Professors Overloaded with Classes, Students

By Laurie Bernstein - bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - CSU political science professor Dr. John Van Doorn is just one of the hundreds of college professors in our area who are struggling to keep up.

With more classes to teach, and more students in each of those classes, Dr. Van Doorn says the quality is being affected.

"We don't have the time to deal individually with students, which I think is the core of what a good teacher does. We don't have time for innovative classroom exercises, which take so much of your time to set up, so it gets into mass production," said Dr. Van Doorn.

For English professor Dr. Dan Ross, large numbers in his classes mean hours more of work, especially when the emphasis is put on writing skills.

"When you teach writing, then paper grading become a big part of your work. As the numbers increase, it gets much more difficult," said Dr. Ross.

These strains could hurt the profession in the long run.

Teachers with advanced degrees are moving onto other careers that pay better, with less hours.

"There's sort of a tipping point, and we are close, when you can't reach your core mission of educating," said Dr. Van Doorn.

It's also harder to recruit new talent when they know they will be overloaded with work.

"It's looking at the long-term repercussions, how reluctant faculty will be to come here in the future when we're hiring. Once you have that reputation, it can stay with you," said Dr. Ross.