I know my professors and call many by their first names. I like the small classes that allow me to participate in class. My classes are intellectually stimulating and I like the community atmosphere. Saratoga is a cool little college town with some cool places to chill. Environmental Studies is my major and I love it. We always get to go into the field and my professors are really easy going but invested in their work. I live that my major mixes the science and the political and cultural aspects of the environment. Skidmore has a few requirements which have helped me to expand my knowledge base. I had to take a non-western class and I took Religious Traditions of India which turned out to be amazing.
The academics at Skidmore are great for many programs, such as the social sciences, the arts, and pre-med; however, due to the size of the school, some of the more specific programs are incomplete or non-existent. The faculty that I have meet have been great. All of my professors have been smart, fun, and interesting. I am a physics major, which is pretty uncommon at Skidmore, but this allows those who are in the field to really take advantage of what the college offers. The college requires all students to take certain courses to fulfill requirements across various academic disciplines. This enhances the liberal arts experience and exposes students to fields they normally wouldn't consider.
Classes are small here, and it's easy to get to know your professors. Class participation is generally required, since the professor will know if you're missing (average class size is 15 students). Students are not competitive. Everyone is pretty chill about grades. There are definitely intelligent conversations outside of class, depending on who you talk to. I spend time with my professors out of class. Some cook their students dinner, others go out to lunch with students to discuss grades, or advise them on their academics. Professors are very friendly. Education at Skidmore is geared towards learning for its own sake. You will get a very liberal arts education here.
The academics at Skidmore are challenging and rewarding. Nothing is "spoonfed" and professors definitely expect a lot. There is a decent amount of homework but classes are small and personal. Professors are always there during office hours and most are willing and able to make time for students with questions and extra needs. I love Skidmore's academics because they are interdisciplinary and most classes relate to various topics of study. I am an art history major but have taken classes that I have loved in physics, sociology, art, English, and so on. All academics are applied to real life and there are always field trips, fourth credit hours, and hands on learning involved.
I am a Women's Studies/Business double major, which gives me a unique perspective. As a business major, I am exposed to talented professionals, who have chosen to incorporate teaching into their careers. As a women's studies major, I am exposed to multi-faceted scholars and activists. Professors know my name, and I feel comfortable saying "Hi" to them outside of the classroom. Class participation is not only common, it is often incorporated into the final grade. Unfortunately, I am not the most vocal member of most of my classes, but I enjoy visiting my professors during their office hours to discuss questions and my interest in the subject area.
Each department at Skidmore is very different. Make sure that you look into what you want to come to Skidmore for. The English, Theater, Psych, and Art/Art History are tops. Think again if you are a business major, don't waste your time with bad teachers and appathetic students. Classes are generally very small with attentive teachers. There is an open door policy with very flexible office hours for almost all professors. There are practically no T.A.s it is all direct interactions with professors. If you take the time it is very easy to cultivate longstanding relationships with teachers.
The small class sizes are incredible, you really do get to know your professors, I have never meet a more devoted set of professionals, they really are here for the students, and for thier love of teaching. This school gets the name "artsy" but all of our academic departments are stronge. I am a double major in exercise science and biochemistry with a minor in dance and I am premed, and have had an amazing exeperience in my individual departments. We don't have any graduate students or TA's so undergrads get all of the research oportunities which is an incredible experience to have.
Professors know your name in the smaller classes or inside your major. Students study A LOT. Class participation is huge and vital to the type of classes offered at Skidmore. My most unique and favorite class was Bharata Natyam, which is classical India dance, taught in classical Indian tradition - may sound like an odd class, but it filled very fast every semester when it was offered. During Senior year, I spent a good deal of time with professors outside of class on my senior project, and I am in close contact with my favorite professor who retired, and we e-mail all the time.
Professors are for the most part very dedicated. When I read all the college books, they all said stuff like: "The professors will invite you to dinner at their houses ALL THE TIME! They LOVE to extend their homes to you!!!" but really, this is not the case. Granted, I'm not a senior who has developed relationships with the professors/has decided a major and has a faculty advisor who they are close with, but I have only been with a professor outside of class once. Students are quietly competitive. No one makes a big deal about grades and stuff, but most everyone is concerned.
Psycholgy is a great major and has excellent professors as do most of the departments. I loved my abnormal psych class and recommend it to all. There aren't many professors per department which can either work to your benefit or demise. Students aren't all that competitive and class participation is encouraged and often required. I'd say Indian dance and Japanese History were my two most unique classes. The education is much more geared towards learning in itself until senior year when people do theses. I have had many conversations about more than just class with professors.