What makes a great college professor?09/23/2013
Ask the more than 10 million college students who rate their professors each year on the RateMyProfessors.com website, where more than 1.8 million professors are rated and ranked. Then ask the students of two University of Akron professors who ranked among the top 25 college professors in the nation – the only Ohio professors to make it in the top 25.
Kevin Kreider and Susan Young.
- "His lectures are crystal clear."
- "Has good humor, lots of take-home quizzes."
- "Practice tests are very similar to actual tests, takes homework for a grade."
- "He will drop everything he’s doing if you go visit him in the office to help you out."
- "She gives plenty of examples so that you have plenty to study from."
- "Her teaching style engages the student as she frequently poses questions and solicits for students' responses."
Just some of the praise for two UA math professors, now ranked among the top 25: Kevin Kreider, professor of applied mathematics, (#22) and Susan Young, senior college lecturer in mathematics (#24).
Ratings drawn from multiple years
Students who visit RateMyProfessors.com are encouraged to rate professors on several dimensions: clarity, helpfulness, easiness and rater interest (interest level prior to attending the class). Those professors who make the highest-rated professor list are ranked on only two criteria: clarity and helpfulness. Three years of ratings are considered for each professor, with the most recent year (2013) being weighted more heavily.
"I really enjoy teaching my students. It humbles me to know that they appreciate what I'm teaching them and that they're taking away from the class what they need to succeed in their future careers,” said Young, who teaches Calculus I, II and III. She arrived at UA in 1985 with her husband, Gerald Young, a professor of applied mathematics.
"It feels pretty good to have this happen. It's empowering, motivating," Kreider said. "I've been teaching for 30 years and am having more fun than ever. It's so nice to get the recognition, but there are many other faculty at UA and other universities who deserve as much if not more recognition." Kreider has taught at UA since 1989.
Mathematics chair Timothy Norfolk said he was proud of his colleagues and the entire department.
"All of our mathematics faculty are brilliant and talented, and they make it easy for our students to enjoy taking math," noted Norfolk. "It's also gratifying that Professors Kreider and Young are being honored as mathematicians because the subject does tend to have the reputation of being too difficult and many are either afraid of it or simply don't like it."
Media contact: Laura Massie, 330-972-6476 or firstname.lastname@example.org.