MESA Connect Newsletter

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Winter/Spring 2009

MESA wins Excelencia in Education Award

MESA's success in producing high transfer rates for Latino community college students has been recognized by the national program Excelencia in Education.

The organization, which identifies programs and departments that boost Latino enrollment, performance and graduation in higher education, named MESA as a semifinalist winner in its 2008 Examples of Excelencia, community college category.

As a semifinalist, MESA is included in the 2008 edition of the What Works for Latino Students: Examples of Excelencia Compendium. The guide will be distributed to more than 13,000 Excelencia constituents, including educational organizations and policy leaders across the country.

Of the 2,852 MESA community college students served in the 2006–07 school year, 98 percent transferred to four-year institutions as science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) majors. MESA, active at only 31 of 110 California community colleges, produced 5.1 percent of all STEM transfers in the state from 2005 to 2007. During that time, MESA students comprised 10.1 percent of all Latino community college STEM transfers.

This is not the first national accolade for MESA. In a 2007 PBS documentary, MESA was featured as a solution to developing the next generation of innovative engineers and scientists.

In 2004, Hewlett-Packard selected MESA as a model to be replicated across the country to help increase the number of community-college engineering transfers from underrepresented communities. In 2001, MESA was named one the five most innovative public programs in the nation by Innovations in American Government, an initiative of the Ford Foundation and Harvard University.

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