Being a freshman, there is probably few professors that actually know my name. At tech many of the intro classes are at least 300, more around 500 or more and then sometimes you luck out with a class size around 100. With large classes like that, its hard for professors to get one on one time with students to learn name and so far the only way for this to happen is to use office hours. Office hours are a laugh to a lot of students because its walking all the way across campus to ask questions or to say hi when you can run to someone in your hall or during those times you are either in class or busy trying to do something else.
HARD! I went from being an AP student in high school to almost failing out my freshman year. The first year classes were really tough but once I got more into the classes in my major, I did much better and ended up even making Dean's List my last few semesters. My favorite class of all time was a wine tasting class with Bruce Z. I thought it would be an 'easy A' but there was lots of chemistry and memorization involved --but I learned a ton and really enjoyed it--especially after I switched it to a pass/fail option :-) Indoor plants was pretty neat, too, though the Latin names of plants were a bit tricky for an easy A Class!
Most of my professors know my name this semester, because I'm in relatively small classes. In the one large lecture class I have, my professor doesn't quite know my name, but he recognizes me. Class participation is strongly encouraged, even in lectures. None of my professors are annoyed if you have a question, and one actually gave me an answer in the next class because she didn't know the answer. The students here aren't really competitive with one another, at least not that I've noticed. If someone has a problem, you help them. My friends and I sometimes continue discussions we've had in class after the class is over.
Vtech is known to be a large school with high academic standards. I'll tell you one thing right now, it is not easy. A student at Virginia Tech has to apply themselves every chance they get, and actually learn. They can't just coast by without trying. Large classrooms make it hard to get a personal, one on one, relationship with your teacher, BUT if you want to have that relationship, you DEFINITELY can. All you have to do is introduce yourself, keep constant contact through email, or office hours. Professors are a resource to help students, so whatever they can do to better our learning experiences, they do.
I've had somewhat of a different college experience than most.. As a fourth year interior design student in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies, my years in studio have involved close, personal relationships with both my professors and classmates. With only 30 people in my graduating design class, it is impossible not to be friends. The countless hours spent together in studio has not only cultivated my level of creativity and design techniques, but formed friendships that will last forever. Though it may sound cliche, it's the honest truth.
Professors know my name, favorite - world regions, least - Intermediate accounting, students study hard and play hard, students in class participation is very common, Yes vt students have intellectual convos, students are not competitive with each other, Unique class = dating marriage and divorce, Accounting dept - very strong and very well funded and most teachers know you on a first name basis, Professors are accessible outside of class, VT academic requirements are good, My majors academics are geared toward getting a job
I can only say from my opinion but as a bio major, I have had three group projects my entire time at tech. I have only had to read for a handfull of classes. Going to class for most of my major classes was the most important thing. I have had at least two labs a year. I have talked to maybe 4 professors during their office hours the entire time I've been at Tech. The academis requirements are fair. VT is geared towards getting a job. I definately enjoy my learning experience here.
My major is very competitive (Finance). The classes are definately challenging and I have to dedicate a good amount of my time to work and study. For a couple classes, I would have large lectures twice a week and one recitation. The recitation is a smaller sized class and is very helpful when you want to ask questions and the teachers (sometimes TAs) are there to help. Office hours are also another resource when looking for help. I rarely spend time outside of class with teachers.
Classes ange depending on your major. I am math and psychology. My math classes are small and intimate, but psych tends to be a bigger major. I have never hun gout with any of my professors outside of class but I know some other students who have. I think academically Tech is great for career preparation, which is probably the main focus. I think again it depends on major, but some professors are really awesome about making sure you are actually enjoying what youa re learning.
I think my only complaint about VT is the lack of ability to try out different classes and really learn what you want to. My sister goes to Penn State and they are allowed to start taking classes and if they don't like them or feel it wasn't what they expected are able to drop up to 13 credits worth and take classes that begin halfway through the semester to be full time students. I think that is a great way to encourage finding your passion in life