The U.S. Department of Education recently awarded the University of Minnesota Morris a $261,888 McNair grant for the 2022-2023 academic year. The award is his one of 189 to be sent to institutions of higher learning as part of the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program.
The McNair Scholars Program is a federal TRIO program funded by the US Department of Education. The goal of the McNair Scholars Program is to increase the graduate degrees of students from historically underrepresented segments of society. Financially necessary first-generation college students and/or members of groups whose graduate degrees earned are undervalued. McNair participants demonstrate strong academic potential and plan to prepare for graduate studies through involvement in research and other academic activities.
According to Charise DeBerry, UMN Morris McNair program director, the McNair program builds on the existing strengths of the campus community.
“Continued funding of the TRIO McNair Scholars Program enables an ongoing platform for undergraduates to overcome barriers to their educational and professional aspirations,” said DeBerry. “By providing opportunities to participate in paid research and academic activities, and guiding students through the graduate admissions process, this program fosters the inspiration, confidence, and empowerment of scholars to launch them toward their dreams. Create a supportive community.”
45% of students pursuing US degrees qualify for McNair. 38% of UMN Morris students are racial and ethnic groups that are underrepresented in doctoral programs and related careers. American Indian students make up only 1-2% of college students nationwide, but make up 30% of UMN Morris’ students. Most come from the 11 Ojibwe (Chippewa/Anishinaawe) and Dakota (Sioux) tribes that share geography with Minnesota. A total of 50 other federally recognized tribes are represented in the student body.
A series of activities, funded by McNair, including a 10-week McNair Summer Research Experience, workshops, research success seminars, and graduate success seminars to prepare scholars for successful entry and completion of their Ph.D. and opportunities are offered over the years. Academic and Financial Counseling.
The McNair Scholars Program was created by the US Congress in honor of astronaut and physicist Dr. Ronald E. McNair, one of the first African Americans in the US space program.
Member of the UMN Morris McNair Scholars Program, graduating in May 2022.