|A $227,904 U.S. Department of Education grant will help fund Middle Tennessee State University’s McNair Scholars Program, U.S. Rep. Bart Gordon announced today.
“The program was named in honor of the late astronaut Dr. Ronald E. McNair, who died in the 1986 Challenger explosion,” said Gordon, an MTSU alumnus who chairs the House Science and Technology Committee. “The program prepares disadvantaged college students for successful completion of advanced degrees.”
According to Dr. Diane Miller, director of both the McNair Scholars Program and Undergraduate Research Center at MTSU, the U.S. Department of Education will provide MTSU’s program with $227,904 each year for four years. MTSU has had a McNair Scholars Program since 1999, and it has helped 20 students a year to prepare for graduate school. The latest federal funding will aid 24 MTSU students a year.
“We have scholars from all five of the academic colleges,” Miller said. “MTSU requires a GPA of 3.0 or better and completion of 60 hours. The program is evaluated on how many students graduate and are admitted into a graduate program.”
Federal guidelines stipulate students have 10 years to earn a doctoral degree, and at least two MTSU graduates will reach that goal within this year, Miller said.
The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Program is designed to prepare low-income, first-generation college students or students from underrepresented groups in graduate education for doctoral level study. McNair Scholars may receive academic counseling, financial aid assistance, mentoring, research opportunities, summer internships and tutoring.