TRIO Programs Funded

Northern has received more than $1 million in grants each year to support its three federal TRIO programs: McNair Scholars, Upward Bound-Math Science and Student Support Services. The programs are designed to assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students and individuals with disabilities progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post-baccalaureate programs. All three were recently notified that their federal funding has been continued or renewed.

The McNair Scholars program will maintain support for at least the next half-dozen years, with a continuation award of about $213,000, followed by a five-year grant renewal. It serves students who are first generation and low income, or belong to a group traditionally underrepresented in graduate education. Participation in the program affords students the opportunity to work with a faculty mentor for a summer research project while earning credit, a $2,800 stipend and a living allowance. McNair participants also benefit from GRE-prep workshops, graduate school campus visits, opportunities to present research at conferences and individual academic counseling. Heather Pickett, who directs both McNair and the Freshman Fellows, said McNair is accepting applications through Nov. 5 to fill 16 spots vacated by recent graduates. For more information, contact ext. 2590 or

“Since the program began in October 2009, 16 students have successfully completed all of the necessary components and graduated,” Pickett said. “Of those, 11 have enrolled in graduate and doctorate programs across the country, with the majority receiving full or partial funding packages to continue their education.”

Northern's Upward Bound Math-Science (UBMS) program through the Seaborg Center has had its TRIO funding renewed for the next five years, effective Nov. 1. Julie Bowerman, who wrote the successful grant application, said the funding amount for this year will be about $288,000. UBMS is a year-round academic program that includes an intensive, six-week summer experience for those students who have completed the academic year requirements. The UBMS program exposes students to a variety of career fields, improves problem-solving skills and enriches their appreciation for science and mathematics. To be eligible, students must meet federal low-income guidelines or come from a family in which neither parent or guardian holds a four-year college degree. Other criteria include being enrolled in 9th or 10th grade, having a GPA of at least 2.5 and demonstrating an interest in mathematics and science, along with post-secondary education. UBMS is not to be confused with the general Upward Bound program at NMU, which did not have its funding renewed and ceased operations at the end of August.


Student Support Services is designed to help increase retention and graduation rates of first-generation, low-income students and students with disabilities. Participants must be enrolled in a baccalaureate degree program. They receive comprehensive academic support and personal advisement, access to cultural and leadership activities, assistance in making a positive transition to campus life and requisite skills to make appropriate career choices as NMU graduates and lifelong learners. Program Director Peter Holliday said NMU is beginning the third year of its five-year grant cycle and has received about $300,000 in continuation funding.



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Updated: October 23, 2012

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