Small Classes

Earth sciences professor Diane Boyer and two summer scholars

Accessible and affordable are SUNY bywords, and Oswego steps up these values by emphasizing students’ interaction with faculty.

One of the college’s strategies for maximizing opportunities for personal attention in the classroom caught the eye of U.S. News & World Report last year. The magazine, which has made a specialty of evaluating higher education statistics, included Oswego on a list of just 30 well-regarded colleges nationally that offer small classes without high prices. To make its list, at least half of all classes had to have fewer than 20 students.

Under President Deborah F. Stanley, Oswego launched a small-class initiative several years ago that has steadily increased the number of such classes, especially for first-year students.

“We know that our juniors and seniors often have small classes by virtue of their more advanced and specialized studies,” Stanley said, “but we also know how important it is to engage our newest students in rigorous intellectual exchanges with their professors and classmates. We believe this happens best in the small-class environment, and we’ve strategized to provide more of these intimate learning opportunities.”

Photo: Technology education students learn with professor Dan Tryon.

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