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Professors are rated by students’ experiences

A popular student-contributed website proves to be a huge deciding factor for students in crafting their ideal course schedule by rating the college’s professors.

RateMyProfessors.com is a crowd-sourced review site that has grown over the years to host more than 4 million college student users a month, according to their website. The site is used to rate professors on their classes and students often write a short comment or description after they’ve given their score of the professor.

Students on Palomar use the site just like the millions of other college students across the nation with 204 ratings on the campus itself.

“Tremendously [useful],” Gustavo Caballo, a 22-year-old economics major, said of the website when selecting courses. “If it was on a scale of one-10 I’d say it’s about an eight, especially if you read the comments.”

Students have become reliant on this site, even going out of their way to accommodate their schedules for a class with a better instructor.

Cassidy Baker, a 19-year-old political science major, did just that when she decided to take a four-hour lecture for math on Saturdays for a semester.

“It was definitely the best math class I have ever taken and his [instructor] ratings on rate my professor were really accurate,” Baker said.

Although the website is used to recommend which professors to take, it’s been utilized to avoid professors with low ratings by students.

The ratings given to the professors range from 1.00, the lowest possible, to 5.00, the highest possible, and it includes the percentage of students who would be willing to retake the course with the same professor.

Professors are also aware their teaching is being graded by their students through the website, however they’re not always willing to acknowledge it.

This was the case with math professor Lin Sten, who teaches college algebra. He is currently one of the lowest rated professors on the campus, having a score of a 1.6 with only 33 percent of his students willing to retake courses with him.

Stein declined to comment on the site’s rating.

On the other end of the rating scale, speech professor Andre Pitts currently holds a 5.0 rating with a 100 percent retake approval.

“I think that they’re helpful and I think they give a snapshot,” Pitts said of the reviews on the learning outcomes students will gain. “[It’s] similar to a Yelp review.”

Pitts does read the comments students write about him, yet he he said he takes those comments with a grain of salt.

While some professors may take the sites comments at face value, Palomar students impart greater importance to them and its correlation to college success.

Arturo Rocha, a 19-year-old fire technology major, saw the value in prior research through the site when selecting courses and his peers comments on the college’s professors.

“You want to get the professor with the best comments because you want to have a good college experience,” Rocha said.

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