McNair Grant Strengthens Learning to Learn Program

McNair Grant Strengthens Learning to Learn Program

The United States Department of Education has awarded the Boston College Learning to Learn Program a Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Grant, which helps selected undergraduates who demonstrate strong academic potential prepare for advanced post-graduate studies.


Dan Bunch (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)
McNair Grant programs are aimed at first-generation college students, students with financial need, and/or physically and academically challenged students. Those who are accepted for the program are paired with a faculty mentor in their field of study, work in summer internships, attend research seminars on campus and present papers at national academic conferences and meetings.

These students are also given guidance in course selection, financial aid issues, and GRE, MCAT, and GMAT exam preparation as well as assistance with the selection of graduate schools and programs.

"The McNair Grant is a perfect fit for us, and for BC," said Learning to Learn Director Dan Bunch. "While McNair is a free-standing program, it shares many of the same goals, methods and priorities as Learning to Learn: helping first-generation, financially needy and educationally disadvantaged college students achieve their potential."

The McNair Grant, says Bunch, will offer another component to Learning to Learn: encouraging participants to continue their education beyond the baccalaureate level. He estimates that about a quarter of the 60 to 70 Learning to Learn students who graduate each year from BC enroll in graduate school.

"With the McNair Program in place, we hope to recruit more students who wish to pursue advanced post-graduate work. The program will enable us to work with them from sophomore year right on through to their master's degree or doctorate."

Bunch said an assistant director will be hired to help administer the program. A faculty committee will be appointed to oversee the selection process and to offer suggestions to the program. Twenty-two McNair Scholars will be chosen each year.

Bunch credited the Learning to Learn staff, including Marcia Heiman, who served as principal grant writer while working as a consultant to Learning to Learn, and the Office of Sponsored Programs for their roles in helping bring the McNair Program to BC.

-Sean Smith

 

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