Two students sit next to each other outdoors on a low wall

Friday, September 16, 2022

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Northeastern Illinois University a five-year, $1.3 million Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program grant. Northeastern is the recipient of one of 189 new grant awards to institutions of higher education. In total, $51.7 million in McNair grants were awarded across the country. 

Northeastern’s McNair Scholars Program was founded in 2003 with a Department of Education grant, and to date has served nearly 300 students.

"Too often, students—particularly those who are first-generation, come from low-income families and those who are traditionally underrepresented in higher education—don't have the pathways they deserve to achieve their educational goals," President Gloria J. Gibson said. "The McNair program provides those students with the opportunity to receive the mentorship they need to become the next generation of scholars, professors, scientists, doctors and difference makers. I am proud that the U.S. Department of Education has acknowledged Northeastern's commitment to support the leaders of tomorrow."  

Through McNair grant funding, projects at institutions of higher education provide students opportunities for research or other scholarly activities, such as summer internships and seminars. McNair-funded initiatives also prepare students for doctoral study through tutoring, academic counseling, and assistance with securing admission to and financial assistance for enrollment in graduate programs. McNair projects may also provide services designed to improve financial and economic literacy of students, mentoring programs, and exposure to cultural events and academic programs not usually available to disadvantaged students.

Northeastern’s Director of the McNair Scholars Program Deborah Klos Dehring authored the successful grant proposal.

“We are excited that the NEIU McNair Scholars Program is funded for another five years, allowing us to continue to serve the Northeastern community and provide students with training, research opportunities and resources to successfully pursue graduate studies,” Klos Dehring said. “The McNair Scholars Program is a critical resource to support first-generation, low-income and/or underrepresented students in their pursuit of graduate degrees. The McNair Scholars Program staff are proud to continue this mission and cultivate an active community of NEIU McNair Scholars."

The McNair program is one of seven federal TRIO programs, targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to postbaccalaureate programs. Northeastern students interested in learning more about the McNair program can email or call (773) 442-4254.