McNair Scholars Program Terminated

U.S. Department of Education terminated the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program (McNair Scholars Program).

The McNair Scholars Program “is a federal TRIO program designed to provide underrepresented students with research experience and preparation to go on for a Ph.D.,” Casey Peterson, director of Student Success Programs, said.

Students in the program must be the first in their families to complete a four-year degree and meet federal income guidelines or be underrepresented in their field of study.

Students received academic advising, mentoring and tutoring along with stipends to conduct research on the graduate level.

In an announcement, Anna Sheppard and Kaelen Napoleon said, “North Dakota State University was one of the original 14 universities chosen in 1989 to host a McNair Scholars Program. The program was established by Congress, funded by the United States Department of Education and named for astronaut and physicist Dr. Ronald E. McNair.”

Nationally, “161 awards were made for the next five year cycle,” Peterson said.

The program has been discontinued at NDSU because the grant application this cycle did not score high enough with reviewers to continue the grant.

Cuts were made nationally to the entire program due to a decrease in the federal budget.

“The grant serves a total of 29 students per year. (Students) were recruited, recommended by faculty and completed a rigorous interview process,” Peterson said.

Undergraduate students worked alongside a faculty mentor and a library mentor to be provided in-depth research experiences.

“We could not have been able to carry out the mission of the McNair program without merit of the remarkable NDSU librarians and professors who have served as mentors. It is with their excellence we have achieved the following at NDSU: Served 327 students, 92 students received their doctoral degrees (46 Ph.D. and 46 professional degrees), 2 students received specialist degrees, 112 student received their master degrees and since 2009, 29 undergraduate students received full financial support to attend graduate school,” the announcement said.

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