Why some students participate in class discussions and others do not? Students who rarely participate in class discussion often report a low level of perceived control. When a majority of respondents (75%) participates in class discussion and those same students report a high level of perceived control, the conditions of the social context allow for empowerment. Classroom structure and social interactions could be freeing and empowering, or they could be imposing and oppressive. Teachers need to let go of the power and knowledge in college classes, allowing students to transform, to become teachers. Could we measure empowerment in the classroom? This study offers a new instrument for measuring students'' perceptions of participation in class discussion, contributing to empowerment theory. The practical significance of this study is two-fold: teachers need to know that all students have a potential to participate in class discussion, while students need to know that their perceived control increases with participation in class discussion. The process of empowerment in college classes is a conscious effort of all who voluntarily transform their class into a community of inquiry.