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The Five Year Evolution of a MESA Program

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Two-Year College Division Transfer Topics Part II

Tagged Division

Two Year College Division

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1199.1 - 23.1199.10



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Paper Authors


Dan G. Dimitriu San Antonio College

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Dr. Dan G. Dimitriu has been practicing engineering since 1970 and taught engineering courses concurrently for over 20 years. He has been involved with several engineering societies, most recently as vice-president of the SPE-Central Texas Section. He has been the coordinator of the Engineering Program at San Antonio College since 2001. His research interests are: alternative fuels, fuel cells, plastics, and engineering education.

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Jerry O'Connor San Antonio College

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Jerry O’Connor has been teaching physics (and a few engineering and math) courses since 1980. He is currently Department Chairperson, and has persistently supported the integration of findings from physics and engineering education research with education practice.

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The Five Year Evolution of a MESA ProgramAbstractThe first MESA Center in Texas opened in 2007 and after five years there is a story to be told.MESA, which stands for Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement, is a nationalprogram that originated in California in 1970. Its purpose is to support educationallydisadvantaged students throughout the education pipeline to excel in math and science and go onto attain degrees in the fields of engineering, science and mathematics.In 2005 a grant program was funded by Hewlett-Packard to expand MESA from California toother states and our college presented a strong proposal. However, at that time the college wasunable to provide a dedicated space for a Center in which students could congregate and we werenot funded. Over the next two years we continued to pursue the required space, and after finallyprocuring an underutilized classroom we became one of the few community colleges invited tojoin MESA as a non-funded affiliate of the program. Since its inception in the spring of 2007,the MESA Program has made a substantial contribution to the success of our engineeringprogram.Once our MESA Center was established, it soon became apparent why this space was a criticalcomponent of the MESA Program. It has served as a focal point for student study groups and acentral location for promoting student scholarships, engineering design competitions, internships,and summer undergraduate research opportunities. The Center has been host to tutoring sessionsfor difficult courses, student success seminars, resume writing and job search workshops, as wellas meetings of several science and engineering oriented student organizations on our campus.The Center has also served as a forum for presentations by faculty and student researchers,university recruiters, and practicing professionals from our area.This paper will present an analysis of our experience with the challenges encountered and theencouraging results of the first five years of the MESA Program at our community college, aswell as offer recommendations and outline future plans.

Dimitriu, D. G., & O'Connor, J. (2013, June), The Five Year Evolution of a MESA Program Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22584

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