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The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program was established in honor of Dr. Ronald E. McNair. He earned a Ph.D. in Laser Physics in 1976, and in 1978 became a part of NASA’s astronaut program. Dr. McNair was the second African-American to fly in space. In 1986, his life ended with the explosion of the Space Shuttle Challenger. His family lobbied for the inception of the program in his honor to help others from disadvantaged backgrounds obtain a higher education. The mission of the program is to prepare students from low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented backgrounds for doctoral studies. The overall goal is to increase Ph.D. degree attainment.