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Randolph College

How this student rated the school
Educational QualityD Faculty AccessibilityA+
Useful SchoolworkA- Excess CompetitionA-
Academic SuccessA Creativity/ InnovationA+
Individual ValueD- University Resource UseB
Campus Aesthetics/ BeautyB- FriendlinessB
Campus MaintenanceC Social LifeA
Surrounding CityC+ Extra CurricularsA+
SafetyC+
Describes the student body as:
Friendly, Arrogant, Broken Spirit

Describes the faculty as:
Friendly, Helpful

Female
Quite Bright
Lowest Rating
Individual Value
D-
Highest Rating
Faculty Accessibility
A+
She cares more about Individual Value than the average student.
Date: Apr 21 2010
Major: Other (This Major's Salary over time)
Randolph-Macon Woman's College and Randolph College are two entirely different colleges existing, for a time, concurrently, although perhaps it is more pertinent to say they currently exist competitively. R-MWC and RC students do tend to clash, but understandably so. They applied to fundamentally different educational systems and (as has so far been the case) have not gotten along as well as they could have. The strife is understandable (not necessarily justifiable) because the co-ed transition was forced upon a very vocal body of strong, independent women in less than one year, must less time than other college co-ed transitions. Had the transition been gradual over a period of say 3 or 5 years, I believe the outcome would have been much less volatile (and verbally/emotionally abusive to both upperclasswomen and underclass-students).

The faculty absolutely make the college. They are nearly all highly qualified (watch out for sub-par adjunct professors, especially in Phys. Ed. classes, Public Speaking, from my experience) and absolutely dedicated to the students. The professors are absolutely the redeeming quality in Randolph College; although considering most of them were hired as R-MWC professors I must admit I am not surprised and would expect nothing less.

The diversity of the student body is absolutely fantastic! This is a great environment for open-minded, equality-sensitive students ready to hang out with all different kinds of people (read: not a high-school, cliquish social popularity contest). This campus has prided itself on being an open, inviting community, meaning everyone is free to be exactly who they are in terms of personality, sexuality, religion, etc. and are equally willing to accept others. This is absolutely not Liberty University. "Live and let live" is an accurate description of the kind of student R-MWC strove and Randolph strives to recruit.

My personal experience began without much knowledge of R-MWC as a college, I wasn't particularly excited about it being all female, but I was offered a stellar scholarship, they had my intended major (German) and I was particularly keen to train with the Riding Center Director, J.T. Tallon. I will caution you however, that Randolph dropped the German department weeks prior to my major declaration, so I was forced to either change my major or transfer (I elected to change my major) and Randolph has since continued to make significant changes quickly and without warning; therefore I encourage you to ALWAYS have a back-up plan here. The administration has definitely become less student-friendly and does not react kindly to students' honest opinions and input about the college (unless they are radically positive), however Dean Stevens is the exception and is absolutely open to listening to the student body (rather than simply hearing them out to save face).

My first year was the final year of R-MWC as an all woman's institution, and I must admit it was indeed my favorite year with regard to the social environment around campus. I really fell in love with R-MWC and realized I absolutely loved the single-sex education style. Honestly, girls spoke up much more vociferously in class while R-MWC was still all-female and the overall quality of work was higher. The small class sizes allows for great discussion and having a professor know only know your name but also know your work ethic and work style personally is supremely helpful toward becoming a confident, well-spoken, intelligent, open-minded person ready to enter the world. The professors are, for the most part, very open-minded and listen to their students as much as they lecture. They encourage students to pursue their own personal passions, rather than passions others (like parents, etc.) have for them. Students will absolutely learn to write and write well. I strongly discourage attending this school if you are not serious about your academics and willing to write.

The present social situation of the college, to be frank, is utter turmoil. There is a disconnect within the student body between Randolph students (where honestly the administration pushes its athletics more than its academics) and the last few Women of R-MWC, however I do believe that turmoil will dissipate over time. You are required to live on campus all four years, which means living in a dorm, not campus apartments (those don't exist). Additionally, within the past four years there have been serious changes for campus living. The school has largely increased its level of partying; therefore campus life administration has retaliated by cranking-up its drinking policies and dorm rules and regulations. Hall directors are VERY quick to fine students for even the smallest infraction of rules in the handbook. I encourage you to take a peek at the student handbook before entering this college, as those are the rules you will be held to. Hall directors do tend to turn-over every few years, so hopefully these restrictions will become less stringent with the next turnover. The rationale behind cracking-down on drinking policies makes no sense to me realistically. Think about it: college students who want to party are going to party regardless of rules and restrictions (be real). If rules on campus are too strict, they will drive off campus to party (meaning they will be driving back to campus later on). To me, this seems like an unsafe policy determined by short-sighted policy formulation aimed at deflecting negative publicity for Randolph, rather than realistic policies fostered around ensuring student safety (not to mention getting acquainted with your peers). If students are forced to live on campus (and I warn you this is a very SMALL campus that feels smaller every year), it makes realistic sense to be lenient (but safely lenient) in order to discourage students from getting behind the wheel to find parties. In my opinion, that is simply setting the stage for a disaster (and pretty negative publicity for Randolph, which is currently really struggling with enrollment and student retention).

Riding at the College is fantastic. The coaches are great, although the horses could be in much sounder condition if the college would adequately fund the Riding Program so that it could treat its horses the way they deserve to (ie proper injections, supplements, vet visits). The horses themselves are all carefully chosen (all horses are donations, however this does not mean that every potential donation horse is accepted to the program) for being well-mannered and suitable for a college school program. Over the past four years, the overall quality of donation horses has increased, however and there is quite a nice group currently (assuming they will stay sound without proper medications, as many donation horses come in with soundness issues). JT is a phenomenal coach; he is a brilliant teacher but can be a bit harsh with his criticisms, although not unlike most professionals in the real Hunter/Jumper world. If you want to step up your riding game and can take a tough coach, this is the school for you. I recommend not bringing a private horse for at least the first year as it is easier for JT to get to know a new rider on horses he knows rather than getting to know a new rider on a new horse (it will turn out better for your technical skill in the long run).

So if you are an open-minded individual seeking a quality, rigorous education I encourage you to check out Randolph, but I also caution you to be on your toes and always have a back-up plan should you choose to attend.

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