DePaul’s McNair Scholars Program funding renewed for five more years
October 2, 2012
DePaul’s McNair Scholars Program has been renewed for another five years.
“We were not at all confident that we would get re-funded,” says Brian Spittle, assistant vice president of DePaul’s Center for Access and Attainment. “This was a brutal competition.”
The competition nationally for the federally funded McNair program was particularly difficult this year because it faced major budget cuts in 2012, losing $10 million of its $46 million. These funds are being used for another federal TRiO program. As of September, only 134 of 200 McNair programs have been funded nationally.
In addition, the Department of Education changed some components of the proposal process, according to Spittle. He said that math and science programs are now emphasized much more in the McNair program than in the past, although the program stills funds students pursuing degrees in other fields, Spittle says.
The McNair Scholars Program is a federally funded TRiO program. It’s designed to prepare low-income and first-generation students with financial needs or members of underrepresented groups for doctoral studies through involvement in research, faculty mentoring and other activities.
One of the key goals of the program is diversifying faculty at universities across the nation, according to Spittle.
McNair students consistently graduate from DePaul within six years at a rate of 100 percent, according to DePaul’s Institutional Research and Market Analytics. Forty percent of 2012-13 graduates will enroll in doctoral programs in the fall and another 40 percent will enroll in master’s programs, according to McNair’s records.
The McNair program at DePaul, launched in 1999, enrolls 30 students at DePaul, up from 25 students in years past, according to Spittle.
“We feel like we’re in very good shape at DePaul,” Spittle said. “Given the funding we have for the Mitchem Fellows, which is designed to expand McNair, we are in a position to do some really good work.”