It depends what program you are enrolled in. I am a Graduate student working on my Special Education Credential. The courses I have been taking so far relate to that field of study. The professor are very nice, understanding, and helpful. The work load can be overwhelming especially if you are working full time and have a family.
The academics are one of my favorite parts of the university. Class sizes are small, usually around 20 to 30 students. Most professors know your name and encourage class participation. I am most familiar with the Sociology and Biblical Studies departments, and this is definitely true. I have spent time with professors outside of class in both formal and informal settings. Grades are not based on a curve like at many other universities, so classes are truly based on learning instead of competition. More competition exists in other departments, such as Nursing, but I think the overall small class atmosphere remains.
The academics here at APU are amazing! Especially if you are coming here for the right reason: to get a Christian education. In my experience here at APU, i love my professors because they are so down to earth and personal. The biggest class I have ever heard of was only 35 students and even then the professor works hard to learn everyones names. Professors at APU are very personal and love to spend time getting to know students outside of class. So far they have really taught me some valuable lessons, not only in career paths, but in life as a Christian in general. I truly believe that the professors are great and love to be involved in each student. This makes me feel so welcomed at APU and it makes classes so much more enjoyable. My favorite class so far has been my bible class: Exodus/Deuteronomy. Since its a requirement to take a total of six bible classes at APU, this school really gears their students toward a great knowledge of what Christians believe in. It has been great learning about the bible and being educated in something that is special to me.
APU has far exceeded my expectations. I never had a preference about a big or small school, but after spending a year and a half at APU, I am glad that I attend a smaller school. It has a good, home-y feel to it, yet at the same time it is in the out skirts of the city and so I do not feel secluded. It really is a school that can be whatever you make it--if you treat it like a small, naive Christian school, then it will appear that way and you most likely will not like it. However, if you look through the lens that it is a school filled with great people, good community, and great opportunities, it definitely will be, and I can attest to it. The professors build and test your faith; I am overall satisfied with the education I receive, and the people I have met. Your college experience can be classes, surface-y relationships, and just "something to get through", or it can be an experience that moves and molds you, changes and teaches you. APU has continued to show me the latter.
I personally came to APU for its academic qualities. Almost every class the professor will ask students if they have a prayer request. This allows a student-professor relationship because you're letting the professor to get to know you better. The class sizes are fairly small, it average to about 20-25 students per class. The teaching styles of most professor is to get students to participate and get involved. Although students are competitive (especially in the science field), most are more willing to help others in their studies. The general education requirement for APU will does shape students to become more well-rounded. Struggling in a course? No problem. APU provides tutors that knows the material inside and out. Although students have a time limit for each tutor session, students who needs extra help can call, email, text their tutor for more help, free of charge! There is just too many resources that APU provides to help better a student's academic performance. My major is pre-med and I currently hold a 4.0 GPA. How was this possible? Because the professors care about me and they are always available outside of class. How do I know? Because I take advantage of this and meet with my professors at least twice a week so that I can get my questions answered. One of my professors even allowed me to text her if I have a question! Need more time for a certain assignment? Well don't sweat. Most of the professor at APU, will understand if you have a valid excuse. Professors try to connect with the students and they are more than happy to extend the due date for you during an emergency, or maybe because you have another big assignment due the same day. In my opinion, APU prepares you to have a better, brighter future because it gives you the tools to succeed.
Academics are really intimate and personal. Class sizes are really small-the largest class I have had is 50 people. Most of the professors know your name, care about you and want to get to know you. They also sometimes pray before class and ask for prayer requests. Since classes are smaller, class participation is a huge part of the academics. This is what I think is the best part. Some of my favorite classes are where we have the most interesting or intense discussions. APU's academics may not be as rigorous as some more prestigious universities, but there are definitely some challenging classes/majors.They really make you think and question why you believe what you believe.
Azusa Pacific provides a great learning enviroment. Class sizes are small and always professor taught. Professors make an effort to know you personally and help you learn the topics. They will go out of their way to help. They will establish additional study groups outside of class to ensure success.
