Thanks to a $1.6 million federal grant, TRIO Programs at NC State continue to grow with the announcement of the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program which will officially begin serving Wolfpack students on Oct. 1, 2017.
The McNair Scholars Program will provide funds to the university to increase the number of doctoral degrees by preparing eligible participants for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. The program supports under-resourced and first-generation undergraduates and undergraduates from underrepresented groups who have demonstrated strong academic potential. Ultimately, the program aims to increase the number of students from these groups obtaining their doctorates.
“NC State TRIO Programs, along with partners across campus, have worked diligently over the past year to secure funding for the McNair program that will grow the total number of students touched by NC State TRIO programming to 1,285 annually,” says Vice Chancellor and Dean of Academic and Student Affairs Mike Mullen. “We are thankful for the leadership Marsha Pharr, executive director of TRIO Programs, and Courtney Simpson, director for Student Support Services, have shown throughout this project.”
The namesake of the program, Ronald E. McNair (1950-86), was America’s second African-American astronaut in space and was killed in the Challenger explosion on Jan. 28, 1986.
McNair was raised in a low-income household and graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree from North Carolina A&T University and completed his Doctor of Philosophy degree in physics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology only five years later. McNair was the first in his family to graduate from college and obtain a doctorate.
TRIO Programs at NC State
TRIO Programs are federal outreach and student services programs designed to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to postbaccalaureate degrees. Of these eight programs, NC State University supports four impact areas through six programs, including the two premier TRIO pre-college programs, Talent Search (1991) and Upward Bound (1978 and 2012). Collectively they have served thousands of students by providing access to higher education and critical support services. NC State’s Student Support Services program for undergraduate students launched in 2010. The Student Support Services STEM program was introduced in 2015 and as of fall 2017 will be joined by the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program.