University of Rochester

More Funds to Prepare Minorities for Doctoral Study

September 27, 1994

The U.S. Department of Education has increased its support of a program at the University of Rochester that encourages underrepresented minorities to pursue doctoral degrees. The University has received $173,647 for the Fiscal Year '94-'95, which begins October 1. [The grant for FY '93-94 was $130,000.]

Named after the African-American astronaut who was killed on the Challenger in 1986, the Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program gives talented students who are members of underrepresented minority groups [African-American, Hispanic, Pacific Islander and Native American] the extra guidance they may need to fulfill their academic potential, said Jesse Moore, University associate dean of graduate studies. Before graduating, the students participate in summer research projects to gain a clear idea of what research in their chosen discipline is like, and to develop the skills graduate schools expect from top candidates.

Historically, members of certain minority groups have not earned doctorates in numbers that reflect their size in the population at large. They are therefore underrepresented in occupations for which doctoral degrees are required, such as teaching and research positions at universities, or research jobs in the industrial sector. The federal education department funds efforts like the McNair program to correct this imbalance.