To be honest even my least favorite class (physics) the teacher was really cool and fair to the students.
Class participation is pretty good, the classes are not as large as at the university here, 30 people verses 300 people. You can interact with the teacher and have your questions answered.
Students being competitive... Not really. Everyone is on their own path, and that can foster cooperation.
My major is cardiac medical diagnostic sonography. This program accepts 10 students a year. Scores are based on GPA, test scores, volunteering, and shadowing. More competitive just because of limited students accepted.
I have never spent time outside of class with a professor. However, most of them are very good at email communication.
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