Palo Alto College is the only junior college in Texas to have ranked in the top 10 community colleges for 2013-2014.
By R.T. Gonzalez
Comments have flooded in on the MTVU operated ratemyprofessors website, MTV’s college channel, of how students enjoy Palo Alto College.
Students wrote various messages about the college like “best college in Texas,” and “no school cares more about their students.”
The school ranked six out of 25 on the websites top list for highest rated junior and community colleges for 2013-2014. Palo Alto was the only junior college in Texas to be ranked top 10 on the website.
Ratemyprofessors.com rates professors by student surveys and gathers the ratings of the professors to rate the college as a whole for the nominations.
Other categories included topics such as highest rated university professors of 2013-2014, highest rated junior and community college professors of 2013-2014 and rate my professors’ fun lists 2013-2014.
Professors are ranked on the website for helpfulness, clarity, easiness and physical attractiveness.
Students then write comments on the class, such as, what a future student can expect from the professor’s curriculum. Comments usually include how many tests, assignments and if the student actually needs a book.
Categories for quantifiable qualities such as sufficient preparation for successive classes, number of assignments, papers or projects, reliance on the textbook and types of exams are not included in the survey.
Jerry Arellano, public relations director for Palo Alto, said in a phone interview Dec. 9 the ranking was a great thing for the college because it resonates with what is heard campus-wide.
“(The rating) is a testament to the level of service, dedication provided to our students,” Arellano said. “When we periodically survey our students, the most consistent feedback we hear is that students often feel welcomed.”
“In anything we do, whether it’s instruction or providing some student support, we want to make sure they get the most out of their college experience, and that they ultimately become successful in their lives,” Arellano said.
This semester, Palo Alto had a student-led organization that protested the change of generic degree plans. Arellano said, though student opinion ran strong there was still a sense of community at Palo Alto.
“We allow students to be successful here, empower them to make decisions, empower them to voice their opinions,” he said. “A lot of this is real world experience, before they go onto anything they want to achieve.”
The Alamo Community College District has its own surveys that students are encouraged to fill out. Students receive an email with the class climate survey. Although the students do not see the results of their feedback like on the website, professors are given the opportunity after grades have been filed to see students’ concern about the curriculum they offer.