CommencementSacramento State students are on a faster track to graduation, thanks in part to an increase in first-year students’ average unit load.(Sacramento State/Jessica Vernone)

In support of Sacramento State’s graduation and student success goals, Spring 2017 not only set new enrollment records with 28,913 students, but these students also set new records for the number of units they enrolled in.

“For the past year, we have been asking our students to consider taking one extra class each semester to accelerate their graduation,” says Don Hunt, associate vice president for Enrollment and Student Services. “Our ‘Finish in Four’ campaign supports our graduation initiative and the new California Promise legislation.”

This average number of class units that students take is referred to as the average unit load or AUL. Continuing the upward trend from Fall 2016, first-year students had an average unit load of 13.87 for Spring 2017, up from 13.4 for Spring 2016. Since this average is taken from all students (including those choosing to enroll part time), the increase is substantial.

“The increased average unit load means that our efforts to get more students to take 15 units are working,” Hunt says. “And our colleges and departments are working hard to make more courses available for them.”

Sacramento State has focused on the graduation issue through a number of programs, including new software to better track students’ progress and the appointment of James Dragna as executive director of University Initiatives and Student Success.

“The increase in student enrollment and average unit loads offers more evidence that Sac State students expect and receive a well-rounded, quality learning experience leading to a degree in a timely fashion,” says James Dragna.

For more information on Sac State’s enrollment and student success programs, visit the Division of Student Affairs at or call (916) 278-6060. – Craig Koscho