Faculty, staff, and administrators at San Diego Mesa College have a new center for
developing innovative strategies on student success, a center that underscores why
the campus has become a national leader for equity and excellence in higher education.
Mesa College will unveil this new home for professional development and training,
dubbed “The LOFT,” on Wednesday, April 27 at 4:00 p.m. LOFT is an acronym for Learning
Opportunities For Transformation.
“The LOFT is the culmination of research and self-evaluation, and puts into practice
our commitment to professional development for all Mesa College employees, said Dr.
Pamela T. Luster, president.
“Over the past several years, Mesa College has worked with the Center for Urban Education
and San Diego State University Minority Male Community College Collaborative (M2C3)
to research our impact on students from underrepresented minority populations,” Luster
explains. “It was through this research that the college identified the need to expand
professional development and training for all staff.”
The LOFT will have specific programming for faculty, staff and administrators to support
equity minded and inclusive practices. It will be staffed by a Professional Development
Coordinator, an Instructional Designer, an Instructional Lab and Learning Resources
Technician, and a Senior Clerical Assistant.
The new center includes small and large group and individual training spaces, gathering
spaces for discussion, mobile workstations, computer stations, a Zen zone, and quiet
The $254,000 cost was covered by a Title V grant as part of the college’s designation
as a Hispanic Serving Institution. Mesa College in 2014 secured the five-year, $2.62
million, Developing Hispanic Serving Institutions/Title V grant. Mesa’s research department
reports that in 2014/15 Latino students represented 44% of Mesa’s first-time students
entering the college from high school.
According to Monica Romero, Mesa College’s Title V Grant Coordinator, part of the
grant was set aside for creating a professional development center to help faculty
members incorporate new learning strategies into their lesson plans and understand
the latest teaching techniques known to promote success of diverse students.
“You really can’t overstate the importance of a center like this,” noted Romero. “It
will be vital for professional development, interdisciplinary discussions, and workshops
on pedagogy related to culturally relevant teaching and instructional design.”
Dr. Leticia López, a Mesa College Spanish professor who is also the Title V Professional
Development Coordinator, agrees.
“The LOFT is a wonderful addition that will help spur conversation in creating strategies
to cut down on attrition and boost the success rates of our Hispanic students,” López
The LOFT, on the top floor of the Learning Resource Center, will officially be dedicated
April 27 during a ribbon cutting ceremony that is set to start at 4 p.m. An open house
will be held from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. the following day
Tags: Student Equity, Professional Development, LOFT, Student Success