Alexis Cheatham ’21

Choose a student-focused (and fun) academic experience

The academic experience at a big school and a small school can look very different. At a large school, research is a priority for faculty members. That means on top of teaching hundreds of students, professors also conduct and publish research — which can distract from the time they spend with students.

At Franklin, students come before all else. That’s why our largest classes top out around 25. It’s why our faculty meet with students on the weekends. And it’s why graduate Alexis Cheatham found it so easy to relate to her professors.

“I have friends at big schools and they have classes with 400 people. My biggest class was 25. That means I always have access to my professors. I like having relationships with my professors, and knowing that if I have questions, I can find answers.” – Cheatham

Alexis Cheatham

While Alexis is a double major in creative writing and psychology, some of the professors she’s closest to are in other departments – like Sara Colburn-Alsop, Ph.D., professor of Spanish, and Jim Alexander, chair of the department of philosophy and religious studies (and a 2006 Franklin College grad). Both Sara and Jim came to Franklin because they want to spend their time and energy working with students like Alexis.

“My reward is in seeing students transform at Franklin. We hire people who want to be a part of that. If you don’t like students, Franklin isn’t for you.” – Alsop

“My dream had always been to come back to Franklin to teach. I like the small classrooms, the intimate conversations. The faculty at Franklin do a really good job of noticing students and the contributions they can make.” – Alexander

According to Alexis, when you’re in the classroom, you can feel that excitement and passion. She says she’s never taken a single boring class, “because you can tell the professors love what they’re doing.”

And she’s right. Franklin’s professors are here because they love working with students, so they make the experience fun. For Jim, that means infusing pop culture into the classroom to better connect with students – like he did when he taught “Star Wars and Religion.”

“If I hear students talking about Kid Cudi and Cardi B, I think, ‘What’s going on in pop culture that I can learn about to present them this information in a way they’ll be receptive to?’ If you care about what they’re interested in, they’ll want to have conversations about how your material or discipline relates to them.” – Alexander

Don’t settle for a boring education. Come tour Franklin and experience for yourself how fun your next four years can be.

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