About MESA

  • "My favorite part of MESA is the fact that I learned more than I ever thought I could." - Yaretzi, 7th Grade
  • "My favorite part of MESA Day is that it brings together tons of bright and driven kids from all over the region." - Max, 12th Grade
  • "The program changed the way I studied, learned, and supported those around me. I never imagined I could ever reach as high as I have." - Katya Echazarreta (Engineering Assistant, NASA Jet Propulsion Lab)
  • "MESA has truly supported me in many ways and is a program that goes above and beyond in helping me to succeed. Thank you MESA!" - Daisy Manivong (Project Engineer, Kiewit)

Cal State East Bay MESA's Mission

To develop all students, especially those from educationally disadvantaged backgrounds, with the knowledge and skills that will enhance their interest and prepare them for professions requiring degrees in engineering, and other mathematics and science-based fields. MESA's success comes from a combination of academic support, hands-on learning, supportive student communities, career preparation, exposure and more.

Locally, MESA functions as a partnership between California State University, East Bay, area schools, school districts, industries, and professional organizations. We serve students in 6th through 12th grades.
Major elements of the program include:

  • Individual Academic Plans (IAP) – Are used for MSP counselors to monitor individual student progress.
  • MESA Day: A day when students compete for awards in hands-on math, science, Engineering and English activities at local and regional levels.
  • Career and College Exploration: Student are given the opportunity through field trips to industry and college sites, opportunities to hear guest speakers from the industry, etc. Provides an opportunity for the student to gain knowledge about different careers.

A Brief History of MESA

  • 1970 - "The MESA program is founded at Oakland Technical High School with 25 students. MESA's goal is to develop academic and leadership skills, raise educational expectations, and instill confidence in California's students historically underrepresented in engineering, physical science, or other math-based fields, in order to increase the number of African American, Latino American and American Indian graduates from a four-year university."
  • 1997 - "MESA adopts a new targeting statement: "MESA serves educationally disadvantaged students and, to the extend possible by law, emphasizes participation by students from groups with low rates of eligibility for four-ear colleges."
  • 2000 - "MESA is honored as one of the nation's top mentoring programs by the Presidential Aware for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (PAESMEM), an award created by the White House and administered by the National Science Foundation."
  • 2010 - "In an updated compendium, Bayer reaffirms MESA as a top national program that supports minorities and girls to achieve in STEM studies."
  • 2020 - "MESA celebrates its 50th anniversary."

Most of MESA's 22,000 students are the first in their familiest to attend college, are low-income, and attend (or attended) low-performing schools. More than 75% of students come from historically underrepresented ethnic groups. Students served by local centers housed at colleges, universities and community sites throughout the state.