Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement Program (MESA)

Rio Hondo College
Academic Level
Issue Area
Academic Program
Key Personnel
Program Focus


Established in 2008, Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) provides educationally and economically disadvantaged students with the skills and resources to be successful in school and career in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines.

Program Description

Since Fall 2008, the MESA Program at Rio Hondo College has enabled disadvantaged students to prepare for and graduate from a four-year college or university with a calculus-based degree in STEM. MESA students must declare a major in STEM, intend to graduate with an AA/AS degree and transfer to a four-year institution, and establish an educational plan that includes calculus, physics, chemistry, and/or biology courses. In 2010, the TRiO Student Support Services-STEM Program was implemented in conjunction with the MESA Program since most MESA students are eligible for TRiO services.

Program services include enrichment in mathematics, physics, and chemistry; academic advising by a dedicated counselor; peer group support; priority registration; MESA tutors; help with applications for financial aid, scholarships, four-year schools, and internships. Additionally, students have access to the MESA Center, a place to gather, study, and get information and are provided with networking opportunities through field trips, conferences, and industry mentors. 


Overall, MESA followed 326 (97%) of these students through their enrollment at the four-year institutions (NSCH data) and the outcomes are as follows:

  • 90% Persistence rate (32% still enrolled and 58% graduated with bachelor’s degree.) 
  • 92% of degrees earned are in STEM

2019-2020 Data:

  • 86.5% Latinx (135 of 156) participants
  • 95% Fall to fall persistence
  • 35% Three-year transfer rate for first-time freshmen in STEM, compared to 11% for all Rio Hondo freshmen. 
  • Transfer rate of over 70% within 4 -years in the program

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