Southeast Awarded Renewal Grant for Federal McNair Scholars Program



Oct. 3, 2007 – Southeast Missouri State University has been awarded a four-year, $924,000 federal renewal grant to continue the current successful Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program that began at Southeast in October 2003.

The McNair program, one of the federal TRIO programs, prepares first generation, limited income and underrepresented students for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities.

This was the most competitive grant cycle in the program’s history.  Of the 318 proposals submitted, 181 were funded.  Southeast will continue to serve students in the program until 2012 and will work closely with the other McNair programs located on campuses throughout Missouri, including programs at St. Louis University, Truman State University, the University of Central Missouri and University of Missouri-Columbia.

“There have been significant changes in grant funded programs and the entire process of securing federal funds for programs since we were originally funded in 2003,” said Trent Ball, assistant dean of students at Southeast.  “At a recent meeting of TRIO personnel, there were a number of staff concerned about funding in this cycle, and our success highlights our McNair staff members’ contributions to our students and the program in such a short time.”

Under McNair, Southeast officials will continue to work closely with participating students through their undergraduate requirements, encouraging them to enter graduate programs and tracking their progress to successful completion of advanced degrees.  

McNair is designed to increase the attainment of doctoral students from underrepresented segments of society.

The new proposal builds upon the success of the original grant and also expands the scope, working with students in the next cohort to have more exposure to the rigors and success associated with graduate work.  McNair Scholars will have the opportunity to engage in research opportunities, faculty mentoring, seminars and other scholarly activities designed to prepare them for doctoral studies. Students also will participate in tutoring and academic counseling and will receive assistance in obtaining career guidance, and in securing admission and financial aid for enrollment in graduate programs.

“This is a great program and it will continue to provide a wonderful opportunity on our campus and keep preparing select students for the challenge of graduate level work,” said Dr. Larry Baker, Southeast dean of students.

Southeast faculty mentors have already committed to the program by mentoring students, providing research opportunities for them and fostering collaboration for them with doctoral programs at other universities.  Working closely with Belete Muturo, the director of the program who joined Southeast in March 2004, the faculty will assist in the program’s goals and objectives.