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How Students at the Black Colleges Rate Their Professors:

Students at many of the nation's historically black colleges and universities have been frequent users of the Web site Logging on to this site, students can post comments about their teachers and rate them on the quality of their teaching. They can also read comments from other students about their experiences with particular professors.

When JBHE visited the site recently, 318 of the professors at Howard University had been rated by students. This was the largest number of faculty members rated at any historically black college or university. More than 100 faculty members at Morgan State University, North Carolina A&T State University, Hampton University, and Texas Southern University have been rated.

It is probable that there were far fewer ratings of professors at selective black colleges such as Morehouse and Spelman, because these schools have relatively small student bodies. The institutions with a significant number of professor ratings on the Web site tend to be the state-operated universities with large student bodies.

For black colleges and universities with ratings for at least 10 professors, the highest average rating was at Tougaloo College in Mississippi. There, the average quality score for all rated professors was 4.7 on a 1 to 5 scale with 5 being the perfect score. The rated faculty at Lincoln University in Missouri, Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, and Cheyney State University in Pennsylvania all had an average score of 4.2. Virginia Union, Delaware State, Langston, and Dillard universities all posted average ratings of 4.0 for their rated professors.

Among the historically black colleges and universities with listings for at least 10 professors, the lowest average was at Jackson State University in Mississippi. Rated teachers there received an average quality score of 2.0.

These ratings tend to be highly idiosyncratic and it is unlikely that small numbers such as these carry much meaning or value.

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