Mel Rising Dawn Cordeiro
The McNair Scholarship Program began in 2017 as a way to support scholars entering graduate school. The program, named after Ronald E. McNair, an African American who has contributed significantly to the field of scholarship and education, and who also was the second African American in space, aids in preparing undergraduate students for doctoral degrees through research.
Since the beginning of the program, they have supported many students. In this state, the only school they have worked with is Rhode Island College. In total, the McNair Program supports scholars from 151 colleges and universities throughout the United States.
Students from RIC have become doctoral candidates in many colleges and universities, including RIC, Brown University and the University of Rhode Island, among many others throughout the country. The purpose of this program is for students to make the most of their undergraduate experience to aid in future endeavors.
The McNair Program specifically helps undergraduate students who identify as first generation students, low-income, underrepresented or even a combination of these. In order to be a McNair scholar, future scholars must be a junior, which is defined as having 59 credits, a 3.0 GPA or higher and are expected to graduate in 2024 or beyond. Of course, future scholars must also be interested in pursuing a master’s or doctoral degree in any field.
As a RIC McNair Scholar, students will have the opportunity to build relationships with the college’s faculty; obtain personalized advising for graduate school; receive fee waivers for both testing and graduate applications; learn how to write a research paper; earn up to $2,800 as part of a summer research internship; travel to visit potential schools; conduct research with a faculty member; travel to conferences and professional workshops and connect with other McNair scholars.
Students who want to check their eligibility can fill out this form. It’s a simple, 18-question survey that will gather basic demographic information and ask a few questions about current academics and future interests. The form will also ask respondents what they need help with, be it in creating a resume or cover letter, picking a research topic or finding a summer research opportunity. There’s also an open response section at the end of the survey to ask any additional questions.
Students who are interested can also link above and will be led straight to the interest form. Scanning the QR code on the flyer above will lead to that form too, as well as to the RIC specific McNair scholar page, where past scholars are listed and the application to become a McNair Scholar, which can be found here.