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Steadfast Values

Notre Dame’s new classroom represents efficiency, not change

On some other campus, a classroom space like Notre Dame College’s new science lecture room would appear very average and unlikely draw a second look. However for a small college like Notre Dame, a classroom for 40 students is unusual.

New class room represents efficiency.The former dietetics lab is now the largest general purpose classroom on campus. As the College concentrates its efforts on dealing with capacity-related issues, the construction of this space is a matter of efficiency.

Previously, both lectures and laboratory experiences occurred in the science labs. By constructing the new classroom, the College now has a learning space that provides an appropriate setting specifically for science lectures. The presence of the new classroom increases the availability of the labs sections for students moving the lecture sections out of the lab spaces. This is good news for the growing student body that requires science majors and non-majors to take a science course with a lab as part of the core general education classes.
 
The room boasts a demonstration table as well as a ceiling-mounted projector allowing instructors to use PowerPoint presentations or incorporate information from the internet in their lectures. While these features are useful to science instructors, they are not necessarily science specific. According to Dr. T.J. Arant, Vice President of Academic Affairs, “We intend the room to be used by the sciences for now, but it is possible that eventually other classes may also use it.”

The dietics laboratory is transformed into the new science lecture room.A classroom of this size is a departure from those typically found at Notre Dame. Still the College remains committed to offering small class sizes and personal attention for its students. Dr. Arant reaffirmed this commitment, saying “A class of 40 students is right at the limit of how big we want to be. At some larger colleges, labs may have upwards of 40 students with lectures of 200 students. We will never become that kind of college. The Notre Dame experience is about small classes and individual contact. I don’t see us ever changing that philosophy.”

Steve Ruic is the Writer and Editor for Notre Dame College.