Linda Thompson, director of the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program at Harding University in Searcy, has a passion for developmental education and doesn’t hesitate to tell anyone.
She was recently selected to be a part of the editorial board of the Journal of Developmental Education.
She’s been reviewing manuscripts for the educational journal and returning them to the publication, which publishes three times a year.
“They sent me an inquiry first,” Thompson said.
The publication board asked her if she would consider being a part of the editorial team.
“This is my first time [working on] this journal,” she said.
Educators in the field of developmental education commonly use the Journal of Developmental Education as a resource, and Thompson said it will be “cool” to see her name at the beginning of the book credits.
“Developmental education is based in developmental psychology, particularly in adult learning theory,” Thompson said. “[The journal] benefits those people in colleges and universities who are either in student support services to help people be successful in college or [who are] tutoring.”
Though it’s hard work, Thompson said, serving on the editorial board is going to be rewarding.
“It’s a way to give back to the profession, and I like the honor of it,” she said.
There is a wide range of people who benefit from using the journal, Thompson said.
The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program is designed for students who have completed one year of college with a grade-point average of 2.75 or above, are low-income and first-generation college students or are from minority groups underrepresented in graduate schools, according to the Harding University website.
“It’s more of a calling than a job,” Thompson said about her work in develpmental education. “I’m very passionate about second chances, and I consider it to be a very strong experience. What we’re trying to do is bridge those gaps in education.”
Thompson said there is an educational gap between low- and high-income families in the United States.
Though she’s been working in developmental education for more than 20 years, Thompson said, the stories of students who have found success through her efforts are what keep her going.
Two nontraditional students in particular who found their way into her office a few years ago have success stories that have inspired Thompson to keep doing what she’s doing.
“One came in with an 11 composite score on the ACT, and the other came in with a GED,” Thompson said. “They were both going into nursing school, and they not only found each other; they found our program for academic success.”
Thompson said the students were looking for every way they could to achieve academic success at Harding University. She said the nursing program is quite rigorous, and the students in need of extra academic help were able to succeed in the program.
“The student with the 11 on the ACT got an award for the highest sophomore GPA,” Thompson said. “[When they graduated], one graduated summa cum laude, and one was magna cum laude. Those are the stories that just keep you going.”
Staff writer Lisa Burnett can be reached at (501) 244-4307 or email@example.com.