Hero or zero: discussing Rate My Professors

By Bailey Young / Online Editor

Some college students can’t get through a semester without at least one tough professor.

Students across campus and in class can bond over their experiences with one professor or another, and thanks to technology, students can communicate about their experiences from one generation of students to another for decades to come.

Websites like “Rate My Professors” do just that. If you’re like some students with a professor you loathe, rating your professor anonymously at the end of the semester can soothe the sting of a difficult semester.

A couple of professors at Hutchinson Community College, however, do not feel the same way. Tricia Paramore, Department 4 chairperson, said, “I just don’t find a lot of merit in it, to be honest.”

Kathy Mendenhall, speech professor, said that the criteria on which they’re being rated is unimportant to the quality of education they provide, and the website itself is outdated and not credible.

When a student uses “Rate my Professors,” the criteria the website asks for is a general rating of the professor, level of course difficulty, whether or not the student rating the professor would take the course again, if the class was taken for credit, whether or not the textbook was used, and if attendance was mandatory or not.

The rater can also choose to input the grade they received from the course and to write their opinions of the professor in a textbox. 

“Rate my Professors” does tell students not to use profanity, name-calling or derogatory terms, and also not to claim the professor shows bias against certain students. 

“I looked at it years ago for the first time, and I saw that someone had put that I didn’t like firefighter students,” Mendenhall said. “What? I have no idea where that came from. That’s absolutely not true, and so after that, I thought, ‘if one person can put one complaint and then all these other people are choosing their professor according to that website, then no, this isn’t good’.”

Although Mendenhall had a couple of ratings like that from 2005, she is among the top-three rated professors from HutchCC, with a rating of 4.1 out of 5 stars, compiled from 14 ratings. 

Professors with higher ratings than most students find possible can make people wonder if professors will get on the website and rate themselves to boost their rating. That goes to show anyone is able to rate a professor. 

Currently on “Rate my Professors,” the top-three rated HutchCC professors are Rachel Santine, speech professor, with a 4.3 out of 23 reviews, Thomas Percy, social science/history professor, with a 4.3 out of 11 reviews, and Kathy Mendenhall with a 4.1 out of 14 reviews.

Students can also rate the school as a whole. HutchCC currently stands at a 3.5 based off 16 ratings.

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