Student - Teacher Instructional Ratios

Date Issued: 

The following Policy Guideline is designed to replace Informational Policy Memorandum (IPM) 81, issued March 17, 1995.

Section 5002(1)(b) of the Education Law states in part that ". . . the commissioner shall set forth in regulation standards governing all of the following . . . the standards and the methods of instruction; . . ."

Section 126.4(a) of the Commissioner's Regulations states in part that ". . .The commissioner shall approve the appropriate student-to-teacher ratio for each course or curricula. Schools shall ensure that student enrollment on the attendance register does not exceed the approved ratio after the first week of instruction."

When setting student-teacher ratios during the curriculum review process, the type of instruction which will take place is a major consideration. Theory classes are lecture classes in which the teacher presents material to students. Students may practice on the new material, but this is done without an emphasis on the use of equipment.

Skill classes are those classes in which general group instruction may take place, followed by students working on some type of equipment with a focus on building a skill in the use of that equipment. These classes generally include increased individual student-teacher interaction. The major emphasis of the class is on the use of the equipment.

To provide adequate instruction to students enrolled in trade and business curricula, the Bureau uses the following student-teacher instructional ratios as guidelines in approving curriculum. When students are enrolled in a theory class with a higher teacher-student ratio than the skills class that is a required part of the training, schools must schedule enough skill classes to allow students to actively participate without going beyond the ratio set for the skills class. If you have 30 students in the theory part of a subject, you will need to schedule 2 skills classes to accommodate all students.

Business and Trade Theory Classes 30:1 (Excluding ESL)

English as a Second Language

Beginning 15:1
Intermediate 20:1
Advanced 20:1

Skill Classes

Introductory Keyboarding 25:1
Advanced Keyboarding 30:1
Introductory Computer Applications/Programming 20:1
Advanced Computer Applications/Programming 20:1 or 25:1
Computer Training Courses (5 days or less) 20:1
Computer-Aided Drafting 20:1
Court Reporting 25:1
Appearance Enhancement Curricula 20:1
Electrolysis 10:1
Automotive 20:1
Welding 20:1
Printing 12:1
Phlebotomy/EKG 20:1
Medical/Dental Assistant Labs 20:1
Medical/Dental Assistant Clinical (Internship) 1:10
Ultrasound Clinical (Internship) 1:5

Nursing Assistant Theory and Skill 15:1. Theory can be up to a ratio of 1:30 if the school can document beforehand to their field associate that the school can schedule two skills classes with a maximum of 15 students for any theory class with more than 15 students. All class sizes established by the field associate must also comply with square footage requirements, and may require a quarters approval by the field associate.

Nursing Assistant Clinic (Internship) 10:1

Home Health Aide Theory and Skill 20:1. Theory can be up to 1:30 if the school can document beforehand to their field associate that the school can schedule two skills classes of no more than 20 students per class.

Home Health Aide Clinic (Internship) 3:1 in all settings except hospitals, where it can be up to 1:10 in rooms with multiple patients.

The above ratios are the maximum number of students per teacher for selected areas of study. Ratios for other specialized areas will be set based on a review of the curriculum. Student-teacher ratios for all curricula/courses are set based upon the content of the course, recommendations of outside evaluators, and, where appropriate, safety issues. When assigning students to a class, student-teacher ratios, equipment availability, quarters approval, and local inspection approvals must be taken into consideration. The lowest number of students identified based on these considerations shall be scheduled for a class.

The commissioner may, at his discretion, approve instructional ratios which vary from these guidelines, provided that a written educational justification outlining unique qualities of a program and why student learning will not be negatively affected by a higher ratio, is provided and approved. Such a variance cannot be granted for Nurse Aide and Home Health Aide training. An on-site review may be conducted when higher student-teacher ratios are requested to verify the written justification