Beloit College Magazine

Beloit College Magazine

Fall/Winter 2012 (November 16, 2012)

College Secures Five-year Grant for McNair Program


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November 16, 2012

Over the summer, the United States Department of Education announced that Beloit College will receive a five-year grant for the funding of the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program. In a tough budget cycle where some 60 of the 208 current McNair programs went unfunded (and no new programs were added), Beloit will be awarded a total of $1.1 million to fund the program, which is now in its 17th year at the college.

The goal of the McNair program is to increase the number of students in doctoral degree programs who are low-income and first-generation undergraduates or students who come from groups underrepresented in graduate education.

“This is wonderful news and powerful testimony to the enormous success of our McNair program in the past and the innovative vision of our McNair program in the future,” wrote President Scott Bierman in an announcement to the campus community.

That “innovative vision” is one where the McNair program offers the entire college a model for what the faculty-student relationship can mean, and do. Advising, long a staple and strength of the Beloit experience, has become even more central to the lives of faculty and students as a part of the college’s new “Liberal Arts in Practice” focus. Within this framework, the McNair program is a place where this commitment is both practiced and tested.

As Provost and Dean of the College Ann Davies put it, “We expect this program to increase retention rates, help students develop critical academic skills, and build their self-confidence and sense of professional identity. To do so requires and rewards an environment where each student finds staff and faculty who are actively engaged in shaping their experience and growth.”

One measure of the program’s success at Beloit can be found in the most recent graduating class. Last year, 100 percent of Beloit’s graduating McNair scholars were accepted into graduate school.

More about McNair:

Through the McNair program, Beloit aims to serve 25 students annually and meet the following goals:

  • 90 percent of participants served each year will have completed appropriate research or scholarly activities during the academic year.
  • 73 percent of first-year graduate students will continue to be enrolled in graduate school at the beginning of the next academic year.
  • 12 percent of participants served will attain a doctoral degree within 10 years of the attainment of the bachelor’s degree.
 

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