What is the McNair Scholars Program?
Ronald E. McNair Post Baccalaureate Achievement Program

Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program

The McNair Scholars Program is a federal TRIO program funded at 194 institutions across the United States and Puerto Rico by the U.S. Department of Education. It is designed to prepare undergraduate students for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. McNair participants are either first-generation college students with financial need, or members of a group that is traditionally underrepresented in graduate education and have demonstrated strong academic potential. The goal of the McNair Scholars Program is to increase graduate degree awards for students from underrepresented groups in society. The McNair Scholars Program has been at The University of Delaware since 1999. The McNair Scholars Program aims to prepare, empower, and expose academically talented low-income, first generation, and underrepresented students toward pursuit of advanced graduate degrees. Through a collaborative mentoring environment and simulated graduate school experiences, students will gain the competencies needed to graduate as distinguished scholars with enhanced communication, leadership, intercultural, research methodology, and critical thinking skills.

Resources & Services

The University of Delaware McNair Program provides a comprehensive array of services designed to facilitate each participant’s graduation and ultimate enrollment in doctoral programs. Program services include:


Research Opportunities. Participants who have completed their sophomore year of college conduct research under the guidance of a Faculty Mentor. Quality research projects provide a realistic picture of what constitutes graduate school level work, while also preparing students for the scholarly doctoral school climate.

Mentoring. Each student is matched with a Faculty Mentor who provides individual guidance and mentoring regarding the graduate school application process and the completion of undergraduate research projects. Mentors serve as role models and are an essential resource for their McNair Scholar.

Council for Opportunity in Education

The Council for Opportunity in Education (COE) is a nonprofit organization, established in 1981, dedicated to furthering the expansion of educational opportunities throughout the United States. Through its numerous membership services, the Council works in conjunction with colleges, universities, and agencies that host TRIO Programs to specifically help low-income students enter college and graduate.

Federal TRIO Programs

The Federal TRIO Programs are educational opportunity outreach programs designed to motivate and support students from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRIO includes six outreach and support programs targeted to serve and assist low-income, first-generation college students, and students with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to postbaccalaureate programs. TRIO also includes a training program for directors and staff of TRIO projects and a dissemination partnership program to encourage the replication or adaptation of successful practices of TRIO projects at institutions and agencies that do not have TRIO grants.

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