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Taft College MESA (Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement) Program and Services


Welcome to the Taft College MESA Program and Services!

Established more than 40 years ago, California Community College Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement (MESA) Programs help underserved and underrepresented students majoring in calculus-based STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) fields who seek to transfer to a four-year institution.

For STEM Students Focused on a Four-Year Degree 

  • Get the deep support you need and the inside industry info you want!
  • Enhance your educational experience while completing the first two years of your bachelor's degree.
  • Meet new friends with similar academic and career interests.
  • MESA member services include a welcoming STEM learning community, a space to study, books, and more.
  • We offer tutoring, workshops, and opportunies outside the campus.

Our Taft College MESA Program Director is Here to Assist You

Program Director: José  Valadez
Office Phone: 661-763-7776
MESA Location: E-Tech 1

The Benefits of Joining MESA

TUTORING – Maintain your understanding of coursework and top academic grades. MESA has tutors available who can help you in your math and science classes, as well as other classes.
WORKSHOPS – Get professionally prepared. The MESA Program hosts special workshops during the year.  Get help with your personal statement, resume, and financial aid counseling.
INTERNSHIPS – Get plugged into your field. For summer research opportunities, the MESA team works closely with each participant, helping you to find and apply for positions. 
SCHOLARSHIPS – The MESA team searches available scholarship opportunities and sends you the information.
TOURS – MESA students are invited to tour universities, labs, and businesses during the year.
CONFERENCES – MESA students attend local and national conferences each year.
PARTNERS – The MESA Program builds relationships with supportive partners and industry professionals throughout the Taft College region. 
RECOMMENDATIONS – For internships and scholarships, active MESA participants often find their MESA Director is available as a Recommender for some of their most important applications.

MESA Program Responsibilities; Student Learning Outcomes and Expectations 

  • STEM Counseling support throughout the academic year to facilitate your transfer goal to a four-year university.
  • Career advising and support.
  • Financial resources for STEM students.
  • Academic and nonacademic advising through Personal Success Plan and Progress Report Card when facing academic and life challenges.
  • Academic Support Services via Academic Excellence Workshops (AEW), Group Study Sessions (GSS), and Tutoring in core math and science courses to strengthen your academic skills and help you learn to collaborate with your peers.
  • Enrichment opportunities including professional development activities such as summer research, field trips, leadership retreats, STEM conferences, and volunteering opportunities, among others. 

Participate Even if You Are Not a MESA Student Through the ASEM Program

ASEM (Achievement in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics) Program members are "Friends of MESA.” For those students who are not fully eligible to be MESA students, the ASEM Program enables them to participate in all MESA programming. See MESA Eligibility in the section below. The only limitation for ASEM students is that we are not able to fund out-of-state student conferences or provide stipends. 

ASEM students must meet one of our two major eligibilities:

  • Option 1- Be First Generation and STEM Major
  • Option 2- Demonstrate Financial Need and STEM Major

MESA Application, FAQs, Opportunities, and More

  • Applicant Checklist
    1. Submit Application - Via email (Online Application coming!)
    2. Student Contract  -  Via email
    3. Submit Proof of Financial Need - Via email
    4. Submit Transcript (unofficial)  - Via email
    5. Submit 3-Year Educational Plan - Via email
  • Application Dates and Student Responsibilities

    • Submit your MESA Application by (contact Program Director).
    • Submit a Personal Statement and Resume to MESA by (contact Program Director).
    • Maintain active MESA membership for your academic, professional, and career development and to set clear priorities to achieve success. 
    • Enroll in at least 12 units every semester including at least one mathematics or science course. If you fall below 12 units, you will have to submit an email to MESA explaining your situation and interest in remaining an active member. 
    • Maintain good academic standing and work to maintain/exceed a 3.0 overall GPA. 
    • Attend MESA AEW/GSS/Tutoring sessions that support mathematics and science courses. 
    • Contact the MESA Director, Counselor, or staff at the first sign of a poor grade, problems or trouble related to school, home, finances, or other impactful issues. 
    • Plan to transfer within three years of joining the MESA Program.

  • Application Form
  • Eligibility for MESA
    • Be U.S. Citizen, permanent resident, Dreamer, or DACA.
    • Majoring in mathematics, engineering, or science-based field major requiring calculus.
    • Have a 2.5 or higher GPA.
    • Intend to transfer to a four-year college.
    • Enrolled in selected mathematics course (check with Program Director).
    • No previous bachelor’s degree.
    • Demonstrate financial need by receiving financial aid.
    • First-generation college student.
    • Declare a calculus-based major (minimum of one semester required) in STEM (science, technology, engineering, or mathematics) fields.
  • Events
    Watch for MESA Program Events on the Taft College Homepage/Events; or contact us; or see our events posted in the MESA Student Center.
  • MESA Office Hours
    MESA Fall and Spring Office Hours:
    (Friday schedule subject to change. Please check your student Canvas page for updates.)
    MESA Summer Hours:
    (Friday schedule subject to change. Please check your student Canvas page for updates.)
  • Professional Development Opportunities
    • Student Professional Development: We plan to provide opportunities so you can attend upcoming conferences in a virtual platform. Some opportunities may offer in-person attendance.
    • Professional Workshops: Receive support to create your resume and statement with MESA Program workshops. 
    • Internship and Scholarship Opportunities: Many resources are available through the MESA Program, and new opportunities are continually added.
    • Work Site Visits: MESA students may visit labs and work sites in the region. Visits may be limited based on availability of faculty, industry, and other factors during the semester.
  • Tutoring and Workshops

    The MESA Center offers tutoring to all MESA and ASEM students. Please check semester tutoring schedules, which are based on tutors’ availability.
    Tutoring is offered for the following:

    Academic Excellence Workshops:
    Every semester, facilitator-led group study sessions with other MESA students are offered.