“Just apply, and let us figure out everything else,” says Rafael Alvarez, coordinator of the MESA (Math Engineering and Science Achievement) Program located in the newly remodeled L building here at City College.
Students are piling into crowded classrooms this semester with higher ratios of students to a lowered number of teachers and classroom availability. This in itself is adding a huge load of stress on campus. In difficult majors such as math and science, one-on-one time between student’s and teacher’s can often be crucial to the student’s livelihood. Likewise, the option to be able to ask questions during class to thoroughly understand the material is, hands down, part of the intense learning process.
When an anonymous student participating in the MESA program was asked how it helped them, they said, “It’s tough out there financially. If it weren’t for MESA having my books on reserve and offering me the free tutoring assistance I need, I am not sure if I would be able to do it on my own. A lot of the student’s are feeling the economic crisis hit close to home, as well as here on campus. MESA definitely helps in that area.”
The MESA program has been around since fall of 2000; however it has just relocated to a more beneficial facility.
“With the new technology in this building we can better assist our students. We have a larger area, plenty of computers and more tools to assist students, ” Alvarez said. ” The new building is great because we are getting more attention. We are getting student’s popping their heads in asking what the building and program has to offer.” The new buildings have provided more awareness.
Those who qualify for the MESA program must be in math 96 or above, be a math, science, or engineering major, and must be receiving the BOG waiver or other forms of financial aid.
“In our new building, we offer a place for students to receive tutoring, participate in group study sessions, check out required books from their classes and check out laptops. There is faculty with office hours, and they can rent lockers. MESA has couches in the building because it is part of the culture-we want it to feel like home. Alvarez said, “The greatest tool students will find here, though, is each other.”
This is a place where students can meet other students in their classes and fields of interests. The faculty keeps track of each of the student’s classes and gives them a list of who they can meet in their classes so they can set up study dates or even find lifelong friends. It also allows these students to get scholarships, internships, work experience, provide connections and networking, and allow exposure in the industry.
Aside from all these services, students are gaining even more from the MESA program.
According to student Nick Troast, “The Bullet Point Reading strategy has helped me in my studying habits.”
The BPR is a main study tool that MESA pushes. It teaches a new approach to condensing overwhelming chapters and making students familiar with (but not experts on) topics they will learn in future lectures.
MESA is located on the first floor of the L building, across from the A buildings. There are staff at the front desk waiting in anticipation to help students with their questions, needs, and concerns.