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Frequently Asked Questions

Washington MESA FAQ

Teens in green MESA Day t-shirts and badges pose in front of a MESA backdrop

Washington MESA FAQ

The Washington Mathematics, Engineering, Science Achievement (MESA) program is an educational pathway program administered by the University of Washington and established by the Washington State legislature to provide enrichment and access opportunities to science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs for historically underrepresented students of color and women.

Primarily, we’re bringing more accountability to the program, along with more guided pathways to success and alternative routes for our students to find that success. Our mission to give a voice and opportunities to diverse student populations hasn’t changed. What has changed is how we achieve that mission.

Simply put, times change—and so do the needs of students and teachers. Our program has been redesigned to help us be more aligned with contemporary challenges and needs. Furthermore, we feel a responsibility to be more accountable to all Washington MESA stakeholders. Accessibility to new data resources will help us do that.

No. We’ve made a significant shift in focus to sixth through twelfth grades, and we’re putting greater emphasis on college and transfer prep programs. By refocusing our support, we can offer more effective help to students and teachers at educational levels in greater need of it.

Our logic model, developed in collaboration with our key stakeholders, helps us operate with clearly defined objectives and activities, bring more program consistency, and provide assistance for students up to the completion of a college degree. The logic model includes data-driven performance metrics to demonstrate the impact of each of those objectives and activities.

Primarily, we’ll be evaluating the number of students who have received STEM credentialing, the number of students who have received STEM degrees, and the number of students who have entered the STEM workforce. Ultimately, we’ll be reviewing metrics that represent every point in our students’ journey through our program. The new data services will replace anecdotal evidence of program success.

We’ve recalibrated study-area certification (aka STEM credentialing) within our Transfer Prep program to create options that go beyond the traditional and narrower STEM model.

As of October 2022, Washington MESA had 2,394 students enrolled in grade school, high school and community college programs. Additionally, Washington MESA is supporting 72 teachers at 53 schools in 20 school districts statewide. We also have programs established in 12 community colleges. Since 1982, more than 40,000 Washington MESA students have enrolled in Washington colleges and universities.

The Washington State legislature awards approximately $1.7 million annually to the Washington MESA program.