TRiO McNair Scholars Program Profile
St. Olaf College
The TRiO McNair Scholars Program is a graduate school preparatory program funded by the U.S. Department of Education and sponsored by St. Olaf College. The TRiO McNair Scholars Program was founded in 1989 and initiated at St. Olaf College in 2007. Nationally there are 178 McNair programs working with over 4,100 low-income, first-generation, and minority undergraduate students, encouraging them to prepare for doctoral study and consider careers in college teaching.
The federal goal of the TRiO McNair Scholars Program is to increase the rate of doctoral program applications, degree attainment and participation in the professoriate by first-generation college students who are underrepresented in graduate programs. The TRiO McNair Scholars Program provides opportunities for participants to develop graduate school level academic skills necessary to gain admission to and successfully complete graduate study.
St. Olaf TRiO McNair Scholars Summer 2012. (Above)
UMN Graduate School Visit 2012. (Left)
MN TRiO Day with the MN Twins. (Right)
- Annually, 28 undergraduates who are interested in pursuing graduate studies participate in the St. Olaf TRiO McNair Scholars Program.
- Two-thirds of the participants meet federal income guidelines and are from a family in which neither parent graduated from a four-year postsecondary educational institution.
- One-third of the participants may be from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in graduate studies and the professoriate. (The federal government defines "underrepresented" to include: Black (non-Hispanic); Hispanic; and American Indian/Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders.)
- Participants have completed at least 2 courses in their area of research interest and have a GPA of 2.75 or higher.
McNair Scholars receive assistance with:
- Internships-summer sophomore year to explore viable fields of academic study
- Research writing course-summer junior year to learn how to write an effective proposal, conduct research and present results
- Research experience-summer junior year. Participants are paired with a faculty mentor whose research interests match those of the McNair Scholar.
- Preparation for graduate school admissions tests
- Graduate school applications
- Financial aid, fellowship and scholarship applications
McNair Scholars Faculty Mentors
McNair faculty mentors are professors from all disciplines at St. Olaf College and are interested in guiding summer research experiences with high potential, first-generation and minority undergraduates. McNair Scholars faculty members are recognized by colleagues and students as exceptional professors and campus leaders.
(Pictured Right) 2012 St. Olaf Summer Research Symposium.TRiO McNair Scholar Pha Lor pictured with his faculty mentor. Dr. Kevin Crisp has been a mentor for the TRiO McNair Scholars Program since it was established at St. Olaf in 2007.
U.S Department of Education TRiO: $220,000 annually. Staff: Full-time Director, full-time Assistant Director, nine Faculty Mentors and part-time Research Coordinator.
The St. Olaf TRiO McNair Scholars Program is a member of the Minnestoa TRiO Association and the Mid-America Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel (MAEOPP).