• Grant brings McNair Scholars program to Baylor

    Baylor students

    Next year at this time, a select group of students will have earned the coveted title of “McNair Scholars” for the first time at Baylor. Last month, Baylor was awarded a grant to bring the McNair Scholars Program to campus, providing new opportunities for underrepresented students and first-generation college students to prepare for doctoral studies in science, technology, engineering and math.

    McNair Scholars go through a very competitive process to be selected. Winners find not only financial support for their college career, but experiences that will prepare them for postgraduate studies as well. McNair Scholars work with professors on research projects, present at conferences, and prepare for the GRE to build a foundation for doctoral work.

    The program is named for Ronald McNair, an accomplished physicist and NASA astronaut who died in the 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger explosion. Funded by the Department of Education, the McNair Scholars program is the first of its kind here at Baylor. Over 150 other schools feature the program, giving Baylor McNair Scholars a broad network of nationwide resources and support.

    Rachel Renbarger, a Baylor doctoral student in educational psychology, was a McNair scholar before coming to Baylor. She says of the program, “Without exaggeration, McNair changed my life. I have no doubt that the program is the reason that I made it to graduate school at Baylor and succeeded while here… It gave me a community to overcome the obstacles that come from having a first-generation, low-income background.”

    Baylor students are already setting records for selectivity, diversity and retention. The McNair Scholars program will bring in even more impressive students to the Baylor Family in the years ahead.

    Sic ’em, future Baylor McNair Scholars!

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