Lemke receives full scholarship to 2012 Kellogg Institute


Karen Lemke recently received one of the first-ever McGraw-Hill/Kellogg Developmental Educator Scholarships, designed to honor outstanding instructors dedicated to preparing students for college-level coursework.

The full scholarship to the 2012 Kellogg Institute for the Training and Certification of Developmental Educators, the nation's longest running advanced training program for developmental educators, was presented to Lemke at the National Association for Developmental Education (NADE) 2012 conference, in February, in Orlando, Fla. The Adams State College Readiness Programs and Development Education Director, Lemke, said receiving the scholarship validates her work initiating and directing programs to further students' academic success.

In 2008, Dr. Michael Mumper, executive vice president of enrollment management, initiated a campus-wide retention assessment. The results showed students who need two or more developmental courses, (reading, writing, math), were most at-risk for failure, dropout, and loan default. Over 60 percent of Adams State incoming students require one or more developmental courses, and 35 percent need two or three areas of remediation.

"Dr. Mumper recognized the need for a priority intervention and tasked me with developing a comprehensive first-year program to support these students," Lemke said. She developed the STAY (Structured Transitional Academic Year) Program, whose initial results show increased GPA and retention rates. "There is still more to do, and I will use the Kellogg Institute opportunity to develop earlier assessment, interventions and support."

The McGraw-Hill Kellogg Developmental Educator Scholarships are part of McGraw-Hill Education's growing commitment to advancing the field of developmental education. The corporation is working to close the remediation gap and increase college student's opportunities to excel and graduate through the use of the latest adaptive learning technologies to accelerate and personalize learning for each student.

Lemke plays an instrumental role in developing Adams State's Student Success Center and acquiring learning technology to support developmental education.

"There is no question that we need to improve developmental education in colleges and universities across the nation," said Beth Mejia, executive director of developmental education at McGraw-Hill Education. "By supporting the important work of educators like Karen who lead this charge, we can better prepare today's students for the college classroom, and ensure higher graduation rates and better workforce readiness."

Lemke will use the Kellogg Institute opportunity to expand Adam State's developmental focus to "pre-remediate" students earlier. Working with the GEAR-UP program at the local high school, her office is developing a near-peer mentoring program pairing successful college students with college-hopeful high school and middle school students for both mentoring and tutoring. "College mentors can demonstrate and teach how to balance campus life and first-time independence with achieving academic success." She plans to expand awareness of what "college ready" means for high school faculty, counselors, administrators, students and families through improved communication, data sharing, and relationship-building. "Eighty percent of students taking developmental courses in college earned above average grades in high school. It is a harsh reality check for students to learn they did not test into the college-level math or English course."

Other goals include providing assessments for students as early as middle school; using online resources for local high school students to be prepared for the higher standards and rigors of college; and increasing utilization of summer programs for entering freshmen.