Equity and excellence lead the way for Mesa 2030 Master Plan

December 17, 2020 | San Diego Community College District

San Diego Mesa College has a proud reputation for being a leader in educational innovation. 

A board full of suggestions on post-it notes for the master plan
Before COVID-19 forced campuses to close, the Mesa College Master Planning Task Force was hands-on in its approach to develop a vision for the school’s future in 2030 and beyond. Since then, virtual sessions have been instated.

As the college enters the next decade, its guiding principles of equity and excellence lead the way for institutional planning efforts. During the 2019-20 academic year, the Mesa College Master Planning Task Force met throughout last fall and the spring to continue the development of the Mesa College Educational and Facilities Master Plan. To support meaningful integration of equity and pathways into the development of the plan, Mesa College was awarded a grant through the California Community Colleges Institutional Effectiveness Partnership Initiative. 

During fall 2019, with the guidance of consultants from Gensler, the Task Force expanded its membership and charge to ensure broad representation and a shift in focus. It was during the Task Force expansion kickoff meeting that Mesa College renamed the plan to Mesa 2030, to emphasize the 10-year vision for the college. Throughout the fall term, the campus community participated in engagement events such as the spring President’s Cabinet Retreat, joint governance meetings, focus groups, and sharing sessions where information was gathered and presented for review. 

With the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020, the Task Force was challenged to pivot in order to ensure that the important work being done to create the Master Plan continued to include the Mesa College community, albeit virtually. During that time, Mesa College held the first virtual meeting with the Institutional Effectiveness Partnership Initiative (IEPI) Partnership Resource Team, and received a series of recommendations to address during the fall 2020 follow-up meeting. In response to the pandemic, the Mesa 2030 Master Plan timeline was extended to spring 2021 for review by the Board of Trustees and final approval. 

The Mesa 2030 Task Force meetings resumed in early fall, with the objective of continuing its work to integrate equity and pathways into the Mesa 2030 Master Plan. Over the next several months, the Task Force will continue to engage both internal and external communities through virtual interviews, focus groups, and surveys. Focus groups that include students will concentrate intentionally on those groups who have been most disproportionately impacted, including Black/African-American students and Latinx students. With this explicit focus, the Task Force hopes to continue to highlight the ways in which the next 10 years can support racial equity for Mesa College students.

Along with the establishment of college-wide goals that will help guide the college for the next 10 years, Mesa 2030 also will serve as the college’s facilities master plan. The facilities planning process begins with an assessment of the inventory, age, and condition of current spaces. The initial assessment will then be coupled with input from campus stakeholders via interviews and surveys to better understand how facilities can support departmental needs in the future. When the final plan is presented to the Board of Trustees in the spring, it will include conceptual designs of the physical spaces and how those spaces can support Mesa College in 2030 and beyond.

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