Mesa Community College Outreach Center Serving More Community Members than Ever

Posted on February 27, 2013 by Angela Askey

The Mesa Community Outreach Center, housed at the Mesa Community College Downtown Center, provides access to college exploration, career planning, as well as a connection to vital community resources for residents in Mesa and the East Valley.

Over the past year, the Mesa Community Outreach Center has seen a significant increase in the number of community members seeking services.  In January, 2012, over 130 community members were served weekly. This January, 368 community members were served each week.     

The Outreach Center is a member of the National College Access Network, helping community members to obtain a college education through college access and awareness programs, family literacy and community outreach. The staff is dedicated to providing college advisement and information along with college planning workshops and services.

Experts like Dwayne Macintosh, Student Services Specialist, help students with their search for a higher education. Dwayne is available by appointment to meet with individuals to discuss program options, financial aid and MCC enrollment processes. College access services are not just limited to those attending MCC. He will help each person to research the best options for them personally.

Family Literacy assistance is available through English and Spanish GED preparation classes and parent education services. Various workshops such as strategies for college success, financial literacy, funding your college education and career exploration are offered regularly and are free to the community. Additional classes offered in Spanish include nutrition for the family, discovering yourself and goal setting.

GED programs at the Mesa Community Outreach Center are offered for both English and Spanish speakers. In Fall 2012, one Spanish and three English GED courses were offered. Offerings this spring expanded to six English and four Spanish GED courses, with one now being offered at the Red Mountain campus. Forty-two students were enrolled in the English GED program and 15 in the Spanish GED course during the Fall semester. In comparison, over 200 students are enrolled in the English and 100 + in the Spanish GED courses this spring.

Noncredit GED classes are available for Spanish Speakers. The classes, taught by MCC adjunct faculty member Chris Avila, are held on Monday and Wednesday evenings. Through a partnership with English as a Second Language, this class prepares students for level one English courses at MCC.             

Beginning on January 29, 2013, a new GED to MCC program, funded by Mesa Counts on College, was launched as a partnership between Mesa Community College (MCC) and Mesa Public Schools (MPS). This program is designed to increase the college completion rate in the East Valley. The GED to MCC program enrolled 22 students between the ages of 16 and 47. In addition to the traditional GED training, additional class time is used to educate students about financial aid, time management, career re-entry, participating in campus tours and other activities to help students transition to college. The class is offered Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 8:30 am – 12:30 pm.           

In addition to services already discussed, the Center provides Hispanic Community outreach services, community partnerships and resources.

For the past eight years, the Vidas y Valores program has been offered to local high schools. With a majority of students being first generation college students, it is one of the most popular outreach programs. Students participate in campus tours, a professional panel, and discussions about the value of education, process of enrolling, and more. A session for parents has been added to help them understand more about college options.

Through unique partnerships with community agencies like Mesa Counts on College, New Leaf, Family Crisis Center, Boys and Girls Club, Chicano por la Causa, Catholic Charities, and Community Bridges, to name just a few, the Mesa Community Outreach Center is equipped to provide community members with the assistance they may be needing.

For additional information about the Mesa Community Outreach Center and services they offer please call 480-461-6200 or in person at Mesa Community College Downtown Center, 165 North Centennial Way, Suite 101, Mesa, AZ 85201.

About Mesa Community College

Mesa Community College provides outstanding transfer and career and technical programs, workforce development, and life-long learning opportunities to residents of the East Valley area of Phoenix, Arizona. MCC excels in teaching, learning and empowering more than 40,000 students who attend annually to succeed in a local and global community.  Mesa Community College is one of ten colleges that comprise the Maricopa County Community College District.

Please direct media inquiries to Angela Askey at angela.askey@mesacc.edu or Sally Mesarosh at sally.mesarosh@mesacc.edu  or the Office of Institutional Advancement at 480-461-7445.  IA website:  www.mesacc.edu/ia.

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