The best of RateMyProfessors.com

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With so many classes to choose from, and so many different professors teaching those classes, some students are turning to RateMyProfessor.com to decide their academic curriculum.

RateMyProfessor.com (RMP) is a website created in 1999 that archives over one million professors from over six thousand colleges across America. RMP has five different ways to rate a professor: ease, helpfulness, clarity, hotness, and overall quality.

Skyline College has hundreds of professors archived in this website. So, who is the highest rated professor at Skyline College, and why? (For a professor’s rating to be considered, they must have at least thirty ratings.)

The professor who has the highest overall quality rating resulted in a draw between Evan Leach and Stephen Hearne. Both professors had an overall quality rating of 4.8 out of 5.

“I try to give my students the kind of instruction that I appreciated when I was a student,” said Leach. “There’s more to it than that of course, but the basics come down to what, why and how.”

Leach has been teaching Mathematics at Skyline since the summer of 1999. Originally hired as a part-time instructor at Skyline, he soon became a full-time professor in the fall of 2002. Currently he has 50 ratings on RMP.

Many students utilize RMP to choose a professor throughout their college career. Students don’t just always choose professors based on how easy they are, some choose based on other qualities too.

“He is: chill, clear, helpful, and above all, hilarious,” said a student of Leach from RMP. “He is one of the funniest teachers that I have ever had in my entire life, and also the one that made me understand the material the most.”

One aspect of RMP that professors might not like is the ability to be globally deemed a bad professor by their students. But what makes a bad professor? Is it that they are mean? Or is it that they are too tough, not lenient enough, or demand too much?

Hearne, highly rated on RMP, does not believe that the website tells the whole story of a professor. He thinks that the ratings are not coming from the “average” student in a class, but usually a student who does really well or really poor.

“I’m flattered, but at the same time I take it with a grain of salt because it’s a biased sample,” said Hearne. “It’s not a representative sample of my students.”

As a professor at Skyline for ten years, Hearne noticed a need for changes his curriculum throughout the years. These changes, along with his ability to make difficult concepts easy for students, are why he thinks students might give him such high ratings on RMP.

“He actually takes the time to make sure you understand the work,” said student of Hearne from RMP. “He actually made math fun for me, and I hate math”

Although RMP is a source of information that some students are using to decide on a professor, both Leach and Hearn agree that students should not base their decision on a class because of these ratings because RMP is based on opinion, not fact.