Scholar program leads under-represented to higher, higher educationA program at the University of Wisconsin-Superior that prepares under-represented students to pursue advanced education has received federal funding for another five years.
A program at the University of Wisconsin-Superior that prepares under-represented students to pursue advanced education has received federal funding for another five years.
The McNair Scholars program at UW-Superior was one of 134 McNair programs nationwide to recently receive funding from the U.S. Department of Education. Funding this year was highly competitive, with more than 50 existing programs not being renewed.
“This was an extremely challenging grant-writing competition,” said Susan Holm, director of the McNair Scholars program at UW-Superior. “However, UW-Superior was able to put together a very competitive grant application because of all the exciting ‘best practices’ on our campus, such as undergraduate research, and because of our research institutes: the Transportation and Logistics Research Center, Great Lakes Maritime Research Institute, Lake Superior Research Institute, and the Lake Superior National Estuarine Research Reserve.”
The McNair Scholars program was established nationwide in 1986 to prepare first-generation college students, low-income students, and students from under-represented groups for graduate study. Each student works with a faculty mentor to select and carry out a research project. Intensive workshops and Graduate Record Examination preparation classes are held over the summer, with the research papers completed in early August.
Students chosen for the McNair Scholars Program at UW-Superior come from UW-Superior as well as the University of Minnesota-Duluth and the College of St. Scholastica. Twenty –seven students are selected each year.
Since UW-Superior’s McNair Scholars program began in 1999, students taking part have built a remarkable record of success:
• 42 participants have earned a master’s or a doctorate degree
• 41 are enrolled in a master’s or a doctorate degree program
• One has earned a medical degree
• One is enrolled in law school.
• One earned a joint medical and doctorate degree and is completing a medical residency.
Holm said this is the first year that the number of McNair programs operating nationwide has been reduced.
“The loss of so many McNair programs is really disheartening to those of use working in the program. We see how the programs affect students’ lives in a positive way and the amazing things these students go on to accomplish,” she said.
The public and prospective students can learn more about the program when the current McNair Scholars present their research projects at the 13th annual McNair Scholars Poster Session from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 26, in the lobby of Swenson Hall on the UW-Superior campus.