TRIO McNair Program Awarded $1.3M 

Percy Bartelt, staff writer

Augsburg University has many programs in place to help students achieve their academic success both inside and outside of the college classroom. To expand this student success, Augsburg’s TRIO Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program has been recently awarded a 1.3 million dollar grant to continue helping students achieve success in their postgraduate studies. 

The TRIO Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program, also known as the McNair Scholars Program, was created in honor of one of the first African-Americans to join the U.S. space program and who is also an accredited astronaut and physicist: Dr. Ronald E. McNair, Ph.D., (1950-1986). The program prepares graduate-level students who are underrepresented, which includes first-generation and/or students of color, for doctoral studies through involvement in research and projects.

 “We were elated to receive the TRIO McNair Scholars grant, as it was extremely competitive,” says Director of the McNair Scholars Program Maria “Tina” Tavera when asked what the program’s reaction was to receiving this funding. “With this funding, the McNair Scholars Program intends to use it on their Scholars’ research in their graduate studies, faculty benefits, along with other sources that the grant prescribes.” 

Director Tavera continued to speak about what opportunities these funds will bring to the McNair Scholars Program. “We provide the students workshops, a class ‘McN301: Research in the Disciplines’ where they write a research proposal and in the summer they complete the 400 hour research project, there is a 3 day Graduate School Application bootcamp and assistance with applying to graduate school.” 

All TRIO programs – Student Services and McNair Scholars – are federally funded by the U.S. Department of Education. With the grant, The McNair Scholars Program has been approved to receive about $262,000 for the next five years; there will be fluctuations indicative of congressional discretion. 

The TRIO McNair Scholars Program helps prepare students for graduate-level education. With this additional funding, these programs will have more opportunities to help their students and faculty have overarching success in the professional world. The McNair Scholars Program now has even more opportunities for their scholars to dive into research that has the ability to change lives. TRIO Student Services Assistant Director Kevin Cheatham also shared his enthusiasm on the new funds awarded to the McNair Scholars Program, “The big wish is always that there is even more money as that means we can work with even more students on their dream of getting a degree.” 

More information about how the McNair Scholars Program’s funding will be used can be found at augsburg.edu/McNair or by contacting McNair Program Director Tavera or Assistant Director Cheatham for additional information.