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Education and Teacher Licensure

If you dream of a career as a teacher, Randolph College prepares you to become a leader in education at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Altra Witt teaches in Madison Heights Elementary School

Why Study Education at Randolph?

Complementing a strong liberal arts foundation, a well-planned sequence of professional education courses and multiple field experiences prepare you to enter the classroom with enthusiasm and confidence.

The mission of the Educator Preparation Program is to provide an educational environment that prepares teacher candidates to teach effectively, to act as leaders in school communities, and to serve as agents of equity and change.  The Program emphasizes:

  • effective instructional strategies that meet the learning needs of all children
  • professional attitudes and behaviors
  • positive values toward diversity and the needs of culturally and educationally diverse learners
  • skills in using technology as an effective teaching and management tool

Randolph College offers a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) with emphasis on either Curriculum & Instruction (elementary or secondary education) or Special Education.

Education majors have the option completing a 5-year program which includes a bachelor’s degree, teacher licensure, and a master’s degree.

Degrees offered

Elementary Education BS

Physics Education BA

Earth Science Education minor

Teacher Licensure

Curriculum & Instruction MAT

Special Education MAT

Curriculum and Courses

Related Programs




Teacher Licensure

The Randolph College Educator Preparation Program (EPP) is accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).

All licensure programs are approved by the Virginia Department of Education. Students who complete our course of study have met all the state’s education requirements for initial licensure to teach in Virginia’s elementary or secondary schools.  

Virginia has reciprocity agreements with more than 40 states and territories. 

The education program offers licensure in the following areas:

  • Elementary Education (preK–6)
  • Biology (6–12)
  • Chemistry (6–12)
  • Computer Science (6–12)
  • Earth Science (6–12)
  • English (6–12)
  • Health & Physical Education (preK–12)
  • History and Social Science (6–12)
  • Mathematics (6–12)
  • Physics (6–12)
  • Spanish (preK–12)
  • Theatre Arts (preK–12)
  • Visual Arts (preK–12)

Add-on endorsement areas include:

Algebra I (6–12)

Prepare for a Teaching Career

Build a Solid Foundation

The philosophical foundation of Randolph College’s Educator Education Preparation Program begins with the fundamental belief that culture and community influence learning.

Our social constructivist approach based on Vygotsky’s theories combines research, social responsibility, effective instructional practice, content expertise, and leadership skills. 

Candidates develop reflective practices to analyze their assumptions and beliefs so that they have the confidence to make informed decisions in classrooms. In recognizing and meeting individual needs, candidates establish safe, humane, and caring learning environments. 

Candidates engage in professional work that includes understanding and implementing action research designed to inform instructional practices.

The Program helps you develop the skills you need to become an effective teacher, including an understanding of:

  • learning theory
  • child growth and development
  • cognitive and language development
  • educational goals and objectives
  • cultural influences on learning
  • curriculum planning and design
  • instructional techniques, planning and management
  • design and use of evaluation and measurement methods
  • classrooms and schools and social systems
  • school law
  • instructional technology
  • collaborative and consultative skills

Prepare For Your Future

Our Career Development Center works with you one-on-one to help with your job search or applications for graduate school.

If you want to supplement your Randolph College degree with a graduate degree in education by pursuing an M.Ed., a Ph.D., or an Ed.D., the Career Development Center can also provide assistance with preparation for graduate school.

Opportunities for Experience


There’s no substitute for getting in the classroom and observing the techniques of successful teachers and/or practicing what you’ve learned in the classroom.

That’s why your program will include extensive practicum experience. All candidates for teacher licensure are required to do a semester-long internship, teaching in the subject area of their endorsement.

You’ll gain invaluable experience as you observe different teaching styles and gain understanding of different learning styles of students. You’ll develop the skills you need to become an effective teacher, including:

  • acquiring organizational and planning skills
  • honing your leadership skills
  • developing collaborative and consultative skills
  • learning to conceptualize
  • using current technology for professional presentations and as a teaching tool
Student teacher builds towers with schoolchildren.

Randolph College Nursery School

Many of our students work part-time at the College’s on-campus Nursery School.

Education majors have the opportunity to work in the nursery school and to observe and gain valuable experience facilitating child-centered curriculum teaching models.

