Grant enables Troy University to offer Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Program

Troy University has received a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to offer the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program.

Troy University has received a grant from the U.S. Department of Education to offer the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program.

A program designed to provide first generation and underrepresented undergraduate student populations the opportunity to pursue graduate and doctoral degrees is being offered through Troy University thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

The Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program honors astronaut Ronald McNair, who died along with other crew members in the 1986 explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger. The program helps prepare qualified undergraduate students for graduate level study.

“The awarding of the TRIO McNair program to Troy University creates a great opportunity to help qualified undergraduate students take the next step into graduate and doctoral programs,” said Dr. Hal Fulmer, associate provost and dean of undergraduate and first-year studies. “We’re proud to be one of the newest University homes for the McNair, which honors astronaut Ronald McNair who perished along with his colleagues in the space shuttle Challenger explosion in 1986.”

TROY was selected for funding through the grant program for $232,265 over the first of what is expected to be a five-year period.

“First-generation and underrepresented undergraduate students who qualify for the program will be provided with the graduate level research experiences and support for the graduate application process,” said Dr. Debora Pettway, director of Student Support Services for the Dothan Campus and interim coordinator of the McNair program at TROY. “McNair Scholars will attend monthly seminars, which will train them in research writing and design and presentation. They will receive intensive advisement throughout the academic year, as well as travel opportunities to present research and conferences or to take part in campus visits.”

NASA astronaut Ronald E. McNair died in 1986 explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger.

Participants will also will take part in research internships during the summer months, Pettway said.

“A major component of the program is for McNair Scholars to engage in research internships,” she said. “Those internships, which can be at TROY or other universities, will provide opportunities to conduct their research while also offering a Graduate Record Exam prep course and a Research and Graduate School Strategies course.”

Scholars will participate in a summer research project under the guidance of a faculty mentor. Scholars will receive up to $2,800 for an approved research project and completion of all research component activities. Additionally, select scholars will have opportunities to travel to research conferences to present their research and/or to campuses of universities with graduate programs that fit their research interests. Successful McNair Scholars will have access to McNair-specific graduate school application fee waivers and scholarships/fellowships offered by a variety of universities throughout the country.

McNair applicants must meet the following criteria to be accepted into the program: be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident; be determined to pursue a Doctoral Program and show potential for success in this pursuit; have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher by Fall Term/Semester 2017; be a Troy University student who has a minimum of 30 credit hours by Fall Term/Semester 2017; be a first-generation and low-income student, or a member of an underrepresented minority in doctoral studies. Groups considered to be underrepresented are Hispanic/Latino, African American, Native American/Alaska Native or Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander.

For additional information on the program, contact Dr. Pettway at 334-983-6556, ext. 1215, or by email at or Mary Griffin, TRIO director, at 334-670-5747 or by email at