Since November of 1991, the purpose of the East Central University McNair Scholars Program has been to prepare low income, first generation college students, and students from other groups underrepresented in graduate education, for doctoral study. The McNair Scholars Program honors the memory of Dr. Ronald E. McNair, an astronaut who lost his life in the Challenger Shuttle accident on January 28, 1986. The McNair Program is a federal TRIO grant program, funded by the United States Department of Education.
The ECU McNair Scholars Program provides undergraduates in the math & sciences fields with opportunities to participate in a internship at Kerr Lab in Ada, Oklahoma. The internship is to be completed the Spring semester of their senior year. McNair Scholars attend seminars and workshops on topics related to graduate school preparation; complete a research project under the guidance of a EPA mentor; and have the opportunity to present their research at local, regional and national conferences.