AACC_MinMaleRetProgs: MESA Community College Program - Washington MESA, WA-MCCP

Program Name

MESA Community College Program - Washington MESA, WA-MCCP 


Veronica Guajardo 

First Name


Last Name


Contact Title

Asst.Director, MESA Community College Program 


MESA Community College Program 


University of Washington, OMA&D 

Address 2

394 Schmitz Hall, Box 355845 











Phone Ext




Program URL


Program Description

Organization INFO: Washington MESA is an educational pipeline program that provides enriching opportunities in math, engineering, science, & technology (STEM) for underrepresented students in grades K-16 by offering exemplary materials, innovative curriculum, university preparedness, leadership development and highly engaging instructional approaches and teacher training, in an effort to provide educational excellence and equity, as well as achievement gap closure, through partnerships in higher education, school districts, industry and business, government, community organizations, families, and alumni.

PROGRAM INFO (for THIS submission)
WA MESA COMMUNITY COLLEGE PROGRAM (MCCP)http://wamesa1.squarespace.com/

MESA Community Colleges Programs (MCCP) is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to launch programs across Washington state that offer on-site direct student services to African American, Native American, Latino, and Pacific Islander community college students majoring in a STEM (science, technology, engineering, & mathematics) field, so they may excel academically and transfer successfully into four-year institutions. Through partnerships with community colleges, the University of Washington, Washington State University, and corporations, MCCP seeks to address the urgent need to increase the pool of diverse technical talent that will grow the economy of Washington State and address the national deficit of Underrepresented Minority Students (URM) STEM graduates. The addition of community college services to existing MESA pre-college programs provides an academic pathway to underrepresented in STEM fields today.

Program Services

Academic Advising; Cohort Study Sessions; Leadership and Professional Development 

Program Start Month


Program Start Year


Current Number of Students


Program Initiated

This is a project originally from the California MESA Program, NEW to our state (WA), and funded by a National Science Foundation. http://mesa.ucop.edu/.  

Now, several state have MESA Community College Programs, most of which are stand-alone and do not have the central infrastructure like Washington State.
Key Initial Idea for Program: The Community College is an untapped and underfunded source of Underrepresented Minority (URM) students who seek to enter the STEM professions. These students can equally successful give the support of 1) Advising, 2) Funding, 3) Academic structured support and tutoring, 4) Transfer Assistance, 5) Student Professional Development, 6) and Orientation to STEM.  To affect the national deficit of URM STEM talent, CC students MUST be supported, mentored, and considered an integral and vital part of the educational pathway and continuum that will diversify the STEM workforce of America.

Program Funded

National Science Foundation (DUE #0856830) and Community College match.

College President and Administrators Involvement

They are PI's, Co-PI's and are integral the required "institutionalization" process of this project.    All partnering institutions provide letters of support and matching funding.

Program Success Story

Early MESA Alums Still Involved
After being a business owner, vice presidents at major corporations and a retiree by age 40, Kathryn Seabrook Autin checks in twice a month on her friend and former teacher, MESA co-founder Mary Perry Smith. Autin was the youngest of eight siblings who attended Oakland Tech High School. She graduated in 1979 and was the last of her siblings to take a class with Smith.
“MESA helped a lot of students understand that going to the university was part of the plan,” she said.
MESA began in 1970 with Smith and other visionaries, who wanted to develop academic and leadership skills and raise the confidence of California students historically underrepresented in engineering and other math based-fields. Forty years later, Autin and two of her brothers, Karl and Eric Seabrook, also MESA alums, escorted Smith to a reception honoring her and other MESA founders during the program’s 40th anniversary year. Autin said Smith’s commitment to her students never wavered. “. . . some of the kids were homeless at the time, so for (Smith) to be able to keep those types of kids focused and keep them studying and survive, that takes a special person,” she said. Autin said that MESA taught her how to focus, prioritize and understand difficult concepts through group study and collaboration. She and her brothers would study on UC Berkeley’s campus after dinner while they were still high school students. “That’s incredible collaboration and dedication for 15 and 16 year olds, which is what MESA did,” she said. That focus prepared her for the challenge of earning an electrical engineering degree from the University of Southern California.
“I saw students who didn’t have that foundation and they struggled. It wasn’t a cake walk for me, but I was more grounded and understood the consequences I think more than students who didn’t have MESA.”
Autin went on to work for companies including Bank of America and Visa, before starting her own consulting business. It was so successful she retired at 40, but decided to work again when Oracle courted her to be their director of global operations. She evaluates technology and products related to mergers and acquisitions. One of Autin’s brothers, Eric Seabrook, is the vice president for The Phillips Group, a building code consultant company. He said his interest in buildings was piqued during a MESA field trip to a San Francisco building with a floor that rotated. For Seabrook, MESA provided focus and exposure.
“That exposure to industry is probably the essential part of getting me ahead in my career,” he said. “It helped me make a decision early.”
Created at 8/5/2011 3:49 PM  by System Account 
Last modified at 8/16/2011 11:48 AM  by KEVIN CHRISTIAN 
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