RCC’s flexible schedule helps future teacher prepare for transfer to university

Ben Davis didn’t finish high school knowing what he wanted to do next.

He worked in landscaping jobs for a while, then became a teacher’s aide at an elementary school. For years, the idea of going to college had been hovering around him, but he hadn’t known what he would want to study.

As a teacher’s aide, he got to explore his passion for teaching. Now, he’s completed his associate of science transfer degree (ASOT) at Rogue Community College and is heading to Southern Oregon University.

RCC math instructor Doug Gardner shakes hands with Ben Davis, the 2022 Outstanding Student of the Year for Math.
Ben Davis, right, received the 2022 RCC Outstanding Student of the Year for Math.

While most of his classes were online because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Ben feels he still learned a lot.

“It’s good to see education moving forward, thinking about new things and different kinds of families, how to be there for all of our students,” he says. During his studies, he learned a lot about emerging ways of teaching and classroom and family structures.

“The biggest thing I learned is that college is something you can do. It’s nice to have learned that things are fluid, that there are so many different ways that campus can support you.”

Like many students, Ben worked through college. “I really appreciated the flexible class schedule at RCC,” he says. “The teachers are aware that students have jobs and life outside of class; they’re really understanding.”

Ben especially recalls Tracy Redd, his math teacher for elementary education math. “Her class series really helped me. Math 211, 212, and 213 were great to give me a growth mindset and let me see that I can do math and generally realize that I can make mistakes and grow from them.”

Now that he’s transferring to a university, Ben says he’s excited to make “teacher friends” to discuss syllabi and students, form study groups, and connect with students in the same major.

Good luck, Ben!

— Gene DePuy