Class sizes at KSC have gone up, but, according to KSC officials, this may be because the college has been better at offering courses students need.
While there are fewer students physically at Keene State, the class sizes appear to be growing; however, this may be due to the college recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Sue Castriotta, associate provost at KSC, explained that during COVID-19, certain things such as air refresh had to be implemented daily in the classrooms.
This not only took away from class hours, but also made it so certain buildings could not exceed a certain number of students and teachers. “We are able to offer more courses at this point,” Castriotta said. “There might be a perception that the course sizes are going up, but they’re just back to what they were pre-COVID.” Now that the college has a better understanding of the pandemic, classes can seat a higher number of students.
“Keene State has been doing a much better job at determining overall class sizes for all the programs of study for what we have,” said Provost James Beeby. “Class sizes may have gone up in certain areas, but that may well be because we’ve been better at offering the kinds of courses that students need.”
Castriotta and Beeby concluded that the class average has not changed. “I don’t think our average class size has gone up if you look at the number of courses versus the number of students. There will be an increase in some class sizes partly because we’ve relaxed some of the COVID restrictions,” Beeby said.
The average student-to-faculty ratio is 15:1, which has grown over the years. KSC is trying to reach a 20:1 student-to-faculty ratio. “That is really important that we do that because we’re a public institution and we have to be really consistent from the support we get from the state and the students,” Beeby said. In the past years, the ratio has been 13:1, so KSC appears to be on the rise.
Overall, enrollment decreasing and class sizes increasing seem to be a lasting effect of the pandemic. As the college continues to face COVID-19 daily, class sizes are beginning to look like they did before the pandemic.
Molly Lu McKellar can be
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