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McNair Scholars Program


For the 2021 calendar year, the McNair Program had relative success: we mostly achieved 2 out of 3 of our goals.  

  • Outcome 1 - The program aimed to improve applicant competition by increasing overall applications and applications in both eligibility groups in order to have an acceptance rate below 50% for each. We did not increase program application numbers noticeably; however, the timeliness of applications and the quality of applicants has improved. We would still like to see more applications, perhaps as high as 40 total and have launched a pilot program, McNair Explorers, to help first and second year students become aware of graduate school and become competitive applicants for the McNair Program.  
  • Outcome 2 – The program aimed to improve application writing of students by at least one rubric level. Students were asked to submit pre and post writing assessments (resume and application essay), with at least 7 months of writing seminars and development meetings with staff scheduled in between. All students who submitted both pre- and post- assessments showed adequate growth, especially in higher order concerns of purpose/focus and development. Unfortunately, the program needs to find ways to incentivize completion of the post-assessment documents in a timely fashion. Several students have not yet submitted.  
  • Outcome 3 – The program aimed to improve quantitative GRE scores by at least 2 points per participant. Students were given a pre and post assessment through Educational Testing Services online platform in relation to intensive 8-week seminars on GRE prep. Most students saw a drop in their scores, so significant programming changes need to happen. Students reported the post-assessment quantitative reasoning was significantly harder than the pre, so the next cohort will have the two assessments swapped to see if that results in a change. Additionally, hiring the summer Math Specialist will focus more on finding someone with pedagogical strengths than knowledge of material.