Frequently Asked Questions

What does MESA/MSP mean?

MESA is the acronym for Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement. MSP is an acronym for MESA Schools Program. The SJSU MESA Site seeks to prepare and motivate educationally disadvantaged students to pursue successfully college-preparatory coursework, promote careers in math & science, and develop their pre-professional & leadership skills.

What is MESA’s background?

The Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) Program was founded in 1970 in California with the goal to enable educationally disadvantaged students to prepare for and graduate from a four-year college or university with a math-based degree in engineering, the sciences, computer science, business or mathematics. A program that focuses on underrepresented students going on to higher education was strongly needed based on the low enrollment of African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans in four year universities/colleges.

What is the San José State University MESA Center’s mission?

To prepare and motivate educationally disadvantaged students to pursue successfully college preparatory coursework, promote careers in math and science, and develop their pre professional and leadership skills.

Who does MESA serve?

MESA serves educationally disadvantaged (first-generation, college-bound) students, and to the extent possible by law, emphasize participation by students from groups with low eligibility rates for four-year colleges.
  • Students with an interest in math and science
  • Students interested in pursuing a college education
  • Students who meet a disadvantage (first-generation college bound)


What does educationally disadvantage mean?

Students who historically have been under-represented in higher education and/or face and disadvantage by attending a low performing school based on Academic Performance Index based on California State Education Board.

What are some indications of educationally disadvantaged?

  • Educational environment at home & school
  • Academic performance
  • Socio-economic status
  • Past participation in similar programs
  • Free or Reduced Lunch Participation

What are San José State University MESA Center’s objectives?

  • To prepare students to be competitively eligible for a 4-year institution.
  • To raise their educational and career expectations.
  • To utilize opportunities and training in acquiring leadership skills.
  • To increase self confidence and motivation.

Does MESA work?

Yes, MESA works! 85% of MESA graduating high school seniors go on to attend college, compared to 55% of all California gratuating high school seniors. 74% of MESA high school graduates go on to four year institutions, compared to 36% of all California high school graduates.

What can MESA do for me?

MESA offers you academic enrichment and career advising assistance, recognition for achievement, leadership skill enhancement, and college/university access information. MESA helps you prepare to be competitively eligible for college.


What will be my responsibility to MESA?

  • Enroll in appropriate Math, Science, and English courses (A-G series).
  • Maintain good academic standards (A minimum semester GPA of 2.88).
  • Participate in regularly scheduled MESA meetings at school.
  • Utilize opportunities offered by the MESA Site such as field trips, MESA Day, Test Prep workshops, and other activities.

How are students recruited into the program?

  • Teacher recommendations based on Educationally Disadvantaged Criteria
  • Feeder school transfers
  • Presentations at school site

What is the SJSU MESA Center Enrollment/Application Form Process?

  • Student completes the Online Registration Form
  • Parent(s)/Guardian(s) complete the Parent Authorization Form provided by the MESA Advisor at the school site.
  • Students returns the Parent Authorization Form to the MESA Advisor.
  • The MESA Site reviews all completed forms with advisor & select students.
  • The MESA Site sends list of accepted students to school-site MESA Advisors


Who are the partner schools and districts of the SJSU MESA Center?

San Jose Unified School District Franklin McKinley School District Morgan Hill Unified School District Campbell Union School District


Contact Info

MESA Schools Program
College of Science DH-241
One Washington Square
San Jose, CA 95192-0099
T: 408.924.3798  |  F: 408.924.4026
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