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Virginia Tech News / Articles / 2007 / 10 

McNair Scholars Program awarded $1.125 million federal grant

October 22, 2007

The U.S. Department of Education, Office of Postsecondary Education has awarded Virginia Tech $1.125 million for the TRIO Program - Ronald E. McNair Post baccalaureate Achievement Program.

The purpose of the McNair Scholars Program is to award grants to institutions of higher education for projects designed to provide disadvantaged college students with effective preparation for doctoral study. Virginia Tech will receive $225,000 to serve 25 students, each year, for five years.

The Ronald E. McNair Scholars Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program, named in honor of astronaut and scientist Ronald E. McNair, is designed to encourage low-income, first-generation college students and students from groups currently under-represented in graduate education to pursue doctoral study. The program prepares participants for doctoral study through involvement in research and other scholarly activities.

The Virginia Tech McNair Scholars Program has been effective in meeting and exceeding program objectives. So far, two students from the first McNair cohort of 2000 have completed their PhDs.

Some of the most exciting aspects of the McNair Scholars Program at Virginia Tech include monthly seminars “Pathway to the PhD” and the Summer Research Experience. Each summer, students benefit from an introduction to research during a ten-week program on campus. McNair Scholars attend classes to develop their research interests, engage in a research project under the tutelage of a Virginia Tech faculty member, and prepare for the graduate school application process and graduate entrance exams.

Summer research scholars are required to present their research in a scholarly forum, such as the Summer Research Symposium, the Undergraduate Research and Prospective Graduate Student Conference, and other research conferences throughout the country. Additional McNair Scholars Program activities include academic counseling, financial aid assistance, mentoring, tutoring, and other opportunities for social support and cultural awareness.

Applications for the McNair Scholars Program are available at 110 Femoyer Hall, or call (540) 231-5499.