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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Do Students and Professors Agree on the Attributes that Make up a Good Community College Professor?

Published Web Location Commons 'BY-NC' version 4.0 license

Common terms used by students to describe a good professor, especially on websites like, a website that allows students to rate their professors, include “understanding,” “nice,” “engaging,” “lenient” and “kind,” all of which are indicators of a popular attitude known as student consumerism. As a consequence, some may say that student’s perspectives concerning the qualities that make up a good professor are to be taken with a grain of salt. However, evidence from surveyed students and professors shows that the majority of both community college students and professors agree that the most important qualities of a good professor are “caring” or “understanding,” “engaging” and “knowledgeable” about the source material.

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