College Board Partnership Award to Karen Morris

February 27, 2014William Schmitt

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Karen Morris, program director of the Advanced Placement Training and Incentive Program for Indiana (AP-TIP IN) in Notre Dame’s Institute for Educational Initiatives, has received the College Board’s inaugural Partnership Award for the Midwestern region.

The award was presented by Greg Walker, the College Board’s regional vice president for the Midwest, at its annual Forum on Feb. 11, 2014. He said the College Board, which governs the national structure of Advanced Placement ® tests for high school students, wanted to honor the ways in which the AP-TIP IN program is improving both knowledge levels and career hopes among students across Indiana.

AP-TIP IN is administered by Notre Dame’s Institute for Educational Initiatives in cooperation with the Indiana Department of Education and the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI). It works with participating public schools and teachers through incentives and training designed to increase college- and career-

readiness, especially in science, math, and English, as demonstrated by performance on specified College Board Advanced Placement ® tests and enrollment in the courses that prepare for them.

Since the program’s introduction in 2012, Morris has led implementation of the National Math and Science Initiative’s model for AP® preparation, assisted by a team of content specialists. They work collaboratively with their colleague educators in a growing number of AP-TIP IN partner schools and courses.

Test results after the 2012-2013 school year showed the number of students in the nine participating schools who had earned an AP ® math or science test score high enough to qualify for college credit jumped 114%. More details of the test results are available. The number of participating schools more than doubled in the second year.

Morris has leveraged her expertise in chemistry to improve undergraduate engagement and learning strategies in the sciences since joining the University of Notre Dame in 1987. For many years, she has also promoted science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education beyond the campus; she directed a National Science Foundation project that brought guided inquiry materials to schools in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio.  

She expressed thanks for the honor of the new partnership award. “It brings to light my passion in supporting the college- and career-readiness of high school students, particularly for STEM careers, through Advanced Placement ®  courses and programs that promote student success,” said Morris.

A university administrator who supported Morris’ selection for the Midwestern regional award said the partnership between the multi-state NMSI initiative, AP-TIP IN, the College Board, and high schools across the state “has been a game-changer” for many students. The letter nominating Morris called “her vision, guidance, and leadership” a “tremendous asset” to Indiana AP ® students and all those involved in the AP-TIP IN program.

The College Board, founded in 1900, is a not-for-profit organization with numerous programs designed to help students make a successful transition to college.