The TRIO program at Bemidji State University has received a five-year, $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to begin offering services under the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program.
The award will provide Bemidji State’s TRIO program with $220,000 to serve at least 25 eligible students each year during the five-year grant cycle. McNair services are awarded to qualifying students based on individual academic need. The program offers comprehensive services designed to greatly increase the ability of qualifying students to complete research or other scholarly activities, particularly in science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, enroll in and graduate from graduate school, attain a doctorate degree and enter a career using that advanced degree.
“This grant will provide students with the opportunity to be better prepared for graduate school,” said Kelli Steggal, director of Bemidji State’s TRIO/SSS program. “The McNair program will allow those students to conduct and write their own research project, work closely with faculty mentors and to present at national conferences.
“This program will be a great addition to Bemidji State University.”
According to Department of Education guidelines, McNair projects must provide the following activities: opportunities for research or other scholarly activities; summer internships; seminars and other educational activities designed to prepare students for doctoral study; tutoring; academic counseling; and activities designed to assist students participating in the project in securing admission to and financial assistance for enrollment in graduate programs. Projects may also provide education or counseling services designed to improve financial and economic literacy of students; mentoring programs involving faculty members at institutions of higher education or students, or any combination of such persons; and exposure to cultural events and academic programs not usually available to disadvantaged students.
The service will include two unique for-credit courses – a fall research course and a fall conference preparation course – to prepare scholars for the completion and publication of their research.
The Office of Postsecondary Education’s TRIO programs are federal outreach and student-services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRIO includes eight programs targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs. TRIO also includes a training program for directors and staff of TRIO projects.
The McNair grant program will be the third TRIO program offered at Bemidji State. The University has operated a Student Support Services program since 1970, and an Upward Bound program since 1966.
For more information, contact Kelli Steggall, director of Bemidji State’s TRIO/Student Support Services office, (218) 755-2504.