Scorpion Spotlight! Elementary Education Major Raquel Stout

Why did you choose NSC?
I definitely did my research prior to attending NSC. Quality education really matters to me. I didn't want to be another number in a sea of students. I wanted to enter every class where the professor would know my name. I wanted to express my thoughts and have academic discourse amongst my peers. I also value learning from my peers. Teaching involves collaboration. What can be a better place to build rapport with future educators than in my education classes? Nevada State has something that cannot be found at the main university in Las Vegas. It has small class sizes! I feel that each professor is teaching directly to me. It is a remarkable feeling. NSC also embeds the TESL endorsement into my degree. I wanted as much knowledge on how to teach English Language Learners as possible because there are so many English Language Learners in Las Vegas. NSC is a growing school that is focused on the needs and practicality of their students. The students who graduate from NSC are more prepared to enter their profession than any other college in Las Vegas or Henderson.

What is your major/minor?
My major is Elementary Education. I will be graduating in the spring of 2016.

How did you select your area of study?
When I was younger, I had always wanted to be a teacher. I would always play school with my younger brother. When it came time to go to college however, I decided that I wanted to try a profession in the medical field. I did not enjoy it as much as I anticipated. So, I took about a four-year break from college. During that time I was successful in retail. I continuously reflected on going back to school. My dad passed away in 2011 and I made a promise to him that I would go back to school and follow my passion. After I dealt with my grief, I figured out the logistics of going back to school. I enrolled at CSN for the Spring 2013 semester and have been a fulltime student ever since.

Did you join NSC directly out of high school, as a transfer student, or as a non-traditional student?
I transferred to NSC after receiving my A.A from CSN in Elementary Education.

What has been your favorite class, professor, or part of attending college at NSC?
My favorite professor at NSC is Dr. Amanda VandeHei. I have taken three courses with her. She is so smart and an excellent professor. Her style of teaching is so effective and makes me SO exited to be in the classroom. She truly wants her students to be the best versions of themselves. Amanda has recent classroom experience, which she incorporates into her teaching. She is a great model for us, pre-service teachers. She and Dr. Joshua Schulze have a mentor program for new teachers after they graduate. How amazing is that?! They will give guidance and feedback, so that I can be a better teacher each and every day.

What advice would you give to students that are currently planning for college, or to students preparing for admission into the School of Education?
I would definitely talk to an advisor. It is so important to have a plan. The last thing a new student would want to do is take a class by mistake or a class they do not need. An advisor can help new students have an understanding of what placement tests to take, exams necessary to be accepted into the program, and what course are available prior to being accepted into the program of their choosing. I also am constantly talking with my peers about what classes they are taking or getting advice from them. New students will have access to their peer's daily so it is great to build friendship and rapport.

How has attending NSC assisted with your goals, plans, and dreams?
I am able to accomplish my dream of teaching because of NSC. I know when I apply for jobs; I will be prepared and successful in the classroom.

Have you been involved in any clubs or organizations within NSC? Or, external to the college?
I just joined Kappa Delta Pi. I will be inducted into the honor society in April.

What's next for you? (Grad school, etc.)
I am going to focus on teaching for one to two years and then attend grad school. I want to ensure that my focus is teaching my students to the best of my ability. Once I have taught then I feel that I can pick which master's program to do. I am currently leaning towards a master's in curriculum and instruction.

Is there anything else that you d like to add?
I would recommend to all education majors to take courses offered at elementary schools. It is a great opportunity to see the application of all the theories learned from the textbooks. I also have been able to recognize strengths and weaknesses of a variety of teaching styles. My personal philosophy of education is constantly evolving because of the observations I make at the elementary schools. It also gives students an opportunity to teach lessons and interact with students. These classes are so valuable!

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