March 22, 2005

Sacramento State bachelor’s degrees
offered at Sierra College

Thanks to a new partnership between California State University, Sacramento and Sierra College in Roseville, students living in Placer County can now complete bachelor’s degrees from Sacramento State at the Sierra College Gateway Center. They can major in psychology, organizational communication, and a special major in arts and humanities.

Employers surveyed in the Placer County area as part of a 2002 study indicated that majors in social science, humanities and liberal arts would provide the broadest application in the workplace.

“We looked at the majors and skills that the people and businesses in Placer County were interested in when forming this program,” said Jill Matsueda, program director for Sacramento State’s College of Continuing Education.

The program is designed for people already in the workforce who have completed all required lower-division general education coursework. The students enroll in the program as a cohort and follow a sequence of courses offered in the evenings and on weekends. The classes are accelerated six-week courses that allow students to graduate within two and a half years.

“The target students for this program are adults between 35-55 who work full time and are looking to finish their degrees,” Matsueda said. “This is a quick way for a working adult to finish a degree that would otherwise take a long time.”

Sixteen students are currently enrolled in an upper-division course for the arts and humanities major. Courses for psychology and organizational communication majors will begin in the fall. Three upper-division core classes for business administration and nine units of upper division general education will be offered, and there are plans to begin administering the Writing Proficiency Exam at the campus as well.

Jackie Donath, chair of Humanities and Religious Studies, is currently teaching a course at the Sierra campus and says the program is a great way for Sacramento State to serve the community.

“The students in the program are extremely focused, enthusiastic and dedicated,” Donath said. “They are appreciative of the program because it is structured with a realistic understanding of what people need. The students really value what we have to offer them.”

Students were first recruited for the program last fall with help from Sierra College. Students in the program are formally admitted to Sacramento State, and must have completed the lower division GE program. The College of Continuing Education handles the administrative responsibility and logistics of the program, but the curriculum and instructors are all from the academic departments.

“This is just the beginning,” Matsueda said. “The program establishes our presence in Placer County, and it could eventually be incorporated into the proposed CSUS satellite campus.”

The proposed Placer Campus site would be located on a 2,200-acre development called Placer Ranch. A survey completed by the University’s Office of Institutional Research in 2003 showed that 11 percent of all Sacramento State instructional faculty and 17 percent of all students live near the Placer Ranch site, with the majority of the students that live near the site at an upper division or graduate level.

More information about the program is available by contacting the College of Continuing Education at (916) 278-4433. Media assistance is available by contacting the University’s public affairs office at (916) 278-6156.

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California State University, Sacramento • Public Affairs
6000 J Street • Sacramento, CA 95819-6026 • (916) 278-6156 • infodesk@csus.edu