Today, U.S. Senators Charles E. Schumer and Kirsten E. Gillibrand announced that Clarkson University will receive a grant totaling $226,795 and St. Lawrence University will receive a grant worth $225,000 from the Department of Education Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement program. Specifically, both institutions will use this grant to provide ongoing educational opportunities to first generation college students or students from groups who are traditionally underrepresented in graduate education. The McNair Scholars’ focus on science, technology, engineering and mathematics will enable them to easily transition into the workforce after their doctoral study. In May, Senators Schumer and Gillibrand wrote Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan in support of continued funding for the Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement program. A copy of their letter is attached.
“With these funds, Clarkson and St. Lawrence can continue to educate top-notch students regardless of need or background,” said Schumer. “The bottom line is that we need to improve our math, science and engineering education system if we are to remain globally competitive and realize the full potential of all our students; The McNair funding for post baccalaureate study does just that and can change lives and really make a difference in the greater Potsdam community.”
“Our ability to lead the global economy relies on our ability to out-educate the global competition,” Senator Gillibrand said. “This federal investment will open more doors to advanced degrees at St. Lawrence and Clarkson to students willing to work their hardest in key areas of math and science that will define the economy of our future, and produce more STEM experts right here in the North Country.”
Through a grant competition, Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement funds are awarded to institutions of higher education to prepare eligible participants for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. Participants are from disadvantaged backgrounds and have demonstrated strong academic potential. Institutions work closely with participants as they complete their undergraduate requirements. Institutions encourage participants to enroll in graduate programs and then track their progress through to the successful completion of advanced degrees. The goal is to increase the attainment of Ph.D. degrees by students from underrepresented segments of society.