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Beloit receives five-year McNair program grant

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

College will receive $220,000 annually

MEDIA CONTACT: Hilary Dickinson at dickinsonh@beloit.eduor 608-363-2849

The United States Department of Education has 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,” said Beloit College 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.”

More about McNair at Beloit

With a current population of roughly 1,250 full-time students, Beloit enrolls a significant number of students eligible to participate in the McNair program. Sixteen percent of the total enrollment are currently eligible. 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.

Through the McNair program, Beloit aims to serve 25 students annually with the objective of ensuring the following:

  •  90 percent of participants served each year will have completed appropriate research or scholarly activities during the academic year.
  • 50 percent of the bachelor’s degree recipients will be accepted and enrolled in a post-baccalaureate program of study by the fall term of the following 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.

The McNair Scholars Program is a federally funded TRIO program mandated by Congress. Established to honor Dr. Ronald E. McNair, the second African American to fly in space, the program recognizes that the diversity of researchers is an integral component of scholastic excellences. For more information on the Beloit McNair Scholars program, visit here.