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NMSU's Center for Learning Assistance receives more than $2 million in federal assistance

New Mexico State University's Center for Learning Assistance (CLA) received more than $2 million from the United States Department of Education to continue operation of the Upward Bound and Ronald E. McNair Programs.


Upward Bound and the McNair Program are designed to assist low-income, minority or first-generation college students with higher education.

The McNair Program, which received an $896,520 grant that will span four years, prepares college juniors and seniors to pursue doctoral degrees through academic research, faculty mentorship and financial assistance. Susan Brown, director of the CLA and the McNair Program, said the goal of the program is to increase the diversity of students completing Ph.D. programs.

"By the end of the two-year program, NMSU McNair Scholars have developed outstanding credentials for acceptance into graduate school," Brown said.

Brown added that the grant was competitive, with only 150 schools nationwide receiving funding.

CLA's other federally funded program, Upward Bound, received $1,136,948 also to span four years. Upward Bound targets high school students who express an interest in higher education. Each summer 75 students from Las Cruces, Gadsden and Santa Teresa schools participate in Upward Bound's College Preparatory Program on the NMSU campus and in regional math and science programs.

Upward Bound students also receive "year-round mentorship, tutoring and comprehensive academic advising," said Laura Nystul, Upward Bound director.

College freshman or sophomores interested in the McNair Program, and high school students interested in Upward Bound, should contact NMSU's Center for Learning Assistance at (505) 646-3136 or via email at cla@nmsu.edu.