Higher Education Initiative
educational opportunities and attainment for young adults and
adults returning to college is a top priority for the City of
Mesa. To achieve that goal, Mesa City Council is committed to
expanding and attracting higher education and to developing
quality projects that create high-wage jobs.
Mesa has a number of assets that make it attractive to
institutions of Higher Education. With the expansion of
Metro Light Rail,
the Mesa Arts Center, the remodeled
Mesa Convention Center
and more than $500 million in planned investments in the next
Downtown Mesa is an attractive destination for
students, faculty, businesses and residents.
Additionally, the East Valley population has grown
exponentially over the last decade, creating a demand for increased educational opportunities.
As part of the Higher Education Initiative, the City
completed a Higher
Education Feasibility Study, Market Analysis, and Business
Development Strategy focused on recruiting additional private
post-secondary education providers to serve residents in Mesa
and Greater Phoenix, and to attract out-of-state students to the
In 2011, the city released a higher education RFI to seek
partnerships with private post-secondary education
providers who were interested in expanding to Mesa. The City
received interest from several institutions and in January 2012
announced the first partnership with
Benedictine University. Following
that success, the City announced partnerships with
Upper Iowa University and Wilkes University.
Wilkes currently resides in the downtown Mesa
Center for Higher Education, in the former City Court building
at 245 W. Second St., while Benedictine occupies a separate
facility, the former social-services building at 225 E. Main St.
Albright College and Upper Iowa University offer courses a few miles away in Mesa's vibrant Fiesta District.
Learn More About Mesa's Newest
Higher Education Partners