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View Diary: Teachers' Lounge: My Small Town Experience (20 comments)

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  •  I think your university sounds terrific (8+ / 0-)

    I attended small, private colleges and loved them; my daughter ended up at UC Berkeley, and hasn't been all that impressed.  But it's clearly a very individual thing, and finding the right school as an undergraduate--or even as a professor--takes some research and self-knowledge.      

    "Teachers are the enemies of ignorance. If the teachers win, Rush and his allies lose." Stolen from Sidnora, 12/15/12 with thanks!

    by kmoore61 on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 12:05:03 PM PST

    •  I have heard that UCB is good for graduate school (7+ / 0-)

      but not so good for undergraduate.  That "info" is worth every bit you paid for it!

      ...Son, those Elephants always look out for themselves. If you happen to get a crumb or two from their policies, it's a complete coincidence. -Malharden's Dad

      by slowbutsure on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 02:22:13 PM PST

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      •  Undergrads are viewed as a necessary evil (4+ / 0-)

        At most prestigious national universities. There are exceptions, but there's also a lot to be said for strong small colleges for one's undergrad education, just as community colleges can be useful for the first year or two of college.

        The further up the food chain your school is, the less undergrads matter.

        •  Land-grant colleges in the Midwest... (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mamamedusa, ladybug53

          They were created by the Lincoln Administration so that the children of the working and middle classes could get a college education in science, engineering or agriculture.  In many states they have evolved into R1 institutions, in which the teaching of undergraduates, particularly of freshmen and sophomores, is of low priority.  In theory, the gigantic courses in calculus and psychology are cash cows for the university, which subsidize the junior and senior courses whose attendance may number 12.  

          The problem is that legislators send what they see as large sums of money to these universities, under the expectation that their main purpose is to teach undergraduates.  The universities propagandize the same whenever it's time for funding.  

          "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

          by Yamaneko2 on Sat Feb 23, 2013 at 10:47:21 PM PST

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      •  did undergrad and grad at UCB (0+ / 0-)

        Wildly different experiences. It's a huge school, and the undergrad experience reflects it. Classes in auditoriums that seat hundreds with teleconferenced spillover rooms. Not much interaction with instructors. But there's a huge breadth and depth of different courses and it's an interesting place to live. You can get swallowed by the size, though. It's large enough to be a bureaucracy (especially College of Letters and Sciences.) It's also a great deal (or it used to be...tuition more than doubled in the years I was there).

        Grad school classes are an order of magnitude smaller. You know the name of the admins and they know yours. Grad school converges on a common experience in general I think, so it becomes the quality of research and your interactions with your advisor that shape the experience. Berkeley's an amazing research university. It's this whole other experience. If I could go back and tell the undergrad me to seek it out and engage in it (there are opportunities, but you have to initiate them yourself. Ask your GSAs if you can volunteer, go to seminar series' that are advertised in elevators of LSA...professors notice!) I think I would have had a richer undergrad experience.

    •  The fit of student and college is a very (0+ / 0-)

      individual situation.  My kids picked very different universities for their own reasons and all were happy with the results.  We were blessed that they were able to attend the school that they had their hearts set on.

      “The future depends entirely on what each of us does every day.” Gloria Steinem

      by ahumbleopinion on Sun Feb 24, 2013 at 05:00:50 PM PST

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