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08/19/2009

Winthrop Tapped to Mentor Students Toward Graduate Degrees

Quick Facts

 Winthrop will be receiving a $880,000 grant over the next four years from the U.S. Department of Education.
 This highly selective program is named for the late astronaut Ronald McNair, a South Carolina native.

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President Anthony DiGiorgio

ROCK HILL, S.C. - Winthrop University has been tapped by a prestigious national program to help mentor more students to seek post-graduate and doctoral degrees.

President Anthony DiGiorgio this morning told faculty and staff assembled for the beginning of the new academic year that Winthrop will be receiving $880,000 over the next four years from the U.S. Department of Education to support upcoming work under the prestigious federal Ronald McNair Post-baccalaureate Degree Program. Winthrop will receive the first funds under the program in October.

This highly selective program is named for the late astronaut Ronald McNair, a South Carolina native who went on to explore the cosmos as a scientist and NASA astronaut. The program grant that bears his name will provide scholarship funds and program funds to encourage and support students who are first-generation, disadvantaged or under-represented in their pursuit of graduate education.

DiGiorgio said Winthrop’s selection is in keeping with its commitment to inclusiveness and helping South Carolina  and the nation develop a 21st-century workforce with increasing emphasis on post-secondary degree attainment.

Winthrop will identify such students with strong academic potential, work closely with them as they complete their undergraduate requirements, and support their enrollment in graduate programs, with the ultimate goal being to increase the attainment of Ph.D. degrees by students from those segments of society.

Winthrop's McNair Scholars program is funded by a four-year renewable TRiO grant from the U.S. Department of Education. The grant will provide $220,000 in federal funding each year to help 25 first generation, low-income and/or under-represented undergraduates to prepare for and succeed in graduate school. This represents 74 percent of program costs with Winthrop contributing more than $75,000 in cash and in-kind matches.

Winthrop’s selection to help develop McNair Scholars for graduate education will follow naturally from the Student Support Services work Winthrop has been doing for a number of years to boost bachelor’s degree attainment in the same groups under a related federal program.


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