Local service groups and Minnesota State Community and Technical College faculty members have joined to create a new Adult Literacy Scholarship that benefits students who complete developmental courses on M State’s Detroit Lakes campus.
Steve Erickson, M State’s dean of institutional effectiveness, said the $250 renewable scholarship will be awarded to students during the semester following their successful completion of developmental courses, beginning during the 2017 spring semester.
College students who do not test as college-ready in one or more areas including English, reading comprehension and math may be required to take developmental courses designed to prepare them for college-level academic work, dependent upon their program of study. These developmental courses don’t count toward graduation requirements, and they can add to the overall cost of a degree.
Erickson said nearly 40 percent of incoming students at the Detroit Lakes campus do not test as college-ready in English and reading comprehension.
M State faculty members and both the Detroit Lakes Breakfast Rotary and Kiwanis clubs have contributed to initial funding for the scholarship, which has an annual goal of $10,000.
Students enrolled in the Read/Write Strategies developmental education course will be provided with information about applying for the award, and the $250 scholarship will be renewable for a second semester for students who mentor other students in developmental education.
Diane Stenerson, who teaches the Read/Write Strategies course, said she’s had the privilege of seeing several of her developmental English students go on to graduate from M State with honors.
“I’m excited to see who will receive the scholarships and how the recipients will be empowered to make a difference in the lives of other students in the course,” Stenerson said.
Marcus Lacher, one of the Detroit Lakes faculty members involved in the scholarship’s creation, sees it as one way to encourage students to persist in meeting their academic goals.
“Literacy is something that many of us take for granted and, without it, many adults are not reaching their full potential,” Lacher said. “The increased persistence encouraged by this scholarship could make the difference between a student graduating or dropping out without the academic tools to improve their future.”
Anyone interested in making a donation to support the scholarship can contact the Detroit Lakes Area College Foundation at 218.846.3720 or its director, Denise Laymon, at firstname.lastname@example.org.