Become a MESA Donor

College of Education Research and Service Initiative University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV)

Your contribution of any amount, from $5 to $5,000,000, will help support MESA's signature initiative, the Abriendo Caminos/Opening Pathways Project, in the following ways:

MESA participants

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Stack of books

Funding to further support the Abriendo Caminos project for a second, third, fourth, and fifth year (September 2017-August 2021). Funding for the first year of the project (September 2016-August 2017) was secured ($335,000/year) in August of 2016 through the State of Nevada's Great Teaching and Learning Fund (GTLF). This funding augments prong two of the Abriendo Caminos project, and will enable UNLV to institutionalize the project's work moving forward.

Focusing The Work

Student with camera

Funding to further support the induction and retention of recruited students of color in teacher education and, post-graduation, as CCSD teachers. This funding will be dedicated to project students' admission to, induction into, retention in, and graduation from the UNLV teacher preparation/licensure program, and successful transition into and retention in teaching in the Clark County School District for a minimum of 3-5 years. This funding augments prong three of the Abriendo Caminos project, enabling UNLV to become a bridge for students who graduate from CCSD high schools with an interest in becoming a teacher, and for their return to CCSD schools as licensed teachers.

A portion of this funding will be used for an annual induction ceremony of project students into a teacher preparation/licensure major at UNLV ($1,500/year). Another portion of this funding will be used to for monthly mentorship meetings with inducted students for the duration of their pre-service teacher training ($5,000). The majority of this funding will be used to incentivize student graduation from college and successful transition into teaching careers through new teacher mentorship and coaching ($20,000), and by providing an annual award to those who sustain their positions for at least 3 years, and for as many as 5 years. Upon completion of their third year of teaching, graduates would receive $3000, $1000 for each of their first three years of teaching. Upon completion of their fourth and fifth years of teaching, graduates would receive an additional $1000/year. Since most licensed teachers leave teaching within 18 months, the initial financial incentive, coupled with mentorship and coaching, is designed to ensure greater early career success, thus the greater likelihood that they will remain in teaching long term.

Children learning

Documenting The Work

Funding to further support research efforts with high school students of color, their parents, and college students of color to learn about and support their interest in teaching as a career for themselves and/or, where relevant, for their children. This funding augments prong one of the project, enabling UNLV to survey and interview larger bodies of CCSD high school students of color, their parents, and UNLV college students of color (possibly also CSN and NSC students) to learn:

  1. if high school students are thinking about college and, if so, about teaching as a major/career, and, if not one or both, why not;
  2. if parents/families of high school students are thinking about college for their children and/or for themselves, and, if so, about teaching as a major/career, and if not one or both for their children and/or for themselves, why not; and,
  3. if college students who are new admits, have undeclared majors, and/or who, as members of particular racial/ethnic minority groups, have, in high numbers, chosen other majors, are thinking about/thought about teaching as a major/career, if not, why not.

Student computing

Survey data will be used to identify students who are interested in teaching and invite them (and, where relevant, their parents/families) to participate in a follow up information session/focus group interview to discuss these interests further.


For More Information about becoming a MESA donor, please contact:

Erika Christensen

Ms. Erika Christensen, Director of Development
College of Education
University of Nevada, Las Vegas
702-895-3396
erika.christensen@unlv.edu