Hartnell College's MESA program-which provides academic support to students who plan to transfer to four-year institutions of higher learning and major in math, science or engineering-has won the Bellwether Award, a prestigious national honor from the University of Florida's Institute of Higher Education.
The award was presented to Michael Kane, Hartnell's MESA director, and Chuck Beals, the program's faculty adviser, earlier this month in Orlando, Florida, at the 2003 Community College Futures Assembly.
The Bellwether Award was established to recognize outstanding and innovative programs that are leading community colleges into the 21st Century. Only three awards out of 30 finalists were presented this year. Colleges in Wisconsin won the other two awards.
Commenting on the award, Dr. Edward Valeau, Hartnell president, said, "Congratulations to Michael Kane and other faculty members for their excellent work in making significant innovations in the MESA program. Their work has dramatically improved student success in math and science courses, thus enabling students to accomplish their goal of transferring to four-year colleges and universities."
Hartnell's MESA program won the award for improving the performance of Latino students in technical fields. In addition to providing a study center, academic excellence workshops and career advising, the program has linked MESA students to the several on- and off-campus outreach and support services such as the Learning Skills Center.
MESA program director Kane said he was very appreciative of the award. "Many Hartnell faculty and staff members definitely have to share in this award," he added. "Their dedication to students in the MESA program has been overwhelming and a definite factor in the program's success."
The Community College Futures Assembly convenes annually as an independent national policy forum for key opinion leaders to both work as a "think tank" in identifying critical issues facing the future of community colleges and to recognize Bellwether finalist colleges as trend-setting institutions.
For more information on the award, contact Michael Kane at (831) 770-6131 or Mkane@hartnell.edu.