October 7, 2014
Danielle McNamara
 (510) 987-0230

Press Release


The Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program presented best practices on a successful science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) pipeline from community college transfer to four-year universities during a conference.


The 28th Annual Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) Conference was held in Denver, Colorado, October 4-6.


Continual success at transferring educationally disadvantaged students from Oxnard and Ventura Colleges to the University of California Santa Barbara in STEM majors prompted HACU to invite MESA representatives to a panel entitled “Partnerships that Work: MESA and HSI Initiatives: An Intersegmental Regional Partnership That Supports STEM Students.”


UC Santa Barbara Office of Education Partnerships Executive Director Mario Castellanos, Ventura College MESA Director Yessica Ortiz Noriega, Oxnard College STEM Director Dr. Cynthia Herrera, and MESA Statewide Executive Director Dr. Oscar Porter comprised the panel.


Another panel, “Increasing Competitiveness of First Generation Community College Students Pursuing a STEM Degree,” featured East Los Angeles College MESA Director and Associate Professor of Chemistry, Dr. Armando Rivera-Figueroa; Bakersfield College MESA Director
Consuelo Gonzalez, and Santa Barbara City College MESA Director Virginia Estrella.


MESA’s collaborative success reaches beyond the Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. MESA’s intersegmental makeup allows it to function with all areas of education including the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities, California Community Colleges, California State University, University of California and the California Department of Education. MESA students are served through centers housed on campuses representing each of these institutions. Fiscally, MESA receives its core funding from budget sources in the University of California Office of the President and the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.


“MESA has a long history of successful partnerships and a strong continuum of first generation and underserved students transferring to four-year institutions in STEM majors,” Dr. Porter said. “Ninety-seven percent of MESA community college students who transfer do so in STEM majors, which is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our community college directors and students.”


MESA is one of the largest programs in the state to support educationally disadvantaged students so they can graduate from college with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) degrees.  MESA provides academic support and enrichment to more than 20,000 K-12 students and more than 7,800 community college students each year.


For more information about MESA visit or on Twitter @MESASTEM.