The Value of an Intimate Learning Environment
Arriving at USC for my freshman year, I had very specific expectations of what my education would look like and how it would be structured. Popular media and college stereotypes had implanted in my mind visions of large lecture halls in which the professors simply said their two cents and quietly exited the room. No personal interaction, no discussion, no embellishments. However, to my great surprise, I walked into my first Marshall class and saw an intimate classroom of about thirty students sitting in a circle. Upon locating an open chair, I sat down in amazement as I looked around the room. Soon the professor entered the room, stood in the center of the student circle, and began introducing herself. She explained that we would be going around the circle to introduce ourselves and begin making acquaintances with our classmates, seeing as these men and women would be our future Marshall colleagues and potentially business associates upon graduation.
This unconventional teaching style and classroom setting is only one example of the unique learning environment that the Marshall School of Business cultivates and encourages. The Marshall faculty is made up of experienced businesspeople with first-hand knowledge regarding successful collaboration techniques and communication networks – skills that these professors want to impart to their students through a distinctively interactive classroom approach. In Marshall courses, students are never just a number. Students are always treated as valuable members of ongoing discussions in which their opinions are both consulted and debated. It is this intimate, discussion-based learning environment that truly sets Marshall apart from other business schools and excites me every day to go to class.