For students who want to get their first taste of college in a community college with a big campus feel, or non-traditional students who want to improve their job prospects by taking courses at a cutting edge career preparatory school, Mesa Community College has a lot to offer.
Mesa Community College is the flagship community college in the state of Arizona. The college has four campuses in beautiful Mesa, AZ — two full service campuses, the Red Mountain and Southern and Dobson campuses; and two additional campuses, one in downtown Mesa and the other near the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.
Programs and Degrees Offered
Mesa Community College offers more than 200 degree, career certification, transfer and other programs, making it one of the more well-rounded community colleges in the state of Arizona.
Mesa has a strong focus on academics and is the leading feeder institution for Arizona State University. The college also stays true to its mission of preparing students for the workforce by offering a number of career and certificate programs that can help students become more marketable in today’s globalized, fiercely competitive labor market.
Mesa has degree programs in traditional academic areas such as English, business, education, psychology and many more and has career programs in web design, nurse assisting, mortuary assisting, etc. The wide range and balance of programs make Mesa able to serve the diverse needs of its community college clientele. The most popular majors at Mesa Community College include traditional liberal arts majors and licensed practical nursing.
Mesa has a very well-regarded veterinary technology program. For the last three years, graduates of the program have had a 100 percent pass rate on national and state board certification examinations.
Because of the work schedules, families and other unique needs of many community college students, traditional 9 to 5 classes aren’t an option, and attending night classes may be a hardship too. Like many community colleges around the country, Mesa Community College is ramping up its online course offerings to make a quality education accessible to all students, regardless of their family or work schedules.
Most of Mesa Community College’s online classes are offered in a hybrid format, which means students must come to the college for a few classes and tests, but the majority of the coursework is done online. Online course work demands a little more motivation and self-direction from students, but for many, it is very convenient and helpful.
Mesa Community College is accredited by the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges. The NCA accredits schools in Arkansas, Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, Nebraska, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. The NCA also accredits schools in the Navajo nation. More than 1,000 colleges are accredited by the NCA.
College review sites typically give Mesa Community College high marks for its online course options, the availability of its professors and the quality of its research labs. In 2009, the college opened a new, $20 million physical science building.
Most Popular Fields of Study
Mesa Community College has an open admissions policy which provides educational opportunities for a broad cross-section of students. To qualify to attend Mesa Community College, new students must have a high school diploma from an accredited high school, or a GED. Students without a diploma or GED will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Transfer students from other colleges or universities in good standing will also be accepted.
New students need to apply by July 1 for fall semester and by Nov. 1 for spring semester.
Some programs at Mesa Community College may have more selective admission requirements. For example, the dental hygiene program requires that students have a GED or high school diploma, have completed pre-requisite course work with a minimum GPA of 3.0 and have completed science pre-requisites with a minimum GPA of 3.25.
Mesa Community College also has a dual enrollment program which allows high school students to take college-level courses and receive credit from both institutions. The courses are in core academic courses students would have to complete when they attend college.
Students applying to Mesa Community College are eligible for federal grants and student loans. There are also a number of grants and scholarships offered by the state of Arizona, the university and other organizations that students may be eligible for.
For example, the Mesa Community College President’s Scholarship awards local high performing students To qualify, the student must be a graduate of a Maricopa County school, must rank in the top 15 percent of his or her class in the sixth, seventh or eighth semester or have scored well on the ASSET Placement exam. Students must also enroll at Mesa within one year of graduating high school without having attended another college outside the Maricopa Community College system. The Presidential Scholarship covers all tuition and registration fees for 15 credit hours per semester for four semesters, not including summer semesters.
The Maricopa Community College Foundation provides a number of minority, career-specific and other scholarships to students attending Mesa Community College and other institutions in the Maricopa Community College System.
Mesa Community College’s office of financial aid also stands ready to help students find other grants and scholarships they may be eligible for.
Mesa Community College has a large student body, with more than 27,000 students scattered throughout its four campuses.
The college offers more than 50 clubs and organizations for students to participate in, including the Muggle Quidditch Club, a Harry Potter-themed athletic club, and other more conventional offerings such as professional and academic organizations.
Like many community colleges, Mesa Community College has a large contingent of older students who have jobs and families. To improve college accessibility for these students, the college offers a childcare program. Mesa Community College’s childcare program offers quality childcare for children age 3-12 who are fully potty trained. The center is open between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Financial aid for some students wishing to enroll their children in the program may be available for some students.
Like most community colleges, Mesa Community College does not offer student housing, but there are many affordable options available in the immediate area.
Mesa Community College is a diverse campus. While white students make up 62 percent of the campus, there is a strong Hispanic presence on campus and the college has been working to recruit more international students to attend there in recent years. The university also works to provide educational opportunities to Native Americans, and has an American Indian Center on campus which regularly hosts Native-American themed events.
The college also offers a variety of community programs, such as a learning program for older adults, a drowning awareness program that promotes swimming education and a service-learning center.
Student Enrollment Demographics
Mesa Community College has a strong athletic program dedicated to producing well-rounded scholar athletes. The colleges athletic teams are part of the Arizona Central Community College Conference, which is made up of 14 community colleges in Arizona. They are also part of the National Junior College Athletic Association.
The college offers baseball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, cross country, football, men’s golf, women’s golf, women’s soccer, men’s soccer, softball, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, volleyball, cheerleading and track and field.
Mesa Community College has a very well-regarded baseball program and has made the NJCAA World Series in three of the last seven seasons. The school also won national championships in the early 70s. Former Coach Jim Frye is legendary among Arizona baseball coaches.
The college’s football program recently won a Valley of the Sun Bowl game in 2007. The women’s golf team were Region 1 champions in 2010.
The school’s athletic teams are nicknamed the Thunderbirds. School colors are royal blue and red.
As a caring part of the community, Mesa Community College regularly hosts the Special Olympics at the school. At the most recent event, more than 1,300 athletes with disabilities competed in athletic events.
The college has also gained a reputation for commitment to green issues in recent years, and hosts multiple environmentally-themed events throughout the year.
The college also holds an annual International Film Festival that has become popular among students.
Located near Phoenix, the college is a great location for students who want to spend their first two years of college near a bustling metropolis. There’s lots to do and see in Phoenix, including the Arizona Science Center and the Phoenix Symphony Hall.
The area’s dry climate and hot weather may be an adjustment for some, but the outdoor activities offered in the area are attractive to many students who enjoy nature and the great outdoors.
Additional School Information
Mesa Community College is part of the Maricopa County Community College District, which includes 10 community colleges and skills centers in the metro Phoenix area in Arizona. The state board of directors for community colleges formerly administered the state’s community colleges until 2002 when the state legislature put more administrative power in the hands of local community college districts.
The Insider’s guide to the colleges Students on Campus Tell You What You Really Want to Know. New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 1970. Print.
Gonsher, Debra A., and Joshua Halberstam. The community college guide: the essential reference from application to graduation. Dallas, Tex.: BenBella Books, 2009. Print.
“Mesa Community College.” Mesa Community College. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 May 2011. <http://www.mesacc.edu/>.
“Mesa Community College in Mesa, Arizona.” College Search – College Admissions. N.p., n.d. Web. 1 May 2011. <http://www.cappex.com/colleges/Mesa-Community-College-105154>.