At a small school like Macalester, where the average class size ranges from 10 to 16, students inevitably grow to know their professors as people rather than as distant specks at the head of the lecture hall. Likewise, most Macalester professors grow to know their students on a personal basis—even a lecture-course professor is likely to recognize his or her student outside of the classroom. Therefore, while personality clashes do sometimes occur between students and professors, the majority of Mac students agrees that, by and large, professors are not only amiable, enlightening, and engaging in the classroom, but they are also highly accessible and helpful outside of the classroom. In addition to having regular office hours, most Macalester professors will even give out their phone numbers and email addresses on the first day of class. This is one of the perks of going to a small liberal arts school where the profs can focus all of their attention on the undergrads.
Furthermore, students genuinely appreciate the opportunity to “shop around” for the right professor and class early in the semester. In fact, Mac students have a good two weeks to sit in on courses, read the class syllabus, or get some advice from older students before they decide to add or drop a class, without it going on their record. Students also have the option of taking one class per semester pass/fail, allowing Mac undergrads the opportunity to choose what classes they want to focus on.