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Thursday, September 28, 2017 - 4:30pm

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a $1.16 million grant to Mercy College for its McNair Scholars Program to be paid over the next five years.

The Mercy College McNair Scholars Program is part of the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program. Named in honor of African-American physicist, astronaut, and Challenger crew member Dr. Ronald E. McNair, this federal program aims to increase doctoral degree awards from underrepresented segments of society. To that end, McNair participants are either first-generation, low-income students or members of minority groups that are underrepresented in graduate education.

Mercy College McNair Scholars work closely with faculty members on independent research projects, participate in a summer research program, and receive mentoring and support regarding the graduate school application process.

Mercy College is one of 151 colleges and universities nationwide and one of 14 in New York State to be awarded a Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program grant this year.

“This grant renewal means a tremendous amount,” says Dr. Kimberly Rapoza, director of the Mercy College McNair Scholars Program, which has been continuously funded since its founding in 1995. “Our program is one of the few at a teaching college, and there’s a recognition that our students do sometimes have financial and life challenges. This program helps level the playing field. Students don’t always come in with a strong background in research. The program helps them gain the skills to become better researchers and to write on a graduate level. We mentor them and help them get organized to apply to graduate school. We’re very appreciative that the U.S. Department of Education has renewed and continues to support the program at Mercy.”

Most importantly, Mercy’s program gets results. Dr. Rapoza reports that about 70% of Mercy College McNair Scholars go directly on to graduate school, which is significantly higher than the national average.

For more information on the Mercy College McNair Scholars Program, please call (914) 674-7766.