STEM Central

A Community of Practice for NSF STEM Projects

STEP Partnership of San Diego

SPSD/MESA has created an environment that supports students by providing much needed academic and community support, allowing them to be successful in their challenging academic careers as well as the STEM industries.

The Mathematics, Engineering, and Science Achievement (MESA) Program assists educationally disadvantaged students to graduate from four-year institutions with a math-based major. MESA focuses on student groups who historically have had low levels of attainment.

The National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported STEP Partnership of San Diego (SPSD) incorporates the successful MESA model at each partner campus (San Diego State University, San Diego City College, and Southwestern College); enhancing essential services (e.g. academic support, STEM competitions, leadership development, etc.) that help students excel academically and prepare for the STEM workforce. Together, MESA and SPSD create a partnership of educational, industry, and government organizations forming a pipeline from community college to university to STEM industry.

The goals of SPSD are to: increase the number of students who pursue STEM academic and career pathways, increase retention in STEM disciplines, and promote opportunities in STEM post-graduate studies. For further information, visit

GOALS: 1. Expand participation in SPSD activities 2. Improve the retention of SPSD students 3. Increase the number of SPSD students graduating with BS degrees in STEM fields 4. Provide STEM industry internship opportunities to an increasing number of SPSD students 5. Promote post-graduate study opportunities for SPSD students

STRATEGIES: • A regional STEM pipeline of educational institutions that supports multiple pathways to STEM careers • Educational experiences and activities based on industry driven standards for comprehensive student development – academic, personal, and professional • The use of best practices in STEM education • An active pool of industry partners with shared accountability for success • Evaluation of SPSD effectiveness

Lead Author

  • Rafael Alvarez


Name Organization
Eric Pamintuan San Diego State University
Theresa Garcia San Diego State University
Raga Bakhiet Southwestern College

Institution Information

  • Name: San Diego State University
  • State: CA

Poster Information

  • ID: TF-014
  • Disciplinary Focus: All STEM
  • Award Number: 0653277
  • Project Year 5+