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New Learning Community, Schoolhouse is Now Open

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By Ida Domingo | idomingo1@radford.edu

Schoolhouse, one of the six freshman learning communities that Radford University offers is now open. This living and learning space can be found on the third floor of Moffett Hall. It is a learning community for future teachers.

According to Housing and Residential Life, Schoolhouse “is a living and learning community that connects and inspires prospective educators from all disciplines and grade levels.” This learning community has faculty and peers working together to support and advise its students.

To qualify to become a member of its community, Schoolhouse accepts first-year students who plan to pursue teacher licensure. Students must also live on campus for their first two years to receive direct support, access to academic advising, field experiences, and courses exclusive only to community members.

Learning communities are typically a small class of 20-25 students with new freshman. With each student being paired with a mentor, these students receive hands-on learning and mentoring not only inside the classroom but beyond that.

A freshman majoring in Elementary Education with concentrations in special education and science, Jillian Vanderpool is one of 27 members included in this community.

Vanderpool wants to be a teacher because of her passion for teaching. “Through leadership, playing “school” with my brother, and being influenced by my own teachers, I knew it was the profession for me.” Being a part of the Schoolhouse community gets her one step closer to her future career.

After graduating in 2022, she plans to make a difference in children’s lives, “and create an environment that’s safe for them no matter where they come from or where they’ll go next.”

“Schoolhouse has as been amazing so far.” Vanderpool adds, “Not only is it a good experience to live with the same people that you see in your classes, but the Schoolhouse hosts events just for the students and I’ve already gotten to know so many people and make lifelong friendships.”

Another student in the community, Abigail Tefft, a freshman Elementary Education major loves being a part of the Schoolhouse community.

Tefft says, “It’s nice being with people who are studying something similar to me. It’s also nice cause we are all freshman, so we can all learn about our major and college together. Having people who are in your classes and living with you is pretty neat because if you’re struggling, you can just ask the person right next to you.”

The benefits of Schoolhouse is that students get to work with professional educators, they take courses that count toward their program requirements, they can engage more with students and faculty through social activities and most importantly, they receive a good support system.

This new learning community is essential for future teachers because of all it offers. Vanderpool hopes to gain much out of Schoolhouse.

Excited about her future here, she hopes to gain “friendships, experience, and knowledge” and have the opportunity to become a better teacher when entering the work field.

Photo Credit: (Radford Relations)

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