ATLANTA— Lithia Springs resident Lynn Clemons was recently appointed director of the Organization Leadership Program for Mercer University's College of Continuing and Professional Studies.
Clemons has worked for Mercer for eight years, serving as a professor, mentor and coordinator of the University's Regional Academic Center in Douglas County.
The Organization Leadership Program is a degree completion program established by Mercer in 2000. To enroll in the program, students must have at least four years of work experience and 60 hours of previous college experience. As the program is designed for working adults, classes are held each Saturday for 16 months at Mercer's Cecil B. Day Campus in Atlanta and the Regional Academic Center in Douglas County. The program will also be offered at Mercer's new Henry County Center when it opens in August.
Clemons is excited about this chance to work in adult education, a field very close to her heart. The Douglas County resident earned her master's degree in human resources management in a non-traditional educational setting from Pepperdine University. And she is currently pursuing a doctorate in adult education from Nova Southeastern University, while juggling work and family.
"Adult education is an important and challenging field," she said. "Adults are a unique group because they bring a lot of issues with them like work and family. They have a different journey than traditional students."
Clemons said she's been continually impressed with Mercer's Organization Leadership Program, which has provided a venue for more than 180 working adults to earn their bachelor's degrees. Nationwide statistics show adult education programs traditionally retain only about 33 percent of their students. But Mercer's Organization Leadership Program boasts a retention rate of 94 percent.
"Our students have a real drive to get their degrees," Clemons said.
She thinks this drive is a result of the Mercer program's unique set up. Students enrolled in the program participate in "cohort groups" of 15 to 25 students. This means they are with the same group of students the entire 16-month period they are enrolled at Mercer. And each cohort group is assigned a mentor who helps guide the students through their educational journey. Clemons said it's this strong support network that has made Mercer's Organizational Leadership Program a success.
As the new director, Clemons hopes to strengthen the mentoring component of the program as well as increase the number of students the program is able to help.
"I know we're changing lives in our community, and I look forward to working with employers to further meet our community's needs," she said.