Biology major and McNair Scholar Anthony Smith works in the lab.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

The United States Department of Education has awarded Northeastern Illinois University a five-year, $1,161,325 Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achivement Program grant.                                                                                          
Beginning Oct. 1, the grant will continue support of Northeastern’s McNair Scholars Program, which prepares first-generation students, low-income students and students from underrepresented groups for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. The goal is to increase the attainment of Ph.D. degrees by students from underrepresented segments of society.

Over the course of a year and a half, Northeastern provides faculty mentoring as well as structured and formal research experiences for each group of 28 selected students.

In addition to providing mentoring and research experience, the grant helps Northeastern assist scholars with their graduate school application process so they can enter graduate school immediately after graduation.

“The competition for graduate school and doctoral programs is fierce, and our work puts Northeastern’s students in a position to seize opportunities and then thrive in them,” Northeastern Interim President Richard Helldobler said. “This grant from Department of Education further enhances our ability to serve our students and the community.”

Northeastern offers McNair Scholars financial literacy advising to help them fund their post-baccalaureate studies and provides three one-credit courses designed to enhance the variety of skills necessary to succeed in doctoral and graduate programs. The McNair Program will also work with the Student Center for Science Engagement to increase STEM student participation each year.

Northeastern is widely regarded as the most diverse university in the Midwest. Northeastern’s McNair Scholars Program was founded in 2003 with a Department of Education grant and to date has served 180 students.

Top photo: Biology major and McNair Scholar Anthony Smith works in the lab.