Thursday, September 6, 2012

Transfer student prepares for teaching career through Randolph classes, research project

After attending a community college for one year, Dominique Rose ’14 was looking for a small college that could help him in his quest to become a teacher. After he learned about the education program at Randolph—which would allow him to finish his bachelor’s degree and quickly earn a master’s degree in teaching—the decision was easy.

Studying at Randolph also gave Rose a unique opportunity to study teaching. This year, he participated in a Summer Research project that explored the attributes and characteristics teachers need and measured the success of Randolph’s education program.

“Subject matter knowledge doesn’t make you a good teacher,” Rose said. “You have to be able to communicate and understand your students. You need to be well versed in teaching, able to reach students with different learning styles.”

Dominique Rose ’14 explains his Summer Research project to Randolph professors
Tatiana Gilstrap and Holly Tatum during a Summer Research Symposium on Sept. 1.
Rose grew up in Amherst County, just across the James River from Randolph College. After graduating from high school, he attended Central Virginia Community College. He transferred to Randolph after attending an open house and deciding the education program was the right fit.

In his first semester at Randolph, Rose’s largest class had only 20 students—which is large compared to many classes at Randolph, but small compared to classes at other colleges Rose had considered. He enjoys being able to work closely with faculty. “The professors here are so friendly, they’re able to build relationships with students,” Rose said. “I can email my professors and they usually email me back within a few hours. That is so convenient.”

During one of Rose’s classes, his work caught the attention of education professor Roberta Parker. “I was very impressed by his tenacity and work ethic,” Parker said. “He is a conscientious student—always willing to go above and beyond to accomplish any task set before him.”

Parker invited Rose to join her and another education professor, Peggy Schimmoeller, for a project in Randolph’s Summer Research Program. They were assessing how well Randolph’s curriculum helps students gain the knowledge and attributes of good teachers.

Rose spent the summer reading current research about effective teaching practices and interviewing Randolph graduates who are now teachers. He asked them about the professional attributes and teaching skills that they developed at Randolph and how they are applying those skills in the classroom. He recently presented his findings in a symposium for the Summer Research Program.

Rose is pursuing certifications for special education, elementary education, and physical education. After finishing his undergraduate studies, he plans to enroll in Randolph’s one-year Master of Arts in Teaching program.

Outside of his studies, Rose is engaged in extracurricular activities. He is a student government senator for his residence hall, and he is a leader in Campus Outreach, a Christian fellowship ministry for students.

He said transfer students who look for opportunities can find many ways to integrate with campus life. “People here are so friendly, and they enjoy making new friends and carrying on good conversations,” Rose said.