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Title:Fit before merit: exploring former McNair Scholars’ perceptions of faculty-student relationships
Author(s):Vaughan, Terry
Director of Research:McCarthy, Cameron R.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):McCarthy, Cameron R.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Dyson, Anne H.; Zamani-Gallaher, Eboni; Brown, Ruth N.
Department / Program:Educ Policy, Orgzn & Leadrshp
Discipline:Educational Policy Studies
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):McNair Scholars Program
Higher education
Formal mentoring
Faculty-student relationships
Underrepresented students
Abstract:The Ronald E. McNair Scholars Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program is a federally funded program in the United States aimed at preparing underrepresented undergraduate students for graduate school. Within the program, which tends to have a meritocratic disposition, a mentorship component seeks to help students learn how to work with faculty members within the context of research. The central question of this exploratory study was how former McNair Scholars perceive the effectiveness of the mentorship component of the McNair program. This study is a student-centered and invites future studies about other perspectives within the McNair program, especially from faculty members and program staff. Based on eight interviews with former McNair Scholars in graduate school, in addition to complementary insights from my experience as a former McNair scholar and a previous participant observation study on current McNair Scholars’ work, a key finding is that the mentoring component struggled to address the tension between fit and merit within faculty-student relationships. This finding has implications for the future of the mentorship component of the McNair Program in addition to other the theorization of faculty-student relationships.
Issue Date:2017-06-06
Rights Information:Copyright 2017 Terry Vaughan
Date Available in IDEALS:2017-09-29
Date Deposited:2017-08

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