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ERIC Number: ED552944
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 189
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: 978-1-3030-1428-4
The McNair Scholars Program as an Agent of Socialization in the Doctoral Experience
Gittens, Cheryl Bailey
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, The George Washington University
Interventions such as the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program (McNair Scholars Program) are among the national strategies for promoting doctoral degree attainment amongst first-generation college students from low socioeconomic backgrounds or groups underrepresented in graduate education. This study aimed to understand how participation in the McNair program influences degree attainment amongst the target population. To understand how the academic and social program services of McNair influence the doctoral experience I interviewed 18 former participants of 11 different McNair Programs across the north, east, south and western regions of the United States. All participants completed their doctoral studies, and discussed their experiences and perceptions on how McNair Programs serve as a socializing agent to facilitate the successful completion of doctoral study. The socialization processes described in Weidman's (1989) undergraduate socialization model framed the study; Interpersonal interaction, intrapersonal processes, social integration and academic integration was used explore how academic and social program experiences were influential in preparing McNair Scholars for entry and persistence in graduate school and in promoting aspirations to become faculty members, researchers and higher education administrators. The findings revealed that the program's academic and social components had a positive socializing influence on the participants' doctoral experience by developing competence, increasing self-confidence, promoting social connectedness, creating academic connectedness, and establishing academic identity and commitment. Consequently, participants derived the greatest benefits from academic program components. Moreover, social components such as the interpersonal relationships derived from mentoring experiences, cultural activities, and experiences in the summer research internships contributed to positive relationships with McNair staff, faculty and peers who would ultimately provide a level of social, academic, or personal support throughout the doctoral experience. The perceived benefits of McNair participation were not only comprehensive social and academic support, but also seemed to serve as a training ground for membership into the community of doctoral degree holders. The study resulted in a model that depicts the synergistic relationship between McNair program services and the socialization process on cultivating confidence, competence, connectedness and commitment for program participants. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A