It is almost expected that faculty who teach rigorous courses at a highly demanding pace and with totally uncompromising grading standards would be rated harshly by their students.
   That's not the case at Rose-Hulman, an institution in which The Huffington Post ranks professors No. 9 in the nation for having faculty members that were valued by their students as good teachers.
   "What has impressed me the most over my four years is the time and resources my professors provide to us," says senior civil engineering student Joe Wright.
   "Their readiness to help and their open-door office policies make it easy to ask for help whenever you need it. My team just completed our senior design project and Dr. [Jennifer] 
Mueller-Price answered questions throughout the project. She turned the project reviews around overnight when we were up against our deadline."
   At most technical universities, faculty members are rewarded for research, grant writing, and producing graduate students. Teaching is often left to graduate assistants.
   "I had some great teachers at larger universities," says Mechanical Engineering Professor Don Richards, Ph.D. "You will find good teachers there. But here, nearly everyone is in that category, or trying to be."
   Applied Biology and Biomedical Engineering Professor Kay C Dee, Ph.D., who also came from teaching at a large university, remarks, "I loved research and loved teaching my

subject, but I came to realize that the more skilled I became at these activities, the further I would be removed from them. Ironically, as you move up in your field, you train graduate assistants to do the research and teaching, and you stop doing the things you love. You become a manager whose job is to pursue funding."
    Dee's husband and colleague, Glen Livesay, Ph.D., adds, "there are structural penalties to paying attention to students at research universities. I enjoy doing research with my students here at Rose-Hulman. Without graduate assistants, we can eliminate the middle man. Professors can pursue their research passions while working directly with the students they are teaching."

Recipe2      "If you can make it fun, learning is not a chore," states Adams. "Professors can nurture the sense of discovery and students make great strides without even Recipe3
   Those relationships provide a nurturing educational environment, along with the high academic standards, that brings success as seen in Rose-Hulman students' high achievements in external competition programs, their high acceptance rates into graduate school, and their high employment rates upon graduation.
   According to a study of U.S. undergraduate students by UCLA's Higher Education Research Institute, only 36 percent of white, 21 percent of black, and 22 percent of Latino in science, technology, engineering, and math fields finish their bachelor's degrees within five years of initial enrollment. This compares to Rose-Hulman's five-year graduation rate that's greater than 80 percent (among all groups). Our faculty is very good at making one of the most demanding curriculums in America not only survivable, but enjoyable.
    Mechanical Engineering Professor Thom Adams (ME, 1990), Ph.D., is a proponent of active learning which minimizes the amount of time the professor lectures and maximizes the time students are actively using the newly learned material to solve problems.
realizing they are learning."
   "Sometimes a professor comes here with great teaching evaluations from their students at other places, and those evaluations take a nosedive here. That's because the bar is set very high. The students are educated consumers and expect more," Adams says. "It takes a while to get used to a culture that puts so much value on the individual student's experience."
    Mary Pilotte addressed Rose-Hulman faculty at a Center for the Practice and Scholarship of Education workshop this winter. "Students persist and graduate when they make a connection with a faculty member, and when they make a connection between the material and their career goals," she says. "The professor makes all the difference in a students' confidence.

Excellence In Teaching Excellence In Teaching2
little room to be wrong," she continues. "This pressure to be right in industry can beat innovation out of you. And yet, innovation is the lifeblood of industry. The confidence that Rose-Hulman students graduate with helps them to be strong enough to overcome these pressures."
   Richard House, Ph.D., a professor of English, uses an engineering quality management term to describe his colleagues' process. "There is a strong culture of continual improvement here at Rose-Hulman. As faculty, we have frequent conversations about what we do in the classroom-what worked versus what didn't. We are always tweaking. Frankly, I think it would be boring to teach my courses the same way every time. The fun part of the job is discovering new and creative ways to make the presentations more interesting and engaging." 
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   Livesay describes one of the biggest surprises he had after joining the Rose-Hulman faculty. He had been challenged to learn how to teach Richards' sophomore- level Conservation and Accounting Principles course. At the end of the quarter, when the team of instructors met to decide on final grades, Livesay thought he was done. "It was late, we were all don grading and ready to take a well-deserved break," he says. That's when Richards reminded the group that the education process wasn't complete. "How do we make the course better?" he asked the group. "We spent the next hour and a half going over the class notes and brainstorming ways to improve the class for next year," recalls Livesay. "I don't think that would happen anywhere else."

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