Large Vs. Small Universities

Whether you are a senior in high school picking out a college or already an underclassman at a university and looking to transfer, you still want to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of your size school. I went to a state university that had over 46,000 students, but I’ve had friends who attend small private schools with 5,000 students. I’m going to take the next few paragraphs to list some of the pros and cons. This is all based on my opinions and my personal experiences at a big time university. My assessment of small private schools might be off because I have never personally attended one.

Right off the bat when you think of a big university (Texas, Ohio State, University of Florida) you think sports. One of the major advantages of going to a large university is their athletic programs. If you are a sports fan, then attending a Division I football school might factor into your decision. Televised games, pep rallies, homecoming parades, and rivalries are all part of attending a large university. However, you do not have to love sports to go to a D-I school. There are thousands of students at large universities that want nothing to do with sports, and that’s OK because there are plenty of other things to do.

Large schools also come with large libraries and media centers. There are plenty of places to study and plenty of computer labs to get your work done during class. I used to go to a computer lab (there were hundreds of computers in there) in between my classes and surf the web or complete my homework from the night before. At a small school there may only be one library and it might be too far out of your way. At a big school, there’s a library, study hall, or computer lab on every corner.

Food is another advantage of attending a large university. They have several dining halls and not to mention Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, Chik-Fil-A, Taco Bell, Pizza hut, and basically every other fast food joint you can think of right in the middle of campus. You can get food anywhere. And the dining halls actually have eatable food. They don’t serve Helda’s three day old meatloaf and peas. We had freshly baked omelets with bacon and pancakes every morning. I bet you can’t get that at Flagler College.

Some other quick advantages of a large university are the social aspects (fraternities and sororities, intramurals, clubs, student government, and so on). Most universities have a distinguished faculty that know what they are doing. Another advantage is there is on-campus housing for freshman (and sometimes sophomores). This gives you to opportunity to wake up 10 minutes before class starts and walk there in your PJs.

Some disadvantages of a large school are the enormous sized classes. It’s likely you can have a class with 900 people. No matter what you say or how many questions you ask in class, the professor won’t know your name. Many classes are taught by Teacher’s Assistants, which means you are not getting as high a quality as you would like. At a large university you are just a number to some people, and you can get lost in the crowd. Finally, all professors think they are hot shots and care more about their own research than helping students.

Small universities on the other hand have smaller classes. These smaller classes may put more emphasis on learning and hands-on experience. I have never attending a small university but most likely they have more individualized majors. It is not a set curriculum that thousands of people follow every semester. With smaller classes students are able to get to know their professors better. This is great from when its time to find letters of recommendation. Try getting a letter from a teacher when you were just one of 900 students in the class.

Another pro for attending a small college is the advisors know the students very well. Try seeing an advisor at the college of liberal arts at a major university. They see a hundred kids a day and won’t ever remember your name or what classes you’re taking. Also, there is a greater sense of community at a small school. You aren’t just a number on an ID card, here you are a person with a face and a name.

If you have any more questions about university size, feel free to email me at [email protected]

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The Benefits of Cultural Events at College

Cultural events today are a dime a dozen in educational institutions in India and abroad. A college education experience offers the student, not only academic and social opportunities, but also a variety of other experiences Lectures, seminars, get-togethers, cultural festivals, social campus events, volunteer/community activities, conferences and career fairs, are some opportunities available to students today to network and create opportunities for themselves. These events further result into social and professional relationships with their contacts from the cultural event so that both can forge a win-win relationship among them.

At college, most parents expect their wards to work hard at their studies and do well in their exams. This is more emphasized if the exam is a career defining one like the 12th standard exams. Not many parents encourage their children to network through such social and cultural events at colleges, as they feel that these events are a waste of time for both the students and the colleges, but that is not the case. Invariably parents feel that the child’s attention will be diverted from studies if they take part in cultural and social events in their college.

However, the benefits of such events are many. There are five main reasons why students should take part in social and cultural events at college. These reasons are:

– They allow the students to connect to the resources available in their schools, tap the available resources to their benefit, as the onus of tapping on to college resources for their betterment and growth rests with the students. This can only be possible by becoming involved in cultural and social events held in college.

– It helps them build the community: Being involved in such events compels students to leave their families and at times their friends behind, work with a new set of people, who may later become their friends.

