In 2004 MESA was selected by Hewlett-Packard (HP) to serve as the model for national efforts to help underrepresented minority students in community colleges to excel in math and science, transfer to four-year institutions, and graduate with baccalaureate degrees in engineering and computer science.
A three-year HP Diversity in Engineering grant provided seed money to establish HP-MESA DivE community college pilot programs in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New Jersey and New York. The program also expanded to New Mexico and Texas.
MESA contributed ongoing technical assistance, scholarships, training and innovative approaches to enhance academic recruitment, retention and transfer strategies for their students, Meanwhile, HP provided most of the campuses with equipment and cash stipends for program directors. The program components includes student clustering in science, technology and mathematic courses to facilitate the formation of study groups outside the classroom; small group academic workshops; academic counseling and tutoring; financial assistance (scholarships); industry field trips, employment and networking; and other student support services.
During the 2006-07 academic year, HP-MESA DivE served over 550 students.
Since then, the Georgia state legislature provided additional funding to expand MESA from two to four community college campuses. The other programs are operating through various public and private funding sources.
HP MESA DivE programs continue to operate at