CSUMB awarded five-year, $1.3 million McNair grant

Group of McNair Scholars at CSUMB gathered for a photo in 2020

Group of McNair Scholars at CSUMB gathered for a photo in 2020

October 10, 2022

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded CSU Monterey Bay a $1.3 million McNair grant for five years to provide disadvantaged college students with effective preparation for doctoral studies. 

"We are delighted and honored to receive this grant funding, which will enable us to continue supporting McNair students at CSUMB,” said John “Buck” Banks, director of the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Center, aka UROC. “This support from the U.S. Department of Education will enable us to continue to engage underserved undergraduate students across all majors in the high-impact practice of undergraduate research, bolstering their research skills along with their scholarly identity and sense of belonging as they prepare for graduate education and the job market."

The Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program helps first-generation college students with financial need, and members of groups traditionally underrepresented in graduate education with strong academic potential. The program aims to increase graduate degree awards for students from underrepresented segments of society.

The award to CSUMB was one of more than 189 new grants totaling more than $50 million to institutions of higher education across the United States announced in August and September.

“When we look at U.S. students studying to become our future physicians, professors, scientists and other crucial professionals requiring graduate degrees, many demographic groups are underrepresented, including first-generation college students and those from low-income families,” said Nasser Paydar, assistant secretary, Office of Postsecondary Education. 

Through McNair grant funding, projects at institutions of higher education provide students with opportunities for research or other scholarly activities, such as summer internships and seminars. McNair-funded initiatives also prepare students for doctoral study through tutoring, academic counseling, and assistance with securing admission to and financial assistance for enrollment in graduate programs. 

McNair projects may also provide services designed to improve students' financial and economic literacy, mentor programs, and exposure to cultural events and academic programs not usually available to disadvantaged students.

The McNair program is one of seven federal TRIO programs, targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to postbaccalaureate programs.