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IVC Receives 1.6 million to Launch MESA Program


Imperial Valley College has received a grant of more than $1.6 million from the California Community College Chancellors’ office to improve opportunities for students to transfer to four-year colleges and universities for majors in calculus-based science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

The grant, which runs through the 2026-27 academic year, is designed to help underserved and underrepresented students. The program, named the California Community College Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA), was established 40 years ago.

IVC’s grant is programmed to spend $428,576 this current academic year and $280,000 each of the next four academic years. It also received $101,560 in the 2021-22 academic year for MESA.

Victor Torres, IVC’s associate dean of workforce development and non-traditional instruction, is especially pleased that the program has come to IVC. “I was fortunate to be the founding director of the MESA Schools program in 2004 and always wanted to bring MESA to IVC,” he said. “This grant funding will now help us make it a reality.”

Torres said it is an important bridge for Valley students seeking STEM careers.

“This opportunity is the missing link for local students who wish to pursue a career in STEM fields. It will allow IVC to serve students from our local high schools who participate in the MESA Schools program and also help transition IVC students to four-year universities that have MESA Engineering Programs,” he said.

It allows IVC to establish a MESA Center which is an academic enrichment program that helps educationally underrepresented students to excel in math and science and graduate from college with degrees in math-based fields.

Through the center, IVC’s MESA students will have access to a dedicated student study center, academic excellence workshops, assistance in the transfer process, career advising and internships, field trips to university and industry sites, free tutoring, information and graduate school and scholarship resources.

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