MESA Schools Program
The MESA Schools program serves mostly middle and senior high school students (some sites offer services to elementary schools) and is administered through local centers, located on university campuses, that partner with area school districts. The main program components of the MSP model include:
- MESA Day Academies where students follow MESA developed curriculum that reinforce California Math and Science Standards to build hands-on projects bringing lessons learned in the classroom to reality. Students enter these projects in rigorous local competitions; winners advance to regional, and in some instances, national competitions.
- MESA Periods which are classes, taught during the regular school day, dedicated to highlighting engineering, science, and mathematical theory and practice. MESA Advisors, school site teachers selected by the MESA Center, work with students in these classes to build academic attainment, peer groups, and confidence so that students graduate high school University of California eligible.
- SAT/PSAT training offering additional resources and support to prepare students for these important tests.
- Study Skills training offer students information about developing the most effective techniques for academic success.
- Career and college exploration to bring students in contact with guest speakers from university campuses and working in industry as well as field trips to various industry sites and college campuses.
- Incentive awards designed to acknowledge outstanding academic achievement and leadership.
- Parent leadership, training teaching parents about advocacy skills and leadership.
- Teacher training initiatives developed for school sites teachers that expand and improve learning not just for MESA students, but also across schools.
MESA students perform well when compared with non-MESA students. 77% complete Algebra by the 10th grade, allowing more time to take college preparatory classes. 54% of MESA graduates fulfilled the "A-G" requirements for University of California and California State University admission, compared with 34% of California seniors. Of MESA graduates, 60% go on to attend postsecondary institutions and major in math, science, or engineering. Of high school seniors who are African American, Latino, and American Indian, 41% are eligible for admission to a UC campus. This eligibility rate is much higher than the statewide rate of 6% for these groups.
Pacific MESA Center
Established in 1993, and located within the University of the Pacific School of Engineering and Computer Science, Pacific MESA Center's MSP program serves eight hundred 4th - 12th grade students per year. Providing all of the MESA program components, Pacific MESA Center also offers students a Saturday Academy where students attend math and science workshops, from October through February, utilizing the School of Engineering's facilities. Additionally, the Center offers students an opportunity to compete in Quiz Bowl, a Jeopardy type event, focused on math, science, and engineering concepts as well as test themselves via the Go Figure Math Challenge in collaboration with Sandia National Laboratories. Other unique services include, Shadow Day, where high school seniors attend the university and "shadow" an enrolled student in engineering; Senior Retreat, where both students and parents are given information as well as assistance filling out college applications and financial aid forms; and the Parent Conference designed to assist parents with understanding the importance of academic attainment within math-based fields. In 2000, Phi Delta Kappa recognized Pacific MESA Center for its "Outstanding Contribution of Education." In 2007, the Center was featured by PBS as an innovative solution to improving math and science education for pre-college students in, The Inventors: Designing the Future, a documentary that aired nationally.