Gannon University Receives $1 Million Grant to Prepare Students for Doctoral Studies
Posted: December 19, 2017
Gannon University has received a five-year grant of more than
$1.16 million from the U.S. Department of Education through the
Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program.
The McNair Program, a federal TRIO program aims to prepare
undergraduate students for doctoral studies through involvement in
research and scholarship. Participants are either first-generation
college students with financial need and/or students from a group
traditionally underrepresented in graduate education who have
demonstrated strong academic potential, including women. Colleges
and universities work closely with participants as they complete
their undergraduate academic requirements, research and apply to
graduate programs, and track their progress through successful
completion of an advanced degree.
With the help of the McNair grant, Gannon University created the
Gannon Advances in STEM Scholarship (GAINS) program that will
provide support to 25 scholars each year. Eligible students in STEM
(science, technology, engineering and math) majors will learn basic
research methods, conduct original research over the course of a
summer, present their research, and participate in a new, four-part
Graduate Education Leadership Seminar that explores
post-baccalaureate education, GRE preparation, research writing and
presentation, and a speaker series. Each student will be paired
with a faculty mentor.
"It's an opportunity for our undergraduate students to become
more engaged and learn more about the process so they continue on
to graduate school and obtain their Ph.D.'s," said Donna Green,
director of Sponsored Programs & Research at Gannon.
Participating students will also take part in enhanced tutoring
and have the opportunity to participate in graduate school visits
and graduate school fairs through GAINS. The program removes
barriers to advanced higher education, said Sarah Ewing, dean of
Gannon's Morosky College of Health Professions and
"(First-generation and underrepresented) students don't always
have the support needed," Ewing said.
"They don't always know what graduate school is and what it
entails. This program provides them with the structure and mentors
to begin exploring and pursuing this path for
Increasing the number of first-generation and underrepresented
students who attain advanced degrees helps develop the workforce,
improves workforce diversity, and bolsters the earning power and
career prospects of those students.
"It's vitally important for the future of STEM that we have
diversity, diversity of thought and ideas," Ewing
McNair Scholars at Gannon must be U.S. citizens or national or
permanent residents; must be undergraduate students in STEM majors
who are also low-income, first-generation or a member of a group
underrepresented in the STEM fields; and must be committed to
graduate from Gannon and immediately enter a non-professional
graduate program with the goal of attaining a Ph.D.