Randolph College SciFest

Every year Randolph College students organize and host SciFest, a 3-day science and learning festival for local schoolchildren.

Randolph student and faculty volunteers lead activities, exhibits, labs, and talks designed to get young girls and boys interested in and excited about science, technology, engineering, and  math (STEM).  

In addition to science activites for both elementary and preschool students, guests enjoy national guest speakers, a Pi Day fun run, women in science panel,  poetry jam, LEGO league, drones and robots, petting zoo, and more.

The free event draws thousands of children and families to campus every year. 

The Randolph Experience


Randolph students work with their faculty mentors on advanced research projects with help from the Center for Student Research

Randolph’s intensive eight-week Summer Research Program enables students to conduct research that is complemented by a thorough review of the relevant literature; live in a residence hall on campus, participate in on-campus summer events, attend special seminars with guest speakers; and share the progress and results of their research.

Many students present their findings at the annual Symposium of Artists and Scholars.

Professor Crystal Howell and Caleb Schmitzer '21 go over their notes from his Summer Research project on the use of social media in teacher strikes.
Professor Crystal Howell and Caleb Schmitzer '21 review their notes from his Summer Research project on the use of social media in teacher strikes.

Small Classes

Randolph professors offer unique, engaging courses on topics like diversity, special education, and the teacher’s role as a mentor.

View the course list.

The Honor Code

Randolph students live by our Honor Code and act with the highest integrity in both academic and social life.

Study Abroad

Opportunities for study elsewhere, such as in the Washington Semester Programs at the American University in Washington, D.C., as well as study-abroad programs, are available.

Intercultural Competence

All Randolph students learn global citizenship with the capability to accurately understand and adapt to cultural differences and find commonality.



Name, major
position title

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Top Ranked Professors

Randolph College’s faculty are consistently recognized as among the best in the nation. The Princeton Review ranked the College in the Top 20 for most accessible professors in the 2021 edition of its flagship college guide, The Best 387 Colleges.

Randolph has been ranked in the top 20 for most accessible professors for four consecutive years.

Education Faculty

Peggy Schimmoeller

Professor of Education, Director of the Master of Arts in Teaching program

Read More... Peggy Schimmoeller

Beth Gafford

Instructor in Education

Read More... Beth Gafford

Crystal Howell

Assistant Professor of Education

Read More... Crystal Howell

Taryn Robertson

Assistant Professor of Education

Read More... Taryn Robertson

Only at Randolph

Randolph students can take advantage of unique programs which give them a more enriching education than can be found anywhere else.

Money for Your Research

The Randolph Innovative Student Experience (RISE) program provides every student a $2,000 grant to fund research, creative work, experiential learning or other scholarly pursuits.

Learn More

Two courses per half-mester means you get to focus in and dig deep into your coursework while still having time for the rest of the college experience. Two classes. Seven weeks. Repeat.

Learn More
The Liberal Arts Advantage

Randolph graduates learn to think critically, solve problems and work well with others. They are prepared to succeed in all aspects of life.

Learn More
The Randolph Plan

Randolph students work with faculty mentors to explore a broad range of disciplines as they chart their academic path.

Learn More

Department News

Q&A with new faculty: Taryn Robertson

Robertson is an assistant professor of education.

Read More

Students present research during 15th annual Symposium of Artists and Scholars

The symposium brings together students from all academic departments to share their research and highlight some of the work they’ve produced while at Randolph.

Read More

Randolph announces new academic programs

Some of the programs, including computer science, marine science, and criminal justice/criminology, will be introduced for fall 2023.

Read More

Q&A with new faculty: Taryn Robertson

Robertson is an assistant professor of education.

Read More

Students present research during 15th annual Symposium of Artists and Scholars

The symposium brings together students from all academic departments to share their research and highlight some of the work they’ve produced while at Randolph.

Read More

Randolph announces new academic programs

Some of the programs, including computer science, marine science, and criminal justice/criminology, will be introduced for fall 2023.

Read More
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Department Chair

Peggy Schimmoeller

Professor of Education, Director of the Master of Arts in Teaching program

Credentials:B.S., University of Dayton
M.A.T., Oakland University
Ed.D., University of Virginia
Associated Departments:Education and Teacher Licensure
Office:Leggett 608

News Headlines

I am a teacher educator and educational researcher interested in a wide range of topics related to the learning process. All children are learners and I adhere to this premise in all of the work. I received my B.S. from the University of Dayton, my master’s degree from Oakland University, and my Doctorate of Education from the University of Virginia. My areas of emphasis include special education, educational law, math and science education and teaching and learning through the college level. I joined the Randolph College community in 1993.

