npc_smart_startBy Dennis Durband

Anthony Meza left a lasting impression at Northland Pioneer College and helped many of his fellow students in three years at the school before transferring to Arizona State University in 2013. He is a shining example of how well NPC prepares students for future success when they transfer to four-year schools.

As a dual enrollment student at Snowflake High School, Anthony spent two years in the NPC/NAVIT program. Then he packed everything he could into one year as a student at NPC. He served in student government and as a student ambassador, tutored fellow students in chemistry and math and received the Associate of Science Outstanding Graduate Award for having the top grade-point average.

“NPC provided me with a solid academic foundation to be successful,” Meza says. “I had lots of opportunities there, and that helped me figure out what my strengths were and what I wanted to study in the future.”

As Meza neared the end of his high school education, several four-year schools attempted to recruit him. He could have gone straight to a university, but he realized it would be beneficial to spend his first year at NPC and then transfer. “The major benefit was being able to complete the majority of my general education requirements and prerequisites,” he says. “The classes at NPC are much smaller, and the instructors are more approachable and have more available time to work with students.” NPC’s general education credits are guaranteed to transfer and you graduate with no debt.

At ASU, Meza earned a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry and will complete his master’s degree in biotechnology in spring 2017, and then begin a doctoral program.

Meza’s ultimate goal is to become a professor in a research institution or university, teach high-level science and work in research labs. He’s getting great career training as a research student in ASU’s Molecular Design and Biomimetics Center. He studies proteins, which “affect everything in the body,” he says.

It’s been more than three years since he finished his studies at NPC, but Meza is still giving helpful information to students in northeastern Arizona. “If your goal is to earn a bachelor’s degree, starting at NPC is a great option,” he says. “You are able to take classes with fewer students, the cost is dramatically less and the transfer process is quite easy when you continue your education at one of the three universities in Arizona.”