Linking MESA from 6th grade through bachelor’s
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much”
– Helen Keller
Teamwork and collaboration are critical in all facets of life. In MESA, a connection between segments strengthens the continuum for students.
Building a strong link between regional pre-college, community college and university level MESA programs makes for a richer experience for students. Middle school and high school students can see the MESA program first hand at the university or community college level; community college students participate in research opportunities through the university MESA campuses. So MESA centers collaborate with their neighbor centers to form regional alliances.
One of the first successful MESA alliances was born in San Diego. The San Diego MESA Alliance began in 2000 and is made up of the Imperial Valley and San Diego State University pre-college programs, the community college programs at San Diego City College and Southwestern College, and the undergraduate program at San Diego State University. The alliance combines its resources and relationships by employing a joint industry advisory board, applying for grants together and holding joint events.
Alliances strive to enhance the pipeline of MESA programs in a particular region. The alliance goals are to establish best practices, strategic partnerships, effective coordination of services, and development of core curriculum for MESA programs.
Recently, the East Bay MESA Alliance coalesced to strengthen the Bay Area pipeline. The alliance is made up of the pre-college program at California State East Bay and the community college programs at Chabot, Diablo Valley and Los Medanos Colleges.
The alliance debuted with “Exploring Your Future Day” at the Chabot Space and Science Center, bringing together community college students, high school students and parents for a day of workshops on financial aid, university transfer and hands-on science demonstrations.
MESA programs in other parts of the state also have reaped the benefits of close collaboration including the Capitol Corridor Alliance in the Sacramento area, the Santa Barbara area alliance as well as the partnership between East Los Angeles College and the pre-college and university programs at CSU Los Angeles.
Through these close, regional relationships, MESA can provide students with a clear path when transitioning through their educational journeys.
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”