BELOIT (WREX) – When Jonathon Dudley first step foot on the Beloit College campus, the thought of going to graduate school wasn’t one he considered.
“I didn’t think grad school was an option for me. I didn’t want it to be. I just wanted to go to college, get my degree and go back to my family,” Dudley said.
Dudley is a rising senior at Beloit and a member of the McNair Program.
McNair helps low income and first generation students across the country get funding for graduate school.
Since the program started at Beloit in 1996, dozens of graduates have received their PhD’s and over 100 earned their Master’s Degrees.
Certain populations of students are unrepresented in grad school and a lot of it has to do with access,” Director of McNair Scholars Program Dr. Atiera Coleman said.
“We kind of create this community of people that they can rely on and are going through the same challenges.”
Dr. Coleman is a Beloit College alum as well as a graduating member of the McNair program.
She returned to her alma mater 4 years ago as director of the program to help students get through the same struggles she did.
“It provided me with not only financial support but the support of so many faculty and staff,” Dr. Coleman said.
“I’m really happy that I landed back here to pass that along to the next generation,”
Now that Dudley is in his second year with McNair, a self described “home body,” is ready to take on this new challenge.
“It’s just awesome to see how McNair gives you access to certain places that you wouldn’t necessarily have on your own,” Dudley said.
“Before McNair, I didn’t think grad school was an option for me. I didn’t want it to be. I’m grateful that I got to make that decision and come to terms with it earlier so now I know I want to do this.”
Dudley hopes to pursue his Master’s in African American Studies after graduating from Beloit College.
To find out more about the McNair program , click here.