SNU Receives Continued Funding for McNair Scholars Program


SNU announces continued funding of the SNU McNair Scholars Program, designed to assist eligible SNU undergraduates in building the skills and confidence required to pursue a doctoral degree. This competitive program targets student scholars who demonstrate sound academic performance, strong potential for success in graduate school, and the intent to pursue a career in which a doctorate is required.

Pictured above is Kyler Ross, SNU McNair student, Sr. Chemistry major from Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

SNU will receive a total of $1,160,205 of federal funding over five years through the U. S. Department of Education’s TRIO Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program. SNU will contribute $60, 247.36 (25.96%) annually to the overall funding costs of this program. SNU competed for the McNair grant along with more than 300 other institutions nationwide and was the only private university in Oklahoma to receive funding.

"The McNair Scholars program helps Southern Nazarene University continue our historic work of preparing talented and aspiring students for world-changing service,” said Dr. Keith Newman. “Developing a culture of undergraduate research on our campus and seeing the results our McNair scholars are having in graduate school strengthens our commitment to be a school of opportunity for all students seeking a transformational education experience."

A unique feature of the McNair Program is a paid research internship for each participant. Each McNair Scholar will work directly with at least one Ph.D. faculty mentor and receive individualized academic advising, preparation and mentoring focused on academic achievement, research experience, and professional acculturation. McNair Scholars build credentials that enable competitive applications to top graduate schools. Numerous universities across the country offer specially designated scholarships for McNair Scholars accepted into their graduate programs.

McNair faculty mentor, Dr. Anna Harper, praised the McNair program stating, “The McNair Scholars Program allows SNU to provide a much more extensive range of resources to our bright students than we could otherwise offer, and the program provides essential guidance for those students who might otherwise lack a clear path to graduate study and professional development. As a McNair faculty mentor, I have been impressed with our McNair scholars’ quality of work, their dedication to their development, and their leadership among peers.”

This grant includes a special emphasis on the use of high-impact practices, which have been shown to encourage deep learning and high levels of student engagement, especially for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. In addition, the grant will continue to use a STEM mentor to guide STEM students through the process of undergraduate research and graduate school preparation in STEM fields. “I’m especially excited about this grant’s integration of the high-impact practices of a STEM first-year seminar, learning community, internship opportunities, and service learning. This will provide for broader academic development for our students enabling them to engage in high-quality, competitive research programs both in the McNair program and in other REU opportunities,” says Dr. Kim Rosfeld, McNair Scholars Director.

In the ten years that SNU has offered the McNair Program, 95 SNU graduates have been served by the program with 62 going on to attend graduate schools. Graduate schools attended by these students include Rice University, University of Delaware, University of Texas (Austin), University of Oklahoma, University of Arkansas, and Duke University.

SNU McNair alumna and current graduate student, Alina Scott, commended the program stating, “As a former McNair scholar and McNair fellowship recipient, I can attest to the strength of the SNU McNair program. While at SNU, the program gave me a consistent body of encouragement and support, while also helping to focus my research interests and providing opportunities to explore and present them. During the graduate school application process, the McNair program gave a plethora of constructive criticism and advice so we all felt prepared for the next step of our academic careers. Lessons learned there continue to prove useful and important as a graduate student.”

The McNair Program, one of eight federal TRIO programs funded through the Department of Education, is designed to prepare low-income and first-generation students along with those from other groups typically underrepresented in graduate studies. Almost one third of SNU undergraduates meet these qualifying criteria.

Founded in 1899, Southern Nazarene University is a private, Christian, liberal arts university located in Bethany, Oklahoma and serving students in Tulsa as well as other locations throughout the state. SNU offers course for both traditional students and working adults, including multiple master’s degree programs.

For more information about the SNU McNair Scholars program, contact Dr. Kim Rosfeld, McNair Program Director at 405-789-6400 ext. 6540 or e-mail mcnair@snu.edu. For more information on Southern Nazarene University, visit www.snu.edu or call 1-800-648-9899.

Southern Nazarene University’s Southern Nazarene University’s mission: To make Christlike disciples through higher education in Christ-centered community.