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Published: Friday, 1/17/2003

UT 3rd in state in big courses

BY RYAN E. SMITH
BLADE STAFF WRITER

More than 40 percent of students attending the University of Toledo sit in a class of 50 people or more, a state report released yesterday indicates.

That figure is one of the highest in the state, below only Ohio State University and Ohio University, according to the Ohio Board of Regents' third annual performance report of state-supported colleges.

Still, the university's median class size of 25 was equal to the state median among university main campuses. This was the first time that the regents' report included data on college class size.

Bowling Green State University had a median class size of 28, and 33 percent of its students had a class with 50 or more peers.

At Owens Community College, the numbers were lower, typical for a two-year school. Its Perrysburg Township campus had a median class size of 16, and the Findlay campus was even lower at 12.

“Owens takes great pride in our faculty-to-student ratio and the class sizes that we have,” said Provost Paul Unger.

While everyone would like to have smaller class sizes, UT Provost Alan Goodridge said part of the problem for the UT campus is renovations to buildings such as the Health and Human Services building.

“We have a capacity issue,” he said. “We'll get some [classroom space] back as renovations are completed.”

The issue is more acute for first-year students, he said, because it is the largest cadre of students - one of every four first-year students doesn't return to UT for the next year, the report found.

Still that 75 percent persistence rate was tops among open-admissions universities in the state and better than Kent State University and the University of Cincinnati, both selective institutions.

The performance report was established at the request of Gov. Bob Taft to help people make decisions about higher education in Ohio. It is available online at www.regents.state.oh.us/perfrpt/2002index.html.

Among the report's other findings:

w Average undergraduate tuition for state-supported four-year campuses rose from $4,973 to $5,658 this academic year, an increase of 13.8 percent.

w Nearly half of the high school freshmen entering college have taken a core curriculum consisting of four years of English and three years each of math, science, and social studies. Of them, 24 percent required remedial work in college. The number requiring remedial work nearly doubles among those who did not take a core curriculum.

w A student who receives an associate degree can expect to make $35,969 by the time he or she is four years out of college, nearly $6,000 less annually than someone with a bachelor's degree. High school graduates without a college diploma averaged $28,816 irrespective of the number of years worked.



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