Lindsay-Dennis is serving as an external evaluator to the Wellesley College McNair Scholars Program, which employs evidence-based practices to increase the number and proportion of low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented minority women who are prepared for rigorous graduate study in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. The primary components of the comprehensive evaluation are: the progress of the project toward meeting its objectives; significant barriers to the achievement of objectives; recommendations for overcoming barriers; and unanticipated collateral benefits/challenges engendered by the project. The Wellesley College McNair Scholars Program specifically targets the persistent institutional barriers to student achievement that discourage underrepresented minority student STEM enrollment and persistence.
McNair activities and services, combined with individualized mentoring from trained faculty mentors, build the bridge of support that ensures the 26 McNair Scholars each year complete their STEM degrees, enroll in graduate school, and attain their doctoral degrees. Through the evaluation, Lindsay-Dennis will determine the extent to which the project has achieved its specific objectives in a timely and effective manner, and the contribution of the activities as a whole to the program and to Wellesley College.