MESA History


Since 1970, MESA’s academic development program has supported educationally disadvantaged students so they can excel in math and science studies and graduate with degrees in engineering, science and technology.

To the extent possible by California law, MESA emphasizes participation by students from groups with low eligibility rates for four-year institutions. MESA is administered by the University of California. The intersegmental program is funded by the state legislature, corporate contributions and grants.

MESA has received national recognition for its success. MESA has been named as one of the most innovative public programs in the country by Innovations in American Government, a project of the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the Ford Foundation. MESA is a winner of the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring. MESA is the largest consortium of programs to receive National Science Foundation scholarships earmarked to support community college students who transfer to four-year institutions.

Many companies work with MESA because they recognize that the program produces urgently-needed math, engineering, science and technology professionals. Companies provide MESA with equipment, technical resources, internships, and volunteers.

MESA education partners include the University of California, the California State University, California Community Colleges, independent colleges and universities, the California Department of Education, community-based education centers, school districts and individual schools.