Class Representatives (“Class Reps”)
What is a class rep?
Class reps are the foundation of student representation. They serve as an important conduit of student opinion between the classroom and the professor as well as the classroom and the program office (via the VPs of Academics). This can be positive feedback on aspects that work well and might be shared as good practice. This can also be concerns about issues that negatively affect the student academic experience.
They function as a “first line of defense” for student issues. Class reps ensure that faculty and staff are continually listening to and engaging with students to improve the student experience
Core courses typically have two class reps while smaller elective courses have one.
They are chosen any number of ways including:
- student volunteers
- class holds a vote
- professor choice
We recommend that this is done on the first day of class.
What do they do?
- Administer Mid-Semester Review: This is done around the course’s halfway point. 15 minutes at the beginning or end of class is allocated to this important task. The professor will step out of the room and the class rep conducts an “audit” via a short survey of 3 open-ended questions. They then schedule a meeting with the professor to provide feedback.
- Administer Final Evaluation: Sometime before the final week, discuss with the professor the best day to administer the final course evaluation. The evaluation is electronic and instructions will be sent to the professor.
- Act as Liaison Between Students and Professor: The class rep’s role as a liaison to the professor is typically announced in class. Making contact with the professor early in the class seems to facilitate smooth resolutions of student concerns. The class rep’s primary role is to voice student concerns with the professor—with promises of confidentiality, if necessary. Throughout this process, class reps will be in touch with the EWMBAA VPs of Academics, who may provide further guidance and also escalate concerns through other channels.
What characteristics make for a good class rep?
- Commitment to helping others
- Willingness to be visible to your classmates
- Ability to present problems in a clear and non-judgmental way
- Follow through
What do I gain by serving in this role?
- Leadership opportunities for students who have little or no experience or are looking to enhance prior management experience.
- Can be a stepping stone for future roles within the EWMBA Association (VP of Academics or cabinet-level).
- Resume booster for those looking to showcase transferrable skills in the areas of leadership, communications, dispute resolution and negotiation.
- The chance to be an advocate and voice of your fellow students.
- Make a positive contribution to the EW program. Your input contributes to ongoing development and program improvement that benefits future students.
What types of issues will I encounter?
- Course content – Are the lectures interesting and instructive?
- Professor – Does he/she move too fast? Too slow? Are students engaged and keeping up?
- Assessment and grading – Are there too many assignments? Too few? Too close to exams? Clarity of feedback?
- Course structure – Does the course structure reflect the course description? Is time being spent effectively?
How do I deal with issues that arise?
Step 1: Discuss and clarify specific details with the student. Listen to their story and consider whether the issue is isolated or whether it affects other students. This determines whether or not the concern should be escalated and, if so, where to direct the feedback – professor, VPs of Academics, classmates, program office, etc.
Step 2: If the issue is personal to the student, encourage them to speak to their academic advisor. If it affects other students in the class, then ask for feedback from the whole cohort. Arrange to speak to the professor about it.
If it’s a global issue that affects the entire class across all four cohorts, bring it to the VPs of Academics and/or other class reps. You can utilize the Class Representative bCourses site.
Step 3: Meet with the appropriate stakeholder(s). Outline the issue and the students’ views. Seek joint solutions and, if possible, agree on a course of action. Report back to your fellow students.
Where can I submit my class rep information?
Use this form.
Next: Course Planning