PULLMAN, Wash. — Faculty nominations for and applications from interested
juniors at Washington State University in Pullman are being accepted through
April 3 for fall 2000 participation in the WSU McNair Achievement Program.

The program, funded by a five-year $190,000-per-year federal grant to the WSU
Graduate School, encourages and prepares low-income, first-generation
college students to earn doctoral degrees, said Steve Burkett, program director
and assistant dean.

Currently, there are 20 McNair Scholars. Six anticipate graduating from WSU
this spring. Those applying for or being nominated will be considered for these
six openings. At least two will be selected as alternates, according to Nancy
Schmidt, program coordinator.

To be eligible for participation, students must be juniors attending or planning
to attend WSU Pullman in fall 2000; have a “strong desire” to eventually
pursue a doctoral degree; have completed 60 credits by the end of summer
2000; have a minimum 2.8 cumulative grade point average; be a U.S. citizen or
permanent U.S. resident; and qualify as either a first-generation college
student who also has a low income level established by the U.S. Department of
Education, or be of African American, Chicano/Latino or Native American
heritage.

After becoming McNair Scholars, students participate in program activities for
the remainder of their WSU career.

“Their first year is spent learning about graduate school and the application
process, researching potential schools, creating relationships with faculty and
graduate students, and preparing a research proposal,” Schmidt said.

The summer in between the scholars’ junior and senior year is spent on a
research project. Scholars work under the guidance of a faculty mentor, receive
a stipend for their finished work, and participate in a research symposium at
the end of the summer.

During their last year of WSU classes, scholars prepare for the Graduate
Record Examination, take the exam, select and apply to graduate schools, and
may present their research at regional or national conferences, she said.

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 Web site, www.wsu.edu/~mcnair, from which an
application form may be downloaded. Schmidt may be reached by telephone at
509/335-7702.

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