My favorite part of classes is the student growth. Most of it is done through outside class discussion. I find myself learning something in class and talking to my friends in the class about the topics at the coffee shop or during study groups. Then after this, I will have conversations with my roommates and family about this topics. It is really an interesting dynamic of APU. Students are very eager to learn.
I took a business class that required us to teach once a week at a continuation high school in the area. This was such an awesome growing experience for me. First it challenged me to take the information that I am learning in class and translating it for these high school students. It also allowed for me to build relationships with these students that have been neglected by so many people.
The school of business here at Azusa is a great department. They are really trying to set us up for success. They make sure to teach us the information while making it relevant to finding employment. They provide ample opportunities to meet with employers, find internships, and develop our resumes.
Classes are generally small so you get to develop a relationship with your teachers. Most teachers will know you by name. Every staff member there wants you to succeed and will do everything they can to help you pass their class.
The classes at APU are great. Our professors learn our names after a couple days. They want to be involved in our lives. Many professors invite their students to their houses for study sessions. My favorite class was a Biology class that I took abroad because we went on field trips to nature reserves and safaris. Most professors have their students participate in different ways. Most of the students study outside class in groups. Our libraries are packed and local coffee shops are occupied. I am undeclared right now, but thinking of doing Social Work or Physical Therapy. I have heard good about all of our programs, the teachers really strive to give us knowledge about what we are looking into after our college education.
Because the student-professor ratio is quite small, professors generally know the names of each and every student which is very appreciated. My favorite class is (I'm not sure if I could say this is a class), but symphony orchestra because I get to learn really interesting new pieces and work with an amazing conductor. I think it is quite difficult for students to study in dorms because there is so much hormone fluctuations and people just running around, screaming and making way too much noise at 10pm. The competitiveness is not as crazy as other prestigious universities like UCLA or USC, but I feel that the music department is quite competitive. The School of Music, which I am a part of, is quite well-known and is comparable to the Thorton School of Music at USC. We have a great faculty including Marek Szpakiewicz (USC, cello), Michelle Jensen (USC, choral conducting), John Sutton (UCLA, choral conducting), Michael Kozubek (USC, guitar), and way too many more to mention. The faculty is loving and encouraging at all times. Professors at APU are more than willing to have coffee and just chat about personal stuff with the students. I went on lunch dates with a couple of my professors wanting more advice about life. Honestly, APU does not have a whole bunch of intelligent students but I can definitely tell you that the musicians here are downright talented.
There are many benefits inherent with attending a relatively small school. Certainly, the professors know everyone's name, and many even remember details such as where a student works or is from. In the graduate social work program, classes sizes are small, and our cohort feels like its own little family. Indeed, the atmosphere is great, however, I do not believe that the academic requirements are all that challenging. Maybe I am an overachiever, but I anticipated feeling more pushed intellectually at this level. At times I am more stimulated by after class conversations held among curious students. Even though I do not feel I'm being stretched, I can see how the knowledge and experience I am gaining will benefit me when searching for a job. In social work, we are required to complete internships, and this gives us an awesome opportunity to integrate classroom learning with real world experience.
Since the school is small, the class sizes are also small. The professors are personal and know the students by name. My favorite class had about 15 students and the teacher knew us all. She cared a lot and took the time to get to know each of us personally. They encourage an environment where students would feel comfortable talking aloud. I like the fact we have to take a certain amount of bible classes. Some feel redundant but are good nonetheless. I feel like most of the classes are preparing me for the future.
The academics at our school is wonderful! Because we are a private school you are expected to engage a little more than a public school, however it helps a great deal when applying to grad schools. Our nursing program and science programs are great, but very extensive. The professors here are very approachable and are always willing to meet with you at any time. Because we are a Christian school, there are some biblical studies requirements, but nothing anyone can't handle. Overall, APU is very strong academically!
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