L&C’s Melissa Batchelor Honored with Gateways to Opportunity Faculty Fellowship

Article by: Louise Jett, L&C Media Services,

GODFREY – The Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) and the Illinois Community College Board (ICCB) recently named Lewis and Clark Community College Child Development and Education Program Coordinator Melissa Batchelor a 2019-2020 Gateways to Opportunity Faculty Fellow.

“Dr. Melissa Batchelor is an outstanding faculty member in early childhood education,” said Vice President of Academic Affairs Linda Chapman. “She cares deeply about delivering a high-quality program to her students. She demonstrates her commitment by continuously seeking to improve her students’ learning so that they can enhance the education they will deliver to young children.”

The fellowship is contributing to the advancement of career pathways that allow individuals aspiring to enter or advance in the field to enhance their knowledge, credentials and profession opportunities.

As a Faculty Fellow, Batchelor joins other early childhood experts from public and private institutions of higher education across Illinois, who are designing assessment tools and best practices to support a competency-based system of preparation, credentialing and professional development in the field of early childhood care and education.

“This award is indicative of the level of commitment and excellence Dr. Bachelor applies to all of her work,” said Dean of Transfer Programs Jill Lane. “She is considered an expert by her peers across the state and is highly respected by state government administrators. Lewis and Clark is lucky to have such a committed Program Coordinator of our Early Childhood Program.”

Batchelor’s team is working on the Gateways Infant and Toddler Credential. Lewis and Clark Child Development students are eligible for this credential.

There are six faculty on her team – three community college and three four-year faculty members, and Batchelor has been chosen as the team leader. She sets the agenda, leads the meetings, presents to the other team leads and supervisors, and works to keep the team on task to meet deadlines.

“It is an awesome responsibility but also a lot of work,” Batchelor said. “My reason for wanting to do this was so that I had input on what was going on in the state and awareness of how this process would affect my program. I have a personal mission to make sure Southern Illinois is represented. It is also great to work with different faculty across the state and build relationships with those individuals.”

Her team began its work in March and has an August deadline to revise and align existing assessment and rubrics to the Illinois Gateway Competencies for infants and toddlers. They are also creating new assessments. All the resources will be available for other faculty members to use in their programs, once the team’s work is complete.

To learn more about L&C’s Child Development and Education Program, visit