The University of South Florida (USF) was selected to host a chapter of the Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) Schools Program, an academic program that supports underserved students and helps them excel in science,
technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
MESA, which launched in 1969 as a pre-college intervention and solutions program in California, is an award-winning program that creates STEM academic and career pathways for students from minority populations. To date, the program has served more than 49,000 students from over 350 school districts across the country. USF will be the first institution to host a chapter of the program in Florida.
“We envision a more equitable country where underrepresented students of color are empowered to achieve their dreams through mastery of STEM disciplines to create prosperity in our communities,” said Dwight Carr, EdD, chair of MESA USA and executive director of the Maryland MESA chapter. “On behalf of MESA USA, we welcome the University of South Florida and Florida MESA as new national partners that will help us to achieve our mission and help us to move closer toward our vision of a more equitable STEM ecosystem for today’s students.”
The USF team, led by College of Education Dean R. Anthony Rolle, PhD, and STEM Education Professor David Rosengrant, EdD, will work with schools across the Tampa Bay area to attract underrepresented populations, such as women and minorities, to career opportunities in STEM fields, including teaching roles in related subject areas. Students in the program will have access to STEM enrichment activities, mentorship programs and career shadowing opportunities.
“As a California MESA graduate, I am very excited to develop a program at USF that continues to provide academic, economic and social justice opportunities for students of color, young women and low-income students,” Rolle said. “The opportunities and pathways that the USF MESA Program will create as the program matures will be instrumental in pathway support for both future STEM students and educators in STEM subjects.”
USF’s chapter will launch at the St. Petersburg campus and grow to include additional campuses in the future. The project team’s first year of activities will include curriculum development and onboarding staff to lead the chapter’s partnerships with local schools.
“We are incredibly excited the USF St. Petersburg campus will be the initial host for MESA,” Rosengrant said. “With our emphasis on STEM education, a growing technology and innovation district in downtown St. Petersburg and expanding technology labs in education on the campus, it is the ideal location to initiate this program.”
USF’s chapter of the MESA Program is expected to open its admissions application next school year. For more information, please contact David Rosengrant at firstname.lastname@example.org.