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News Release

U of M McGuire Scholar Program students making the grade

Twenty-two percent of the students made the dean's list and 100 percent retained for second semester

Contacts: Sue Banovetz, College of Liberal Arts, (612) 624-1359
Mark Cassutt, University News Service, (612) 624-8038

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (03/29/2007) —After a semester, the University of Minnesota's McGuire Scholar Program -- designed for academically talented young people from economically disadvantaged backgrounds -- is demonstrating that its approach is making a positive difference in the lives of the students.

The results so far are impressive: 22 percent of the students made the dean’s list and 100 percent of the McGuire Scholars have been retained and continued on to their second semester. The students’ average grade point average was 3.1. These accomplishments either surpass or are equal to the successes of other freshmen at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus, despite the problems that often confront students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds.

The McGuire Scholar Program, a pilot program in its first year and funded by a grant from the William and Nadine McGuire Family Foundation, provides four-year scholarships to 77 freshmen at the University’s Twin Cities campus. The students, known as McGuire Scholars, receive funds to cover 90 percent of the total cost of their attendance, including tuition, fees, books, and room and board. The McGuire scholarships leverage federal, state, university grants, and other private funding the students receive in order to ensure that they can focus on their studies and succeed academically.

In addition, through the McGuire Foundation’s support, students receive intensive and frequent interaction with academic advisers and with peer and faculty mentors; designated study space, including a computer lab; and integrated learning experiences designed to forge a deeper connection with faculty and other students.

One measure of the impact of the program’s academic and peer advising is seen in the ability of the advisers to help the students turn around their performance in courses that, at midterm, appeared to be headed towards a grade below “C.” Although the percentage of McGuire Scholars who received negative mid-term alerts was similar to that of other Twin Cities campus freshmen, about 67 percent of the McGuire Scholars who received a mid-term alert recovered to a grade of “C” or above, which is well above the Twin Cities campus’ average.

“We are all very pleased to see such outstanding early results and also know that so many young men and women are having a positive college experience with support from this program,” said William McGuire, M.D.

The McGuire Scholars Program is coordinated by the University’s College of Liberal Arts.

Tags: College of Liberal Arts

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