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FOCUS ON: MESA Program (Transcript)

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The Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement Program offers academic support to K-12 students in preparation for college admission. The program, a joint effort made possible by Sacramento State and UC Davis, works to help disadvantaged students find success in school, in the community and in their future careers.

(Narrator:) This is “Focus” from the campus of Sacramento State.

(MESA Program Instructor:) “Should you write with passion? Absolutely.”

(Jim Finnerty reporting): The class takes place at Sacramento State, but these are high school students in a unique program here helping them prepare for college.

(Patricia Sanchez, MESA Program Participant): “For me, the hardest thing is just being able to organize my ideas.”

(Finnerty:) Patricia Sanchez is one of 30 students focused on improving their college entrance test scores.  Devaughn Brazier is another.

(Devaughn Brazier, MESA Program Participant:) “It benefits me because I’ve already seen improvement in my writing scores and my math scores. I’m looking to be a computer engineer so this is kind of helping me to figure out exactly what I want to do in engineering.”

(Finnerty:) The classes are a cooperative venture between Sacramento State and UC Davis and are part of what’s called the MESA program. 

(Emir Jose Macari, Dean of Engineering, Sacramento State:) “What the MESA program does is to look at under-served populations that have not been reached in the past to become engineers, mathematicians and scientists of the future.”
(Finnerty:) For some of these students, their academic support in the program began in elementary school, others joined in middle school or high school. 

(Gary Ford, Ph.D. Professor, Univ. California Davis:) “It’s quite challenging. In most cases, in many cases, these are first generation college-going students. So they and the families are  not familiar with college at all.”

(Sanchez:) “I want to make my parents proud of me and I want to repay them for what they’ve done. So I definitely, it would be great especially if I could get into the college of my choice.”

(Finnerty:) Testing preparatory classes like this would be cost prohibitive for many of these students. It’s hoped that programs like this will take these students into higher education.

(Dean Macari:) “I’m a huge believer in opening door and opportunities because I know if we do it in the right way, people are going to step up.”

(Finnerty:) This is Jim Finnerty Reporting.

(Narrator:) For more information on this and other news from Sacramento State, visit our website.

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