MESA, Arizona -- April 5, 2021 – Mesa Mayor John Giles and Mesa Community College Interim President Lori M. Berquam, Ph.D., announce that the first Mesa College Promise eligible high school graduates will receive funding to attend MCC beginning with the fall 2021 semester. Each student accepted into the program will have their own academic advisor, a Promise orientation plus career and financial aid advising. Also, students receive all the free MCC services such as tutoring, parking, counseling, job skill assistance and the food pantry.
The Mesa College Promise is a commitment from the City of Mesa to residents that eligible graduating high school students, who reside in Mesa, may apply to attend MCC for two years with Arizona resident tuition and fees fully funded.
This flagship program within the Maricopa Community Colleges covers tuition and fees remaining after funds from the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) or other scholarships are applied. Eligibility includes a 2.0 or better high school GPA and Mesa residency. Full details, criteria and applications are available at mesacc.edu/mesa-promise.
“The pandemic is affecting everyone, including the students toiling to complete high school online. I’m pleased we’re able to offer the Mesa College Promise program to some of these extraordinary students -- our future Thunderbirds,” said MCC Interim President Lori Berquam, Ph.D. “The combined efforts of the City of Mesa, businesses, teachers, parents and caregivers to support the future of these students is commendable. Our goal is to be the source of possibilities, whether it is earning credentials to enter the workforce, an associate’s degree or transfer credits to a university. We are opening doors for the next generation of community college learners.”
Introduced in Mayor Giles’ 2020 State of the City address, the Mesa College Promise program was recommended by the city’s Mesa Achieves Higher Education Task Force on which MCC leadership served along with representatives from the city, businesses and community organizations. Mesa College Promise addresses another task force recommendation, which is that the City of Mesa joins more than 40 government entities and 1,000 business and education organizations in adopting the state Achieve60 goal that by 2030, 60% of Arizonans will have earned post-secondary credentials.
“Many of the outstanding corporations and industries who have chosen to move to Mesa shared they did so because of our skilled employees and educational opportunities,” said Mayor Giles. “Expanding and continuing to educate our workforce is vital to attract future industry. In addition to government grants and funding, businesses and corporations are contributing to the Promise program. It’s a win-win investment in skilled, educated employees and leaders. Mesa is proud to be the first in Arizona and one of nearly 50 nationally to offer a college promise program.”
The City of Mesa leads the charitable commitment with a financial promise of $100,000. Mayor Giles issued a challenge to businesses and philanthropists to match $100,000. Donors to the Maricopa County Community College District Foundation continue to rise to this challenge – building a base to support and grow this transformational program. Student funding is awarded through the Foundation and made possible through the generous contributions of more than 10 businesses and individuals and federal CARES act funding.
“I invite others in the community to step up and donate to Mesa College Promise as well,” said Mayor Giles.
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The Maricopa County Community College District Foundation (MCCF) was established in 1977 as the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization designated by the Maricopa County Community College District to receive and manage gifts on behalf of its 10 colleges. We boldly impact the community through innovative and strategic partnerships for the growth and benefit of the Maricopa Community Colleges, its students, faculty, and staff. Visit mcccdf.org to learn more.
Mesa Community College is nationally recognized as an Aspen Prize Top 150 U.S. Community College and is known for service learning, career and technical programs, civic engagement and innovative approaches to education. For more than 50 years, the college has served as a resource for career readiness, transfer education, workforce development and lifelong learning. Host to more than 30,000 students annually, MCC offers degree and certificate programs at its two campuses, additional locations and a combination of online formats. Through Guided Pathways with Integrated Support Services and a commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, MCC is transforming how it champions student success, college completion, university transfer and career attainment and advancement. MCC is a Hispanic Serving Institution and nearly 50% of its students are the first in their families to attend college. Its American Indian Institute serves students from the 22 federally recognized tribes of Arizona as well as out-of-state tribes. MCC has the largest indigenous student population of all the Maricopa Community Colleges. The diverse student body includes more than 300 international students from 55 countries. Award-winning faculty are dedicated to student success, providing the education and training that empowers MCC students to successfully transfer to a university or compete in the workforce. 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 mesacc.edu to learn more.
MCC is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), hlcommission.org.
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 www.maricopa.edu/non-discrimination.