M.E.S.A. stands for Mathematics Engineering Science Achievement, a nationally recognized program that began in 1977. M.E.S.A was originally created to help minorities that wanted to pursue a career based on math and science. The goal was to help the students get to and be successful in college. At Costa Mesa High School, the M.E.S.A. program is offered to anyone who wants help getting to college and achieving a degree in math, science, and/or engineering.
Delta, on the other hand is a program that was created by our district (NMUSD) for students who are advanced in math and science. It was created at Davis Magnet School to help the students grow. The creators of Delta wanted to help the students get to high school and college and continue to be advanced in these areas. Delta began at Davis Magnet School and has carried on to Costa Mesa Middle School. There are several requirements to be in Delta, which are being a part of the class of 2016 and lower, doing a science fair project, being in M.E.S.A or Academic Decathlon, and having the required grades.
Membership in either M.E.S.A. or Delta differs in several ways. The biggest benefit that comes from joining M.E.S.A is that because it is a nationally-known program, when put on college transcripts, the colleges are familiar with the name and what the program is. On the other hand, because Delta is only a district program, colleges are not familiar with the program. Since Delta requires membership in M.E.S.A. or Academic Decathlon, it’s a win-win situation for the Delta students because they can put both programs in their transcripts.
Even though both programs are very successful at CMHS, both are also hitting problems. Both programs need a certain amount of funds to keep going. Delta is fairly secure at the moment, but once their funding ends, the program could ultimately lose members or shut down completely. Math teacher Mr. Poveda stated, “The problem I see with Delta is money. When the funding untimely ends, which I know it will it’s not going to go on forever, when the funding runs out, what is there to inspire the students to do what they are doing?” The funds for Delta go toward field trips and activities related to math and science, but once the funding ends, it will be much harder for them to do these things. Since Delta is a district program, they get to go on long field trips such as San Francisco and Arizona, but because M.E.S.A is a national program and doesn’t receive the same amount of funds, they cannot do the same things.
Although the terms are often confused, there are several fundamental differences between the Delta and M.E.S.A. programs at Costa Mesa High School.
Written by Serena Ozonur