It's true what they say — nothing worth having comes easily, and the Ronald E. McNair program is not easy, nor is it designed to be. Challenging undergraduate students to the rigors of serious scholarly research is meant to push students, resulting in unparalleled academic experiences in preparation for graduate studies. With tremendous support along the way, this challenge is one that hard work and dedication will reward with a clear path to grad school success.
- Fall Semester: Participate in a 14-week, two-credit interdisciplinary seminar IDIS 380. Seminar meets twice a week for 50 minutes.
- Spring Semester: Participate in a 14-week, two-credit interdisciplinary seminar IDIS 381. Seminar meets twice a week for 50 minutes.
- Summer: Participate in a 6-week Summer Research Institute
- Fall Semester: Participate in a 14-week, two-credit interdisciplinary seminar IDIS 480. Seminar meets twice a week for 50 minutes.
- Spring Semester: Participate in an 14-week, one-credit interdisciplinary seminar IDIS 481. Seminar meets once a week for 50 minutes.
- Research or other scholarly activities
- Summer research institute
- Seminars and other educational activities
- Academic counseling
- Assistance in securing admission to graduate school
- Assistance in securing financial aid to graduate school
Other activities and services
- Tutoring and academic counseling
- Assistance in securing admission to, and financial assistance for, enrollment in graduate programs
- Education and counseling services designed to improve the financial and economic literacy of scholars, including financial planning for postsecondary education
- Exposure to cultural events and academic programs
Program success criteria
Our emphasis on a prospective McNair scholar's potential is based on the very objective of the McNair program at the Federal level to "…provide disadvantaged college students with effective preparation for doctoral study".
The very success of the McNair program depends on the number of participants served by the program in an academic year, the delivery of mandatory and optional services to each program participant, the rate at which program participants enter graduate school, and the rate at which program participants continue in graduate school and finish doctoral studies.
As per McNair regulation, the extent to which the McNair program at UW-Eau Claire meets or exceeds its program objectives is measured by:
- the delivery of service to a minimum of 27 students served by the McNair program;
- the provision of appropriate scholarly and research activities for the students served by the program;
- the acceptance and enrollment of such students in graduate programs, and;
- the continued enrollment of such students in graduate study and the attainment of doctoral degrees by former program participants.
The McNair program is "graded" on an annual basis by the Department of Education out of 15 points, as follows:
- Number of participants - Whether the applicant provided services to no less than the approved number of participants. (3 pts.)
- Research or scholarly activities - Whether the applicant met or exceeded its objective for providing participants served during the project year with appropriate research and scholarly activities each academic year. (3 pts.)
- Graduate school enrollment - Whether the applicant met or exceeded its objective with regard to the acceptance and enrollment in graduate programs of participants served during the project year who complete the baccalaureate program during the academic year. (3pts.)
- Continued enrollment in graduate school - Whether the applicant met or exceeded its objective with regard to the continued enrollment in graduate school or prior participants. (4 pts.)
- Doctoral degree attainment - Whether the applicant met or exceeded its objective with regard to the attainment of doctoral level degrees of prior participants in the specified number of years. (2 pts.)
McNair program funding
The McNair program at UW-Eau Claire has an operating budget of $231,448 per grant year.
The scholars receive financial support from the McNair grant:
- Summer Research Institute
- Summer room and board
- Group transportation and meal allowance for trips to institutions of higher education offering doctoral programs (i.e. graduate school site visits)
- Travel grants –includes activities of an academic and scholarly nature, such as trips to institutions of higher education offering doctoral programs, special lectures, symposia, and professional conferences, which have as their purpose the encouragement and preparation of McNair scholars for doctoral studies
- Reasonable costs for exposure to cultural events and academic programs not usually available to disadvantaged students
- McNair mentors' stipend for Summer Research Institute
UW-Eau Claire Office of the Provost and Academic Affairs funds the following:
- GRE course material
- Tuition waiver for Independent Study course (Course # 499) for Summer Research Institute
- Graduate school application fee accommodations (in rare cases; contingent upon approval)
Other financial benefits:
- Discount vouchers for GRE general test, GRE subject test, and GRE score it now
- Application fee waivers for many graduate school programs
- Scholarships, fellowships in many graduate school program