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11-12-2003

Clarkson Receives $900,000+ Continuing Grant For Program To Prepare Students For Graduate School

Students will continue to get a boost in their pursuit of graduate studies, thanks to a Department of Education continuing grant recently received by Clarkson University.

For the third time, Clarkson has been awarded a Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement grant, totaling more than $900,000 over four years. The University received the initial grant in 1995 and it was renewed for a second time in 1999.

Named for one of the astronauts killed in the 1986 Challenger space shuttle explosion, the Ronald E. McNair Post-baccalaureate Achievement Program promotes the scholarly development of academically talented low-income, first-generation college students, and students from traditionally underrepresented groups (African American, Hispanic and Native American) in graduate education. It also helps them to pursue doctoral degrees in the fields of engineering and science.

"I am very pleased the Department of Education has awarded Clarkson University this highly competitive grant once again," said Catherine M. Clark, project director and principal investigator of Clarkson's McNair Program. “The grant renewal is a powerful endorsement of the high quality and success of our program.  We are pleased to once again provide disadvantaged college students with effective preparation for doctoral study, through intensive academic and financial support.”

More than 70 percent of students who have participated in Clarkson’s McNair Scholars Research Program have continued their education in master’s and doctoral degree programs.

Each year, Clarkson accepts 20 college students from across the nation into an eight-week, intensive summer research internship, under the supervision of a faculty mentor in a science or engineering discipline. Students are selected for their intellectual curiosity and vigor, their interest in earning a doctoral degree and their ability to pursue rigorous and substantive research.

The internship is supplemented by a seminar series and a variety of workshops aimed at enhancing and preparing the scholars for graduate school admission, graduate studies, and research. Enriching field trips also highlight the summer's activities.

At the end of the eight weeks, each scholar will complete a report and present their research in a symposium. In some cases, the faculty mentor may continue support of the scholar's research throughout the academic year.

The McNair Program is part of Clarkson’s Pipeline Programs and Academic Success (PPAS), which provides academic, cultural and social support for underrepresented students in science, mathematics, engineering and technology. By integrating efforts at the pre-collegiate, undergraduate, and graduate levels, it assists African American, Hispanic, and Native American students, as well as some economically disadvantaged or first-generation college students.

Using a series of programs, pathways and partnerships, Pipeline connects a variety of institutional resources. These include community colleges, national laboratories, federal and state agencies, foundations and corporations, and Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Hispanic American Colleges and Universities, and American Indian Tribal Colleges and Universities.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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