Recognizing the diversity of scholars is integral to educational excellence, the University of New Mexico’s Ronald E. McNair Postbacclaureate Achievement Program (McNair) seeks to produce scholars and researchers who will more accurately reflect the growing diversity in intellectual perspectives, life experiences and cultures in academe.
The goals of the program are to provide undergraduate scholars with research experience in preparation for graduate school and support for the graduate school application process.
The McNair program tracks its scholars for 10 years or their completion of a PhD or professional degree. McNair has served 326 UNM undergraduates since 1999. Since academic year 1999- 2000 UNM McNair program scholars have earned 234 Bachelor’s degrees, 88 Master’s degrees, and 20 Doctoral degrees with 58 scholars currently enrolled in graduate school. Course Completion
McNair requires that each of its scholars complete 2 years of academic advisement. In the 1st year they are required to attend advisement every week and monthly seminars, take part in a GRE training and research methods classes, and complete a graduate level research paper. They are awarded a $2,800.00 stipend in the first year. In the 2nd year they are required to apply to graduate school, present their research at a national conference, and attend bi-weekly advisement and monthly seminars.
The McNair program ensures that 50% of the scholars enrolled in the program will be students majoring in the STEM disciplines. Therefore, all bachelor’s degree attainment and graduate school expectations will apply.
The McNair Program proposes to serve 67% of our cohort of 28 participants. Of this, we propose that 90% of our students graduate with a bachelor’s degree.
The capstone of the McNair scholar’s participation in the program is a graduate level research project in which the scholar submits a “mini thesis” paper at the completion of their 1st year.
All research is in preparation for graduate work at the thesis or dissertation stage.
Throughout the year each scholar works closely with a faculty mentor who guides the scholar through the research process. Research varies by discipline, many STEM majors work in lab settings, while Humanities and Social Science majors often conduct independent research.
100% McNair scholars are enrolled in an undergraduate program at the University of New Mexico. We propose that 65% of those that graduate with their bachelor’s degree will enter a graduate school program one academic year after graduation and 25% will earn a doctoral degree within 10 years.
The McNair program addresses the gap by ensuring all scholars enrolled in the program are advised until they attain a bachelor’s degree and upon completion of the program are in a more advantageous position to attain a PhD or professional master’s degrees.
The McNair program develops leadership by encouraging scholars to work with faculty mentors and network with faculty and other McNair scholars across the nation. Scholars are required to attend and present their research at conferences, both academic and professional. In addition, the program provides monies for scholars to visit campuses which they are applying.
All scholars attend monthly seminars where they are exposed to panel discussions as well as presentations by faculty and professionals from various academic backgrounds that discuss strategies for successful completion of graduate school.
McNair programs require that 67% of each cohort are first-generation from low-income families and the remainder from traditionally under-represented students. There is frequent overlap of all three criteria and those students are determined most in need and receive special consideration for inclusion in the program.