Welcome to the American Indian Institute (AII) at Mesa Community College (MCC)! We are very pleased to be an important part of the Mesa learning community, so accommodating the needs of our American Indian students is our highest priority.

All 22 indigenous nations in Arizona are represented here, as well as countless other tribes throughout the country, and we love and appreciate the diversity and intelligence each student brings to our campus. Additionally, we wish to acknowledge that our school lies on the ancestral lands of the Salt-River Pima and Gila River Indian tribes.

As we are only guests here we encourage you to be thankful and respectful for the space we have been given to build and develop our learning environment and grow our AIC family within their community.  We look forward to seeing you here and giving you our best.

The purpose of the AII is to serve as an academic and social resource to all American Indian students while assisting to minimize the cultural distance sometimes associated when transitioning from one’s home area to a large urban community college and city environment like the Phoenix metro area.

Our center is a place of support, both academically and socially, as we serve to encourage, strengthen, and retain the largest population of American Indian students in the Maricopa Community College District. We hope that when you arrive you feel that you are indeed part of a student-centered family environment and we encourage you to meet and interact with a diverse group of students to share in a camaraderie that is genuinely unique to indigenous people, binding us together regardless of tribe or nation. 

Our office has evolved to work closely with a number of other student support units within MCC’s learning community.  As a result we can provide students with important ‘one-stop’ information relating to a number of departments including Financial Aid and Scholarships, Admissions, Student Life, Honors, and Athletics.

However, we also encourage you to visit each of those offices on your own to further understand how the college operates and relates to you individually. Additionally, should we be unable to answer your questions we will ensure that someone within our network of partners at MCC can assist us to best help you in your academic progress.

We can assist you in planning and meeting your academic goals and help you choose the classes necessary to complete a wide range of certificates or associate’s degrees and/or transferring to a four-year institution.

Whether you are a current Mesa Thunderbird or would like to become one, the AII at MCC is the place to help you get started. Additionally, while we value classroom learning to prepare for one’s future we also foster and encourage student leadership and personal growth through collaboration with many community groups.

AII students have worked with MCC’s Intertribal Student Organization (ISO) to partner with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, Intertribal Council of Arizona, Gila River Youth Programs, UNITY, and a number of other groups to enhance their leadership and sense of community involvement as a means to supplement their classroom learning.

This experience has helped countless students learn to lead, think critically, and question things while enhancing their ability to problem solve and learn compassion for the individuals they serve. 

Please come and introduce yourselves to our staff.  Our office is located in building AD42 room 25 and we are excited to meet you. We hope that you become involved this academic year (2014-15) in all of the activities that are being planned:  Native Welcome, Speaker Series with Marcus Briggs-Cloud and Dr. Lee Bitsui, Miss Native MCC, Native Talent Night, Indigenous Nations month and Mary Rose Tso in November which culminates in the AII/ISO feast, as well as a number of other events are in the works.

We encourage you to bring your strengths, ideas, and interests to join the AII family at Mesa Community College.