Campus: CSU Chico -- August 20, 2004

Mathematics, Engineering and Science Program Receives $389,596 for Scholarships

The California State University, Chico Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) Program has received $389,596 from the National Science Foundation for scholarships to engineering/math and computer science students. The program is part of the College of Engineering, Computer Science and Technology.

The Computer Science Engineering Mathematics Scholarship proposal submitted by program director Paul Villegas will provide 29 students with $12,500 each over four years. This is the fourth NSF-funded scholarship program, and it brings the total scholarship awards to more than $1 million.

The scholarships are open to all students majoring in engineering, computer science, engineering technology and mathematics as long as they demonstrate financial need. If a student receives a scholarship, he or she is also eligible for services provided by the MESA Engineering Program (MEP).

MEP provides supplemental instruction, tutorial programs, academic workshops and academic advising. This framework of services has kept students in school and enabled them to excel.

The high quality of the support services has resulted in a retention rate of 95 percent, one of the highest in the nation. Ninety-two percent of the recipients either have received jobs after graduating or have gone on to graduate school.

“We were one of the few programs in the nation to be renewed that currently has an award,” said Villegas. “I am proud that NSF has confidence in our ability to manage two of these projects simultaneously. It shows that they think highly of our reputation to serve students and provide a quality education. Such an honor reflects highly on our institution.”

Dean Ken Derucher, College of Engineering, Computer Science and Technology, said, “The Mesa Engineering Program at CSU, Chico has excelled in obtaining scholarship aid for underrepresented students and economically disadvantaged students in engineering, math and science. These scholarships go a long way in providing students with the opportunities to obtain a degree in engineering, math and science that they might not have had. To this end we in the college are pleased that the National Science Foundation and various other donors have recognized the quality programs that we possess at Chico State and that they have provided the needed assistance to many of our worthy students.”

The MESA Engineering Program has been around over two decades and has assisted hundreds of students in obtaining technical degrees from the College of Engineering, Computer Science and Technology.

Contacts: Kathleen McPartland, 530-898-4260
Paul Villegas, MESA,530-898-4017

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