– It allows them to discover their passions and strengths: Taking part of getting involved will allow the students to gauge their passions, their skills, their opportunities, strengths and weaknesses. The knowledge of all these would help them decide their career after the college education.

– It’s a resume builder: Taking part in such events will add to the resume, that is to say, the student’s contribution will be written down in the resume as an extra-curricular activity, and it will be an achievement if he wins a prize at the event.

– Sometimes, busier kids do better in all areas: This largely depends upon the individual student and cannot be generalized for all the students, but it has been found that more free time does not always equal better grades. Being involved will involve some time management by the student, which will help him in managing bigger activities in his professional life.

Finding out one’s niche on campus can be easier said than done. However, it is only by doing or getting involved in various events and activities as participants or as volunteers can the students benefit both professionally and spiritually.

Writing a Dissertation at College or University

Almost all universities require students to undertake a piece of independent research. This is often referred to as a dissertation or thesis. Because the dissertation relies more on the initiative of the student, and because it is usually a substantial piece of work, it often causes students a great deal of stress. Here are some hands-on tips to help you tackle the dissertation.

Tip 1: Start early – do not delay in getting the dissertation under way. A little bit done on a regular basis really does make all the difference. Set aside two to three hours a week to begin with. In no time at all you will have made substantial progress, which will serve to motivate you even further.

Tip 2: No data = no dissertation. While ideally the research process requires you to come up with a topic and then decide what data you need, in the real world I would never embark on a research project without first considering access to data. In many instances it makes sense to start with reflecting on what data might be relatively easily available to you that you could build a dissertation around.

Tip 3: Starting early means starting to write early too! Some tutors give the advice that you ‘write-up’ the dissertation at the end. This is nonsense. It does not matter if you have to redraft your work, 99% of writers do this. The dissertation is something that should come together gradually. The process or writing itself will get you to think through the material you have been reading and working on.

Tip 4: Make sure the data analysis and interpretation are linked to the literature review. To do so the literature review needs to have clear themes, or better still a theoretical framework (a collection of key concepts and how these relate to one another). Remember that your study needs to relate to the body of knowledge that already exists.

Tip 5: Tell the reader what your aim and objectives are and then in the conclusion tell them how you have met them. People who mark lengthy pieces of work often start by trying to get an overview of it. One way of doing this is to read the introduction and then the conclusion. You should make it clear to the reader that you have done what you said you set out to do. It is surprising how often students fail to do this!

College Sexual Assaults Get New Focus

Universities and Colleges around the country are feeling pressure to resolve the problem of sexual assaults on campus. They are getting a new focus and a new look at the problem because of some pressure from President Obama and the new task force he started a month ago to look into the causes of and how sexual assaults on campus are handled.

It is hard to say exactly why the White House is involved in campus sexual assaults other than the fact that University and College officials nationwide seem inept at handling the problem.

The facts are:

1. That 25 to 30% of all women on a University campus will be sexually assaulted in her four years at the institution.

2. The assailant is known to the victim in close to 90% of the cases.

3. Fewer than 5% of the assailants ever get punished.

4.Universities encourage victims to stay “within the system” and not report the incident to local law enforcement.

5. In 70% of the cases, alcohol or drugs are involved.

These facts combine for a frustrating situation for female victims. They are pressured from their peers to not report the incident in most of the cases-close to 90%-because the assailants are their classmates. A felony sexual assault on anyone’s record is a major impediment to career enhancement.

University officials encourage students to keep the crime within the University system, where a felony assault is treated as a violation of the student handbook and not subject to reporting as required by federal law. This helps keep the reputation of the University intact and maintains the image they wish to represent of the campus as a safe and serene place, especially for women.

The normal impression of sexual assaults on a college campus is that they are done by off-campus perpetrators. We are not sure where that came from but it is completely wrong. Nearly 98% of all sexual assaults on a college campus are done by students.

Universities do their best to keep the campuses safe with security patrols, emergency call boxes, text messaging of assaults and a variety of other means. The fact of the matter is that a preponderance of these assaults occur at private or semi-private parties where alcohol and drugs are plentiful. Female victims are often so drunk they don’t even remember what happened.

Our advice to female students for their own personal safety is that they should learn some self-defense techniques and arm themselves with a self-defense product such as a pepper spray.