professors want to get to know me, and they are a big part of my success!
Successful AND Supportive
I am constantly in awe of my professors, as they have an undying passion for their subject of interest, are widely applauded in their field of students, and also manage to be great people! At Furman, the professors are thriving, but their success never seems to be their key focus. Many conduct research or write novels, but these personal achievements take second place to their role as professors; they’re here to teach and interact with students just like me. My success is the most important thing to them, and they’re constantly helping me to succeed and grow. Additionally, they applaud students for putting in effort and growing. I’ve had my day made numerous times by a professor reaching out and telling me that they’ve noticed my hard work. They make sure that you feel noticed and appreciated for all that you do and all that you accomplish!
Endless Office Hours
Your Furman professors want you to succeed, and they’re always willing to put in extra work to get you there. In my experience, office hours are an absolute gift! Each of my professors will keep a particular time period–usually around two hours–available for students to stop by and ask questions. If you’re worried about a test, don’t understand a homework assignment, or just need to talk, then go to office hours! I’ve had some of the most amazing conversations with professors simply by stopping by their offices. They always seem to have time for a quick question or conversation, and I find that most professors make time even when they don’t have much! They rise to the challenge and always want to help students–even if it takes a bit! Office hours may seem limited, but with Furman professors they’re endless!
They get it!
I’ve found that Furman professors are some of the most understanding educators I’ve ever learned under. I can reach out to many of my professors with a problem, and I know that they’ll be understanding. Whether you’re having difficulties in your personal life, are struggling with your mental health, or are overwhelmed with the amount of work you have to do, they will respond to you and try to help! For example, my professors are constantly encouraging students to ask for extensions if they need them and focus on their needs! To me, this shows another level of support and care. They understand that college is difficult, and academics are not the be-all to end-all. If you’re struggling or need help, you can count on them to respond and be open-minded; they get it, and they want to help!. I find that my professors are some of the kindest, and most considerate, individuals that I’ve had the pleasure of meeting.
Want to Know YOU
Finally, Furman professors WANT to get to know students. You’re not a number to them. Professors often encourage students to stop by their office during their office hours, even if it’s just to say hi or have a quick chat. They want to know your passions and your dreams, your strengths and your goals, and everything that makes you who YOU are. Once you tell them, they don’t forget! They’ll ask you how your dog is doing at home, they’ll congratulate you on winning your basketball game on Friday, and they’ll notice when you’re feeling under the weather. Not only do Furman professors notice you and want to get to know you, they care about you too! From the second you step foot in class, you realize just how true this is. When I’m not in class, my professors notice, and they worry. This relationship makes professors more than just the educators who teach your classes. Furman professors become lifelong friends, mentors, and often your #1 fans!
Here’s to FU Professors!
All of this being said, I have an amazing opinion of the professors at Furman. Though this is my opinion–and it’d be impossible for every student to share my exact experience–I’ve found that almost every other Furman student loves their professors as much as I do. Yes, it can be annoying that my professors always know when I didn’t do the reading haha! But I also know that they’re always looking out for me and helping me to become the best student–and person–that I can be. Here’s to the Furman professors, who are also friends, mentors, and amazing individuals! We couldn’t do this whole college thing without you. 🙂
If you’d like to learn more about the professor relationships–or even meet some of the professors, make sure to come to tour Furman, attend an academic fair, or sit in on a class! You’ll find that I’m not exaggerating their greatness in the slightest.
Lots of love for each of you,