Making It Happen!
Most universities are too crowded for students to get the attention they need, and for some, this can make the difference between success and failure. Fortunately, at Cal State L.A., students have resources available to them that can help transform an ordinary college experience into a memorable one.
For more than 15 years, Cal State L.A.'s MESA Engineering Program (MEP) has provided an academic support environment specifically designed for disadvantaged students. MEP provides support in mathematics, science, and engineering, and encourages students to succeed through practical application of study skills and shared experience.
As a part of the Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement (MESA) Center, Cal State L.A.'s MEP is a leader among California engineering colleges in graduating underrepresented students in engineering and computer science. The program is driven by the philosophy that academic success is most effectively obtained through a community of student peers who share information, experiences and support. MEP thrives on interaction, requiring students to work together to achieve common academic goals.
But MEP is more than just an accomplished academic program. It provides an environment where students can retreat from the crowd and get a helping hand from advisors who know them by name.
Advisement and Counseling
It's amazing what a little attention will do! Because enrollments skyrocketed to levels never before seen, most universities gave up trying to relate to students individually a long time ago.
Cal State L.A.'s MEP staff understands the enormous difference personal advisement and counseling can make in an education. MEP students can receive one-on-one advisement by appointment or on a drop-in basis. TOP
Academic Excellence Workshops
A key focus of MEP are the mathematics workshops. Designed to ensure that MEP students learn how to study engineering together, the workshops help students build a strong foundation in math. TOP
Services and Resources
MEP is committed to fulfilling the needs of students, and makes important services and resources available to students. One of the most important and widely-used features of MEP is the Student Study Center. Open 24 hours, the Student Study Center is the centerpiece of MEP, providing a location for workshops, tutoring, study groups, and student organization gatherings.
Academic tutoring is another resource available to MEP students. Tutoring is available for students enrolled in mathematics, science, and engineering courses at no cost. TOP
Organizations and Activities
MEP is allied with several student organizations: the Society for Hispanic Engineering and Science Students (SHESS), the National Society for Black Engineers (NSBE), and the Society for Women Engineers (SWE). These and other academic organizations offer MEP students the opportunity to develop and refine their leadership and organizational skills through a variety of activities.
Student can get involved in the award-winning Solar Eagle solar-powered electric vehicle project, student-organized Engineering and Technology Week activities, the "Mini-Baja" car project, and the concrete canoe competition. TOP
Awards and Installation Banquet
Each year, the student members of SHESS, NSBE and SWE sponsor a banquet to celebrate the year's accomplishments, acknowledge the officers who served throughout the year and install the new officers. During the banquet, MEP staff members announce the new scholarship recipients. Students work year-round to coordinate the event and the entire MESA community is invited. TOP
Scholarships and Financial Aid
The staff at MEP recognizes that financial challenges should not get in the way of a motivated student's right to a college education. Because of this, MEP makes a constant effort to get students the necessary financial aid counseling, thus enabling them to concentrate on studying. Hundreds of scholarships go unclaimed every year because students are unaware of their eligibility or simply do not know the money exists. TOP
In recent years, the engineering and technology industries have steadily experienced regrowth, and today, companies are hiring graduates at a record pace. Because the College of Engineering, Computer Science, and Technology keeps close ties with local firms, many companies turn to Cal State L.A. first when looking to hire recent graduates.
MEP stays a step ahead of the process by matching students with internships, part-time jobs, and summer employment within the engineering and technology industries. Many Cal State L.A. MEP alumni have moved on to accept highly sought-after positions in a variety of engineering fields, from aerospace, to environmental, to communications.