In 1986, the United States Department of Education established the McNair Scholars Program — a graduate preparation program named for astronaut and physicist Ronald E. McNair. In 2017, Castleton joined the list of schools across the country who offer a McNair program on campus. Brittany Green, the head of Castleton’s program, joined Castleton Spartan reporter Dominic Posch to discuss how students can get involved.
Q: What is the McNair Program?
A: It is a program that helps first-generation students from low-income households and underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds prepare for graduate school.
Q: Who should apply to the McNair Program?
A: Students who fit the eligibility criteria and have any interest in graduate school. Eligible students need to have at least 30 credit hours and one summer remaining before they graduate. They also need to be a United States citizen or permanent resident.
Q: How would a student go about applying?
A: (The program) has an online application, so you can just google “Castleton McNair” and you can apply online. You can also come to the Coffee Cottage and do a paper application.
Q: What are some things that students do in the McNair program?
A: Students do undergraduate research in the program. They are able to do independent research during the summer or during the academic year and are paid $2,800 to do that on campus with a
faculty mentor, or they can apply to go away to a summer undergrad research program at any university that offers one. They also have academic advising (including) help throughout the year for graduate school applications if they have an interest in doing that. Really just any grad prep work they want to do. They’re also getting to do cultural activities—last year they went to Broadway (in) New York, and they go to undergraduate research conferences across the country. All of that is paid for by the McNair program, none of the things the McNair students do in the program are at any cost to the student.
Q: Who should students reach out to if they would like further information?
A: If they have any questions about McNair or grad school in general, I am the person to contact here on campus and I’d be happy to answer any questions (on) whether they are McNair eligible or not. I would be happy to inform them what the benefits are as well.
General information about Castleton’s McNair program can be found online at www.castleton.edu/academics/research/mcnair/. Brittany Green can be contacted directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.