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Our Mighty Citadel

Lauren Roche

A Passion for Teaching

For Lauren Roche, who earned her master’s degree from The Citadel Graduate College, teaching is about more than covering standards. Her fourth grade classroom is a haven for English language learners at Pinehurst Elementary, a Title I school where many students are learning grade-level lessons as they learn a new language. Sometimes this means that students become translators for their peers.

As Roche’s students grapple with a new language, she continues to pick up more and more Spanish.

Roche had positive connections with all her teachers growing up in New Jersey in the early 2000s, and she wants her students to have the same opportunities. “I had such a good educational experience,” she said, “that I wanted to give that back in a way that I could.”

Roche’s desire to help students led her to The Citadel. “The program at The Citadel provided me the foundations for literacy and phonics skills and reading skills that I was unable to receive in my undergraduate courses.”

Because The Citadel’s program is research-based, Roche chose to use data from her own classroom and real-world experiences. “Then I was able to use those findings and what I found throughout the research process to directly implement it back into my teaching. So it was not only for the class, but it was also bettering me as a teacher,” she said.

Roche found that English language learner curriculum often assumes the students have experience learning in a traditional school. This isn’t always the case.

During her first year at Pinehurst Elementary School, Roche taught an ELL who had not previously held a pencil.

“By the end of the year, he was speaking basic English,” she said. “He was able to read and write on a kindergarten level. And even though it was in a third grade class, watching the progression of that student made me realize after my first year of teaching that I was in the right school and the right profession.”

Others realized it too. In 2016, Roche was named the Charleston County School District Elementary Rookie Teacher of the Year, and today, she continues to be a paragon educator. In May, Roche earned a master’s degree in literacy education and a graduate certificate in literacy education. “This program just provided me the opportunity to collaborate with other teachers and meet with these professors and just expose myself to so much more than I could ever imagine. And I’m so grateful that I had that experience because now I have a new job in literacy intervention, and I was able to bring so much of what I learned back into the classroom.” The data analysis skills Roche learned help her monitor and adjust her lesson plans to where she can now measure her students’ growth Monday through Friday.

“Everyone dreams about waking up and loving their job every single day. And I'm so fortunate that when I wake up, I enjoy going to work every day. I enjoy the community that I work with... The students are the center of my job. And I'm so fortunate that I get to work with them.”

Roche’s decision to keep pursuing her passion for teaching is timely. As the pandemic further complicates her career field, Roche is thankful for the hands-on, interactive lessons she learned at The Citadel that enable her to meet challenges with renewed persistence and skill.

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#1 Public College in the South

The Citadel has been ranked #1 Public College in the South offering up to a master's degree by U.S. News & World Report for 10 years in a row.

1 in 3 Cadets Earn a Commission

Approximately 1 in 3 cadets earn a commission into the U.S. Armed Forces upon graduation.

Citadel Graduate College

The Citadel Graduate College offers 25 graduate degrees programs with 22 concentration options, 25 graduate certificates and 10 undergraduate degree completion programs.

12:1 Student-Faculty Ratio

The 12:1 student-faculty ratio ensures direct access to nationally recognized scholars.

2,300 Cadets

Approximately 2,300 students comprise the South Carolina Corps of Cadets at The Citadel.

Over 90% Cadet Placement

Over 90% of Cadets report professional employment, military, or graduate school acceptance within 6 months of graduation, which is significantly above the national average.

$250,690,056 Raised

20,784 donors contributed to the Foundation for Leadership campaign, a 6 year effort to support the college.

Over 1,100 Non-Traditional Students

The Citadel Graduate College has a population of over 1,100 students, 23% of whom are a part of the undergraduate degree completion program.

16 Varsity Athletic Teams

The Citadel is part of the Division I Southern Conference with 9 men's varsity teams and 7 women's varsity teams.

Learning in 23 Countries

Citadel cadets and students study abroad in 23 countries across several continents.

22% Veteran Students

22% of the Citadel Graduate College are veteran students studying locally and abroad with The Citadel ranked as #1 Public College for Veterans in the South.

24 Undergraduate Majors

The Citadel offers 24 undergraduate majors and 39 minors.

#1 College for Alumni Giving in the South

The Citadel is ranked #1 College for Alumni Giving in the South with a current alumni network of over 39,000 people.

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