McNair gives chance for advanced degree

For those students desiring involvement with doctoral studies, the Ronald E. McNair post Baccalaureate Achievement Scholars Program applications for scholarships are due Friday, April 21.

The McNair Scholarship program is designed to provide assistance to prospective low income/first generation and ethnic minority undergraduate students with preparation for doctoral studies.

“Every academic school year we select 11 new students to become our cohorts,” said McNair Program Director, Lydia C. Fox. “It is a program that is very beneficial to those students who want to get a graduate degree and do not know how to approach getting started, and we help those students become a competitive applicant for graduate school.”

Benefits of the McNair program include a $1,600 summer research stipend, personal mentoring, workshops and a tuition waiver for a three-hour spring research class.

“In the McNair program, we help teach students about research in our research class. Students get involved with doing research in their field. We pair students with a faculty member and students work with that faculty member with a research project,” said Fox, explaining the most important benefit of the program.

Students travel to McNair conferences across the nation to network and present their research to other students. Students also have the opportunity to travel to different graduate school programs to which they are interested in applying.

The McNair Program started in 1989. McNair, who was the second African American in space, was a part of the 1986 Challenger space shuttle crew, and perished in an explosion aboard the shuttle. This program was started in honor of McNair, who was a first generation college student and came from a low income family.

The McNair Scholars Program Second Annual Research Conference will be held this summer.

“Last summer, we had our first annual conference. Our students presented their research to the campus community. Our second conference will be held on July 20,” said Fox.

To qualify, students must either be a part of an underrepresented ethnic group in graduate studies or a first-generation college student, while meeting the low-income guidelines assessed by the U.S. Department of Education.

Students must also have a minimum cumulative 3.0 G.P.A. and at least a junior standing at SHSU.

Interested students can apply online. Additional information about the McNair Scholar program is available at or contact the McNair program office at (936) 294-3279.

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