Delta State University recently received notice of a major $1.15 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education for the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program.
This coveted McNair award will provide funding over the next five years for Delta State to increase the number of advanced and doctoral degrees in typically underrepresented groups and from disadvantaged backgrounds. Each year, 25 undergraduate participants will be selected and designated as Delta State McNair Research Scholars, and their academic progress will be directly enhanced with support services and resources.
Emphasis will be placed on recruiting students from 10 STEM majors at Delta State and affiliated associate degree programs at Coahoma Community College and Mississippi Delta Community College. One of eight federal TRIO programs, the McNair funding prepares eligible participants for doctoral studies through research and other scholarly activities.
“We are excited to be a participant in the McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program,” said Dr. Charles McAdams, Delta State provost and vice president for Academic Affairs. “This federally funded program takes our retention efforts to the next level by focusing the students’ sights on completing a graduate degree while still on a path to complete their undergraduate degree. This program holds great promise for our students and for the state of Mississippi.”
Heather Kovarcik Miller, Delta State’s director of Institutional Grants, is thrilled with the grant.
“This award is highly competitive, and we at Delta State are elated to have this grant proposal funded, which is the first McNair award ever for our university,” she said.
Those who worked with Miller to secure the grant included: Wendy Stevens, graduate recruiter; Jon Delperdang. Hearin TFA Graduate Fellow; and Dr. Beverly Moon, dean of Graduate and Continuing Studies.
“The opportunities that open up for our students due to this funding are extraordinary,” said Moon. “Plus, we will be able to provide support to faculty members who will serve as mentors for these students. The faculty will help shepherd the selected students through junior and senior years at the university. The support for the McNair scholars will also continue on into their graduate programs as we track their successes.”
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