A&M International Selected for McNair Program Benefiting Graduate Student Education

Texas A&M International University will become one of only five minority-serving institutions to become part of a new national program that targets helping traditionally under-represented minority students pursue graduate education.

The University of South Florida (USF) McNair Scholars Program partnership will enable A&M International to follow the McNair Scholars Dissemination Program which seeks to prepare undergraduate juniors and seniors from low-income families or who are the first generation in their family to pursue doctoral or medical programs.

Dr. Charles Jennett, A&M International president, said the selection for inclusion in the USF McNair Scholars Program is a prestigious honor that will afford University students remarkable graduate study opportunities.

"We are honored to be one of only five universities in the nation and the only new university in the State to be selected for inclusion in the McNair Program. Our students will be provided with support and incentives to help secure their graduate degrees," Dr. Jennett said.

Other universities which are included in the USF McNair Program are Albany State University, Barry University, Fisk University, and Spelman College.

Jennett and University provost and vice president Dr. Ray Keck attended the announcement of the selection in Tampa, Florida. Dr. Keck said the program will provide A&M International students with critical support that can help insure their completion of their graduate studies.

"Students are provided seminars, cultural activities, research institutes, faculty mentors and research internships. Seventy percent of USF's McNair Scholars have been admitted to or graduated from graduate schools including programs at Stanford, Harvard, Georgetown, Georgia Tech and Columbia universities," Keck said.

While in Tampa, Dr. Keck attended a workshop conducted by Dr. Rubye J. Byrd, Director of TRIO programs at Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Byrd described in detail federally funded opportunities available to

minority-serving institutions.

Dr. Joan Homes, director of USF's McNair Scholars Program, said the selection of A&M International will help the McNair Scholars Program to increase its impact.

"By targeting three historically black colleges and/or universities and two Hispanic-serving institutions, we are confident that we will make a significant impact on increased enrollment of black and Hispanic students in graduate education, both grossly under-represented nationally," Dr. Holmes said.

Other McNair Programs are in place at Rutgers University in New Jersey and the University of Southern California.

The program was established in 1986 by the U.S. Department of Education which was approved by the U.S. Congress, and named for the astronaut and Challenger space shuttle crew member Dr. Ronald McNair, America's second African American astronaut and one of seven crew members killed when the Challenger exploded in January 1986.

For additional information, please contact the Office of the Provost at 326.2240. University office hours are from 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

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