Full Circle Project

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded Sacramento State a five-year, $1.75 million grant to improve graduation rates for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) students who are the first generation to attend college, as well as non-AAPI low-income and first-generation students who transfer from community college.

The grant will fund the second phase of Sac State’s Full Circle Project, established in 2011 with a Department of Education grant to provide leadership development for 100 freshman AAPI students.

The 2016 federal grant keeps the Full Circle “brand” but renames the program Full Circle Project: College-to-Career Pathways (or FCP/C2C). And, each year over the next five years, FCP/C2C will focus on education, graduation, internships, and career placement for as many as 200 AAPI and low-income students who enter Sacramento State as juniors.

“This investment in our students is an investment in our nation’s future as we continue to become an even more multicultural nation,” says Sacramento State President Robert S. Nelsen. “The Full Circle Project is a model for all higher education.”

FCP/C2C will be implemented by the Full Circle Project in partnership with Sacramento State’s Career Center and the Educational Opportunity Program (EOP).

“Funding from the grant will provide enhanced service delivery to students in the form of transfer learning-community offerings to ease the transition to Sacramento State,” says Marcellene Watson-Derbigny, associate vice president of Student Retention and Academic Success. “As a signature component developed by EOP, we are excited about the possibilities that the grant will bring to foster student success.”

Melissa Repa, interim director of the Career Center, adds: “We are excited about this opportunity to integrate the College 2 Career Readiness certificate program into the courses and to create a pipeline for student leaders to enhance the programs and activities of the Career Center.”

Sacramento State is a Minority-Serving Institution (MSI), as designated by the Department of Education. Currently, 21 percent of students are Asian American/Pacific Islander, and 28 percent are Hispanic/Latino.

Sac State became an Asian American Native American Pacific Islander-Serving Institution (AANAPISI) in 2010 and an HSI in 2015.

“All told, Sacramento State has received more than $7 million in federal funding specifically because of our designation as an MSI,” says Timothy P. Fong, Full Circle Project director and principal investigator on the grant. “None of those funds would have come to Sac State were we not an AANAPISI and HSI.” – Dixie Reid