McNair Scholar Program Seeks New Cohort.

Angelica Crimmins

The McNair Scholar Program at SOU is currently accepting applications for the 2014 cohort until Nov. 12.

For eligibility into the program applicants must be at least a sophomore, junior, or senior with a good academic standing, who will be enrolled in SOU through Fall of 2014.

In addition, an applicant must be a low-income, first generation college student or a member of an underrepresented minority

The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program, grant-funded by the US Dept. of Education, aims to provide participants from disadvantaged backgrounds with the resources and support to prepare them for the pursuit of doctoral studies after graduation.

Caitlin Brown, a current McNair Scholar says,“Before the McNair program, I didn’t think I was capable of writing a research paper, let alone pursuing a [doctorate], but McNair gave me the tools, knowledge, and confidence to achieve my career goals.”

Brown went further to say that“no one enters a Ph.D. program as an expert- but McNair can help you be successful in your graduate program.”

Currently a psychology major and Spanish minor, Brown plans to obtain a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with a specialization in Spanish-English bilingualism.

The program offers selected students with exclusive opportunities to improve their academic profiles through internships and undergraduate research.

Scholars attend seminars that educate and assist in the doctoral application and funding processes.

“I was coached on every aspect of graduate school- now I know how to find a program that fits my needs, how to interact with that program, how to be a successful applicant and how to successfully apply and obtain funding for my graduate education, “ Brown added.

This education about the essentials of graduate school establishes a sense of equality between the McNair scholar, and competing doctoral candidates who come from more privileged backgrounds.

Dr. Alma Rosa Alvarez, an SOU English professor and member of the McNair Program Advisory Committee, stated“It’s a great program to help those who maybe have not had the culture of education in their household.”

Dr. Alvarez further added that“Pursuing a PhD requires self-discipline and curiosity and inquisitiveness to move you into an area of research in the first place.”

The McNair program seeks students who are passionate about both research and the experience of higher education.

Any students that are eligible and interested in becoming a McNair scholar can find more information and applications in the McNair Office in Susanne Hall 408 or online at http://www.sou.edu/mcnair/application.html .

Source: Angelica Crimmins

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