So…What is this McNair Program all about? A Critical Reflection
If I had to sum up what the McNair Scholars Program is all about in a couple of words my response would be…to encourage students to take ownership over their academic experiences through research. –It’s so much more than just preparing students for a Ph.D…so much more. I’m sure plenty of other McNair staff, mentors, and participants can second this statement.
It’s about sharing your struggles and frustrations with academia in a community of people who understand your journey. It’s about knowing and believing that you are destined for success against the forces within the educational system that breed doubt and insecurities. It’s about GRE scores, and realizing that the test is another grad school gatekeeper. It’s about research papers, labs, presentations, critical questions, literature reviews, and anything else related to “academia”. It’s about fighting off those moments when you’re confronted with the fear of not being smart enough. It’s about staying encouraged and filled with promise and intellectual curiosity despite subliminal and sometimes blatant messages saying, “You can’t do this”.
It’s about being a single mother, working a full time job and taking 20 units, or looking into your upper level math and science classes and wondering why the only brown face in the class is your own. It’s about wanting to give up but realizing that you’re not alone in the feeling. It’s about sharing the excitement of your first PH.D program acceptance letter with your fellow McNair scholars. . . And when you recieve a rejection letter…knowing that it does not measure your potential for success.
It’s about having to dig so deep inside of yourself that you know —SUCCESS IS NOT AN OPTION—and that your survival depends on it.
These statements make up the realities of the McNair Scholars at CSUEB, and the experiences of students from McNair programs throughout the nation.
The McNair Program is a national community of scholars who are redefining the boundaries of research. We are changing the face of the academy so that there is a more authentic and balanced representation of ideological perspectives and a wider range of people of color teaching in the American academy.
McNair is a collective movement that is in the business of creating scholars and manifesting dreams.
We hold are scholars accountable to the highest standards of academic achievement because outside of our supportive arms our students are at war. They are at war with an educational system that did not anticipate the active and critical participation of people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Our scholars are knocking down the doors of academia saying …I belong here too!
The McNair Program at CSUEB contributes to the creation of an intellectually stimulating and supportive academic atmosphere as scholars push towards achieving their goals. We value the time and energy scholars, mentors and administrators invest into the development of scholars who will become public intellectuals, cutting-edge researchers and outstanding teachers of the future.