Mesa Community College receives Hispanic Serving Institution STEM grant

MESA, Arizona – March 25, 2022 – Mesa Community College receives a five year, $4.3 million, federally funded Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) STEM grant to increase enrollment, retention and completion rates of Hispanic and low-income students pursuing degrees in STEM fields.

As a newly designated HSI, “MCC is committed to improving success rates of marginalized students and developing an organizational culture reflecting our diverse student population,” said MCC Center for Teaching and Learning Educational Support Faculty Megan Garvy, Ed.D. “Our Hispanic student enrollments have increased by nearly 7% since 2016 yet there is a significant difference in the number of Hispanic students who are earning awards compared to other student groups at the college. If we aim to elevate the economic and social status of the community, the gap between Hispanic student enrollments and awards needs to close.”

The HSI STEM grant offers a roadmap and the funding to pursue additional Hispanic enrollments and implement programs and activities to elevate the experience and outcomes of Hispanic students and other MCC students. Key activities for the grant include expanding tutoring, internships and undergraduate research for the target population and expanding a signature concurrent enrollment early college program.

One of the programs the grant is enhancing is the MCC Early College Academy (ECA), developed in partnership with Mesa Public Schools. The program currently serves students from Mountain View, Skyline and Red Mountain High Schools at MCC’s Red Mountain Campus. The HSI STEM grant supports the expansion of the program to serve students from Dobson, Westwood and Mesa High Schools at MCC’s Southern and Dobson Campus. “The ECA at the Southern and Dobson Campus will be mostly taught by bilingual faculty,” Garvy explains. “Students and instructors will be encouraged to build on their linguistic resources for more effective learning and the curriculum will be refined to include courses reflecting the cultural identity of many of the anticipated students.” The expansion adds capacity to serve 75 new students during the Fall 2022 semester and approximately 25 new student enrollments each academic year.

In addition, the HSI STEM grant enables MCC to enhance its Maricopa-Arizona State University Pathways Program (MAPP). MAPP students take coursework to earn an associate degree at MCC meeting all requirements to transfer to a specified major at Arizona State University. Students receive hands-on learning opportunities like lab experiments, internships, tutoring, academic advisement and mentoring to ensure preparedness to continue their STEM education at the university.

Grant funding requires MCC to separate its institutional data by race and ethnicity to investigate the experience and outcomes of all students and engage in new educational practices to close identified gaps. It also provides for the provision of individualized counseling and services to counter the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on students’ mental health and academic outcomes.

HSI STEM helped launch the MCC Education Studies department’s implementation of Full STEAM Ahead clubs on several Mesa Public Schools middle school campuses to strengthen interest in STEM teaching careers. “We are partnering with the Mesa Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to offer a summer camp for eighth graders to also explore STEM fields and are working with the MCC undergraduate research committee to implement a summer research institute,” Garvy said. “The STEM activities will be leveraged to increase student interest and success in STEM fields which includes pursuing a degree to become a future STEM teacher.”

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Media contact: Dawn Zimmer, or 480-461-7892

Mesa Community College is nationally recognized for university transfer, career and technical programs, civic engagement, service-learning and innovative approaches to education. On average MCC students provide 23,000 hours of community service annually. For more than 50 years, the college has served as a resource for education, workforce development and lifelong learning. Host to more than 25,400 students annually, MCC offers degree and certificate programs at its two campuses and additional locations through a combination of modalities. MCC is transforming how it champions student success through Guided Pathways with Integrated Support Services and a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. MCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution with nearly 50% of its students being the first in their families to attend college. MCC has the largest indigenous student population of all the Maricopa Community Colleges; its American Indian Institute serves students from the 22 federally recognized Arizona tribes as well as out-of-state tribes. The diverse student body includes hundreds of international students from around the world. Award-winning faculty are dedicated to student success, providing the education and training that empowers MCC students to attain their goals. Located in the East Valley of Phoenix, Arizona, on the traditional territories of the O'odham, Piipaash and Yavapai Peoples, MCC is one of 10 colleges in the Maricopa County Community College District. Visit to learn more.

Mesa Community College is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) --

The Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) is an EEO/AA institution and an equal opportunity employer of protected veterans and individuals with disabilities. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or national origin. A lack of English language skills will not be a barrier to admission and participation in the career and technical education programs of the District. MCCCD does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, disability or age in its programs or activities. For Title IX/504 concerns, call the following number to reach the appointed coordinator: (480) 731-8499. For additional information, as well as a listing of all coordinators within the Maricopa College system, visit

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Publication Date: 
Friday, March 25, 2022