McNair is one of eight TRIO programs funded by the US Department of Education to provide educational opportunity and support to students from disadvantaged backgrounds who demonstrate academic potential. The goal is to increase the attainment of doctoral degrees by first-generation college and low-income students as well as students from underrepresented groups in higher education. The McNair Program at Truman State University provides participants with intensive academic advising to help them graduate on schedule. In addition to seminars and workshops, our McNair Scholars also participate in a three-week research internship during the May Interim at the end of their sophomore year and a ten-week summer research internship at the end of their junior year, when they are matched with faculty mentors who supervise their research projects and guide them toward achieving their individual post-baccalaureate goals. During their senior year the focus is on graduate school placement and the Program addresses the academic, financial and social needs associated with gaining entry into graduate school. The Program then tracks the progress of its alumni through successful completion of the PhD degree or any other advanced degrees and reports that information to the Department of Education annually.
STUDENT INITIATED LEARNING COURSES
Student Initiated Learning Courses (SCs) are learning activities and experiences which are initiated by students themselves. SCs empower students to directly address the content and context of their learning experiences and to explore subjects and/or ways of learning that might not be possible through existing, “conventional” curricular experiences. Students may design and deliver their own courses in subject areas that have not been considered a part of the Truman curriculum, but are nonetheless appropriate to an education grounded in the liberal arts and sciences. SCs are intended as experiments - that is, they are enhancements to the regular Truman curriculum, not substitutes for existing University courses.
SCs embrace peer-mediated learning and bring together dedicated and knowledgeable students who hold a wide range of interests. SCs encourage leadership, activism, and responsibility in student initiators. They are avenues via which these students can explore topics to advance their interests in academia and in how teaching and learning work. Desired outcomes of an SC initiative include fostering close faculty/student interaction and providing student initiators with experiences in the design of instructional pedagogies, assembly of syllabi, and delivery of instruction.
SCs are designated with an “SC” before the course title in the Schedule of Classes and on transcripts. Up to six credits of SCs may be applied toward a student’s undergraduate degree(s). SC courses may not be used to fulfill the Dialogues or writing-enhanced requirements. Departments or programs may approve SCs to count for major or minor requirements and required support.