New MESA center will support students studying science
A Washington Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) grant award will establish a new student center at Edmonds College. The center is one of three new projects at the college funded by National Science Foundation grants.
The 55,000 Washington Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA), grant establishes a student MESA center where low-income, educationally disadvantaged students studying science and seeking to transfer to bachelor’s degree programs will receive additional support services. The grant is expected to be renewed for three years to support the new center.
The center aims to increase the numbers of underrepresented minorities studying science. The college currently enrolls about 600 students in science degree programs including biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, materials science, math, and physics annually. Only 80 of the students are underrepresented minority students.
Many of these students are the first in their families to attend college. These students typically arrive unprepared for college-level math and, due to a lack of social support and information, do not seek out services such as academic advising, financial assistance, or transfer advising which would help them complete degrees and go on to four-year schools. The MESA center at Edmonds College will serve 60 students a year.
Students enrolled in the MESA program will be offered assistance with advising and tutoring, as well as transfer and financial aid information. The center will be located in the Math Center, Mukilteo Hall 206, and include computers, a library of textbooks, and a study room.
The college has hired Rashanah Botley of Lynnwood to direct the program. Botley is an Edmonds College alumna, who has worked as a supervising math tutor and teaching assistant in the college’s math center for the past eight years. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Individual and Family Development at Seattle Pacific University.
“Math, science and engineering are areas that a lot of students struggle with. They can get bogged down remembering what they ‘weren’t good at’ as children,” said Botley. “We’ll identify students in pre-college level math classes, and give them the opportunity to feel like, as adults, they can go for these majors, succeed in them, and transfer successfully to a university. We’ll help them build confidence and put them in the mindset: It’s not about where they’ve come from, but about where they are going and what they can achieve.”
Washington MESA programs aim to help underrepresented students in Washington State achieve their full potential and contribute in the fields of mathematics, engineering, and science. Washington MESA is currently funded by the National Science Foundation.
Other National Science Foundation grants received this summer by Edmonds College
Edmonds College received a $900,000 National Science Foundation grant over three years for Advanced Technological Education to develop curriculum for technician education in additive manufacturing. The National Resource Center for Materials Technology Education, www.materialseducation.org, at Edmonds College will work with RapidTech, at Saddleback College in California, to develop curriculum based on global manufacturing standards.
The goal is to train workers with up-to-date skills in emerging manufacturing industry methods, thereby increasing the number of qualified manufacturing technicians for hire, and making manufacturers in the United States more globally competitive.
In addition, Edmonds College received a $628,253 National Science Foundation grant from the Division of Undergraduate Education to develop curriculum and standards for training Energy Management professionals. Edmonds College in partnership with Cascadia Community College, the Centralia College Center of Excellence for Energy Technology, and Washington State University's Extension Energy Program will work with industry and labor representatives in Washington State to increase the number of trained energy management technicians to meet the state’s projected workforce demands in energy efficiency fields.
Washington MESA (Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement) provides enriching opportunities in mathematics, engineering and science for underrepresented students using exemplary materials and instructional approaches. It is a catalyst and model for educational excellence and equity in partnership with higher education, school districts, industry and business, government, community organizations, families, and alumni.