Five-Year, $1.1 Million Grant for Graduate Education Awarded to University of Texas at Austin by U.S. Department of Education

Oct. 11, 2007

AUSTIN, Texas—The University of Texas at Austin has been awarded a $1.1 million Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program grant by the U.S. Department of Education to increase enrollment of underrepresented groups in graduate programs.

The university's application scored in the top percentile and as a result will receive an additional year of funding for a total of five years at $220,000 per year.

"This grant will have a tremendous impact in increasing the number of underrepresented groups in graduate education, especially in certain areas of mathematics and science," said Dr. Gregory J. Vincent, vice president for diversity and community engagement. "This is critical in providing students the opportunity to enter fields that traditionally lack gender and ethnic diversity."

The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program (UMSP) in collaboration with the university's Academic Enrichment Services and the TRIO Student Support Services will use the funding to annually identify, recruit and prepare for graduate school 25 eligible college students from low-income, first-generation and other underrepresented groups in graduate education.

"I was very excited to receive this news as it is very difficult to get a five-year grant as a new applicant," says Michael Nava, lead writer for the grant application and director of the Longhorn Link program, a federally funded TRIO Student Support Services program in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement.

The Ronald E. McNair Scholars Program prepares participants for doctoral studies through involvement in research and other scholarly activities. The University McNair Scholars Program (UMSP) will work closely with participants as they complete their undergraduate requirements. In addition, program participants are encouraged to enroll in graduate programs and the UMSP tracks their progress through to the successful completion of advanced degrees.

For more information contact: Deb Duval, Office of the Vice President for Diversity and Community Engagement, The University of Texas at Austin, 512-232-7599.