As an educator I have taught in Ohio, New York, Michigan and Virginia. I was drawn to students who were intelligent but performed behind their peer group in school. As a result of these experienced I pursued a master’s degree focusing on reading and learning abilities and disabilities. My doctoral studies included work in curriculum and instruction, leadership and policy studies and child development/psychology. I have worked with pre-K through high school aged students who were diagnose with mild or moderate reading and learning disabilities in a wide range of setting at both private and public schools.

My research work includes work in Bangkok, Thailand and Lahore, Pakistan where I have traveled and worked with teachers in public schools and colleges. I research how teaching and instructional practices influence student learning and classroom climate. My work includes reading, science, mathematics and college teaching practices.

During my tenure at Randolph I have worked to promote higher education and the importance of the liberal arts and its practical application to various professional career opportunities. I enjoy working with colleagues on leadership, change and transition, and strategies that help move the college forward.

I am actively involved in a variety of professional organizations including the American Association for Teaching and Curriculum, the American Education Research Association, Virginia Association for Science and Technology, and the American Association for University Women. In addition I work closely with the Jubilee Family Development Center, New Vistas Schools, and Camp Kum-Ba- Yah Environmental Center to promote learning outside of the traditional school day.


Beth Gafford

Instructor in Education

Credentials:B.S., University of Virginia
M.A.T., Randolph College
Ed.S., Grand Canyon University
Associated Departments:Education and Teacher Licensure
Office:Leggett 617


Crystal Howell

Assistant Professor of Education

Credentials:B.A., Marshall University
M.A., Marshall University
M.A.T., Marshall University
Ph.D., Indiana University
Associated Departments:Education and Teacher Licensure
Office:Leggett 615

News Headlines

I am from West Virginia—you’ll probably hear me call it Best Virginia—but I’m delighted to be living here in the other Virginia! I grew up in Lincoln County, a rural county in the southern coalfields.

For my B.A., I attended Marshall University, where I majored in English and Spanish and minored in classical studies. I stayed at Marshall to earn my M.A.T. and become certified to teach English and Spanish in grades five through adult. I then spent six years teaching middle and high school Spanish in a traditional, face-to-face classroom. During this time, I completed a master’s degree in English and was also a member of the leadership team for Coalfield Writers, a rural satellite site of the National Writing Project.

In my seventh year of teaching, I began working for the West Virginia Virtual School. As an online Spanish teacher, I worked with middle school students in the most remote areas of the state. This experience was exciting, interesting—and often very frustrating.

I decided to pursue my Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction at Indiana University in order to better understand the experiences of sojourner teachers—that is, teachers who shift between teaching online and teaching face to face.

I came to Randolph with experience teaching undergraduate teacher candidates as well as K-12 practitioners at the graduate level. I love teaching, and I love helping others deepen their pedagogical knowledge and develop their instructional skills.

In my primary research line, I investigate the embodied experiences of teachers who move back and forth between online and face-to-face classes. In traditional classrooms, our bodies are a vital part of our teaching practice—we use them to convey and gather information, to connect with students, to manage behavior. Our bodies also tell others about us, revealing (or sometimes blurring) race, gender, (dis)ability, and other parts of who we are. What happens when we move to an online teaching context? Is the body still important? I work from a feminist point of view, so I am particularly interested in how gender is a part of these questions and their answers.

I am currently beginning a new line of inquiry related to teachers as labor activists. Specifically, I am studying how online communities affect teachers’ participation in face-to-face activism such as attending and speaking at public forums, engaging with their elected representatives, and collective bargaining actions like walkouts and strikes.

I also write about multicultural education, service learning, curriculum development in out-of-school contexts like camps and afterschool programs, and qualitative research methodologies.


Taryn Robertson

Assistant Professor of Education

Credentials:BA, English Education, Southwestern University
ME, Advance Literacy, Concordia University
PhD, Curriculum and Instruction, University of Denver
Associated Departments:Education and Teacher Licensure

News Headlines