Date of Award
Master of Arts in Professional Writing (MAPW)
According to the U.S. Department of Education, full-time college enrollment increased twenty-four percent between the years 2002 and 2012. With rapidly accelerating growth, higher education institutions must quickly find solutions to accommodate more students, which may result in larger class sizes. As institutions exercise the option of increasing course enrollment caps, faculty scholars are questioning the effects of class size on both student learning and faculty workload. At one state institution (Kennesaw State University), the English faculty formed a committee to investigate the relationship between English class sizes, student success, and faculty working conditions. This study examines the existing scholarship on class size, analyzes the work of the English Class Size Committee at Kennesaw State University as a case study, and develops a heuristic that could be used by English departments at other institutions to guide their class size discussions. If English departments want to explore reducing class sizes, they must be willing to approach the topic as a research problem, using a heuristic; collect the right data; determine assessment techniques particular to their school; and make alliances with students and administrators.