Expect More Arizona Features the Mesa Counts on College Access Center
"It’s hard to believe, but the entire city of Mesa (the third largest city in Arizona) is covered by one school district. With more than 64,000 students in grades K-12, there’s no shortage of things to do. But a few years ago, the city recognized that while their students were graduating at high rates, not enough of these youth were continuing onto postsecondary education. And even fewer were finishing.
That’s why Mesa Counts on College was created five years ago. As the umbrella brand for the city’s education initiatives, it means a lot of things to a lot of people. But most recently, the program opened an Access Center in central Mesa that serves students through free college advising, summer camp and internship programs, GED prep and PSAT/SAT practice. With a focus on low-income junior high and high school students, the Mesa Counts on College aims to double the number of low-income students who complete college in the next nine years..."- Read the rest of the article here.
POSTSECONDARY SUCCESS CITY ACTION NETWORK (P-SCAN) 2016 ANNUAL MEETING
Mayors know that the strength of their local economies depends on the level of education residents attain. P-SCAN is a national network to support mayoral leadership for postsecondary success and to develop and share best practices for the ways that cities can work in collaboration with local partners to increase postsecondary completion rates.
Creating Student Success for College Hopefuls: A Mesa Story Panel
On Wednesday, May 4th, 2016, Mesa Counts on College hosted the first day of P-SCAN's 2016 Annual Meeting in the new Mesa Counts on College Access Center located in the heart of Mesa. Education facilitators from around the country attended to discuss strategies and difficulties various cities face when preparing their citizens for post-secondary education. Mesa lead the discussion by sharing experiences and tactics used over the recent years to address the issue of low college completion rates.
A panel consisting of Kathleen Perales, Associate Dean of Community Outreach and Enrollment Development from Mesa Community College, Kathy Di Nolfi, Chief Program Officer from A New Leaf, Deanna Villanueva Saucedo, Community Liaison from Mesa Public Schools, and Amy Trethaway, Executive Director of Mesa Counts on College, discussed ways that their cooperation created programs and initiatives to help Mesa students pursue post-secondary education. The history of this post-secondary initiative, starting from an access center originally funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation up to the opening of the Mesa Counts on College Access Center last August, covered the different challenges and ideas that brought these organizations together to tackle a difficult problem rooted in the culture of Mesa citizens.
Preceded by an official welcome and appearance by Mayor Giles, Dr. Shannon McCarty, Dean of Instruction and Academic Affairs from Rio Salado College, displayed some new strategies and technologies that Rio Salado College uses in order to increase student persistence and completion, including interactive progress trackers and personalized advising for those who need it. Afterward, the session broke out into smaller groups, facilitating discussion over difficulties and techniques that each city currently faces in order to learn from each other.
Hopefully, after hearing about the various ways Mesa has collaborated between several departments of local government, other cities can help use what they've learned to help create a culture we're all striving for: One that knows and values the importance of higher education.
Mesa Mayor John Giles Awarded Grant To Improve High School Students’ Graduation Rates
Grant To Support State Efforts To Share Data and Best Practices
To Address Education Challenges
Mesa, March 24th, 2016, The Arizona Mayors Education Roundtable (AZMRT), an initiative of WestEd—a nonpartisan, nonprofit research organization promoting national improvements to our education system—received one of three $200,000 grants from the America’s Promise Alliance and Pearson. The award is tied to a new report released by the Mayors Education Roundtable that shows the state facing disastrous consequences if Arizona fails to increase the number of young people who graduate from our high schools. The title of the report is “Arizona Mayors’ Education Dashboards.”
THE ARIZONA MAYORS EDUCATION ROUNDTABLE
The Arizona Mayors Education Roundtable, a WestEd initiative, brings together mayors of Arizona’s larger cities, district superintendents, and their key staff to share data, evidence-based and promising practices, and programmatic strategies that can help address local challenges affecting students’ educational and career choices. The Roundtable is convened by WestEd, and is funded by the Helios Education Foundation.
ABOUT THE DATA IN THIS REPORT
This report draws upon research and figures from the 2014 Arizona Mayors Education Roundtable report, The Economic Losses of High School Dropouts and Disconnected Youth: Evidence from Across Arizona. The author of the report is Russell W. Rumberger, Director of the California Dropout Research Project and Professor of Education at the University of California,Santa Barbara www.cdrp.ucsb.edu. The original research can be found at azmayors.org/resources/reports. Supplementing this economic loss data are seasonally adjusted unemployment rates from the Arizona Department of Administration, demographic data from the U.S. Census Bureau and reading proficiency data from the Arizona Department of Education. The report was designed and produced by Collaborative Communications Group, Inc.
The information in the pages below pertain specifically to Mesa, Arizona.