PULLMAN, Wash. — History has shown that low-income, first-generation college students
and students of color often do not consider earning doctoral degrees. Washington State
University Graduate School is participating in a new five-year federally funded program to help
change that pattern in the future.
As part of a national program named for Ronald E. McNair, the African American astronaut
who died in the Challenger shuttle explosion, WSU will help an estimated 20 juniors or seniors
each year prepare for advanced graduate education, said Steve Burkett, Graduate School
assistant dean and program director. “Our intent is to assure that all, not just mainstream
students, see graduate school as an option and opportunity. If there are real or perceived
barriers, we want to help remove them.”
Oct. 8 is the deadline for students to apply. Those selected will participate in 1999-2000
academic year WSU Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program activities.
Program participants — current WSU juniors and seniors — will take part in “seminars and
workshops throughout the year on topics related to graduate school preparation. Each will
receive a stipend of up to $2,400 for completing a summer research project under the guidance of
a faculty mentor. Also, each will have an opportunity to present their research at local, regional
or national conferences,” said Nancy Schmidt, program coordinator.
WSU freshmen and sophomores are encouraged to learn about the program so they may
consider applying when they are juniors or seniors, she said. “We also want students studying
at other colleges and universities, who will transfer to WSU, to know that this program is
available to them.”
Program information and application forms are available from the WSU McNair Program,
Lighty Student Services Building, Room 190, or the WSU Graduate School, French
Administration Building, Room 324. Information is also available from the McNair Program Web
site, , from which an application form may be downloaded. Schmidt may
be reached by telephone at 509/335-7702.
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