Campus: CSU Office of the Chancellor -- December 21, 2001
MESA Program Among Top Five Innovation Leaders in Nation
The California Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program,
which operates on 13 California State University campuses, has been named
one of the five most innovative public programs in the country. MESA won
the award following a nationwide competition sponsored by the Ford Foundation,
the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and the
Council for Excellence in Government.
The Innovations in American Government award winners were announced at
a press conference held in Washington, D.C. The Innovations competition
identifies public programs that demonstrate outstanding problem- solving
skills and creativity. This year, 1,200 programs were nominated for the
award. MESA's nomination was submitted by Gov. Gray Davis.
The five winning programs were selected by a national committee of prominent
public policy figures including David Gergen, who has held posts under
Presidents Clinton, Reagan, Ford and Nixon; Jack Kemp, former vice presidential
candidate and former secretary of Housing and Urban Development; Lee Hamilton,
former congressional representative; Susan Hammer, former mayor of San
Jose, CA.; Antonia Hernandez, president of the Mexican American Legal
Defense and Educational Fund; David Osborne, author of Reinventing Government;
and Patricia Saiki, former congressional representative.
The winning programs each receive a $100,000 grant.
The CSU campuses hosting the MESA program are Bakersfield, Chico, Fresno,
Fullerton, Long Beach, Los Angeles, Northridge, Pomona, Sacramento, San
Diego, San Francisco, San Jose and San Luis Obispo.
MESA helps more than 32,000 educationally disadvantaged students at pre-college,
community college and university levels to excel in math and science and
graduate with baccalaureates in math-based fields. The program operates
over 90 sites throughout California. Administered by the University of
California, it is a partnership between UC and California State University
campuses, community colleges, school districts, individual schools, education
centers, and the private sector.
"I'm delighted that MESA has been named a winner of the award," said California
Assembly Member and MESA alumnus Tony Cárdenas. "MESA has helped thousands
of our state's young people from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds,
including myself, to attain degrees in math and science fields. The program
proves that with the proper support, students can overcome substantial
barriers to succeed academically."
MESA has a strong track record of success in supporting students academically.
Of MESA high school graduates, 85 percent go on to college, compared with
50 percent of all California high school graduates. In the last three
years, 100 percent of MESA community college students who transferred
to four-year institutions entered a math-based field. Of the nation's
engineering degrees awarded to underrepresented students, over 12 percent
are earned by California MESA graduates.
"Being an Innovations winner is a great honor," said MESA Executive Director
Michael Aldaco. "We've always known that MESA's ability to support student
success was outstanding. It is gratifying for our work to be acknowledged
through such a prestigious national award."