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Southern Oregon University

McNair Achievement Program

The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program is one of eight Federal TRIO Programs designed to identify and provide services to individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds.  The SOU McNair Program is committed to assisting student scholars to successfully complete their undergraduate education, enroll in graduate school, and develop the knowledge and skills required to successfully complete a doctoral (Ph.D.) program.  Nationally, students from low-income backgrounds are eight times less likely to complete a bachelor degree than non-disadvantaged students.  However, the statistics for students participating in the McNair Program reveal extremely high rates of baccalaureate matriculation and successful enrollment into graduate programs, and these rates are much higher than for comparable populations who have not participated in the McNair Program.

Southern Oregon University McNair Scholars work closely with the Program Director and a faculty mentor from their academic major.  The McNair Cohort year begins on January 1, and all Scholars are required to attend the McNair Seminars taught by Dr. Dee Southard, the Program Director.  These specialized seminars are held on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 7:00 am to 7:50 am (to avoid conflict with other academic scheduling). In addition, the McNair Program offers workshops designed to enhance acceptance into doctoral programs, provide assistance in locating and applying for funding for doctoral programs, and to maximize the student's potential for post-baccalaureate achievement.  The program also provides financial resources for travel to conferences, symposiums, and meetings; cultural activities; access to tutors; research related supplies; access to the McNair Computer Technology Center, and the opportunity to develop and conduct a research project related to their major. Students who participate in the SOU McNair Program Summer Research Internship receive a $2,800 stipend. 

McNair Program Timeline:

The McNair Cohort year begins on January 1 each year. All scholars are required to attend the McNair Seminars taught by Dr. Dee Southard, the Program Director as these seminars are designed to enhance the success of the scholars in their preparation for doctoral programs. The seminar meetings are scheduled from 7 to 7:50 am on selected Tuesdays and Thursdays to avoid conflict with other academic scheduling.

  • Attend McNair Scholars Seminar #1: Preparing for Graduate School
  • Explore the benefits of a graduate education
  • Evaluate graduate school and funding options
  • Work with faculty mentors and academic advisors
  • Receive initial teaching assistant training
  • Begin preparation for the Graduate Record Examination
  • Attend McNair Scholars Seminar #2: Planning Research and Writing a Research Proposal
  • Develop and expand research skills
  • Some Scholars will participate as teaching assistants with their faculty mentors
  • Continue preparation for the Graduate Record Examination
  • Develop a realistic research agenda, a practical budget, and a research timeline for review by McNair Director and faculty mentor
  • Selected Scholars engage in a research Internship full time (Scholars are paid a $2,800 stipend)
  • Coordinate research with McNair Program Director and faculty mentor
  • Write a research report and present research findings at the McNair Summer Research Symposium
  • Take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • Begin to draft essays for applications for funding and graduate school
  • Attend McNair Scholars Seminar #3: Doctoral Programs: Gaining Admission and Securing Funding
  • Complete application packets for doctoral programs
  • Complete application packets for funding opportunities
  • Submit applications to doctoral programs and funding opportunities
  • Some Scholars will participate as teaching assistants with their faculty mentors
  • Continue to submit applications to doctoral programs and funding opportunities
  • Some Scholars will participate as teaching assistants with their faculty mentors
  • Compare graduate school acceptance offers and select a program to attend