A record number of first-year students enrolled at Sacramento State for the Fall 2019 semester, University figures show. (Sacramento State/Hrach Avetisyan)
By Dixie Reid
Sacramento State graduated its largest class in school history – 8,353 students – during the 2018-19 academic year. The departure made way for the largest-ever class of first-year students – approximately 4,120 – enrolled for the Fall 2019 semester.
“Our students are making faster progress to degree, with our average unit load for freshmen up to 14.23 this semester versus 13.6 last fall,” said Ed Mills, vice president for Student Affairs.
“The average unit load is getting closer to 15 for first-year students, and for sophomores, it’s almost at 14 units on average.”
Incoming first-year and transfer students may pledge to take 15 units per semester, which puts them on course to finish within guidelines of the University's successful “Finish In Four” and “Through In Two” initiatives, which are under California State University's Graduation 2025 umbrella.
Sac State’s four-year graduation rate for first-year students and the two-year graduation rate for transfer students show some of the highest rate increases in the nation over the last three years, said University graduation czar Jim Dragna.
Of the 2018-19 graduates, 20.4 percent completed their course work in four years, which is up more than 11 percentage points – a 127 percent gain – from 2016. And 42.8 percent of transfer students graduated in two years, which is a 15.7 percentage point increase – or an overall gain of 58 percent – in three years.
This fall, approximately 31,181 students are enrolled at Sac State, just 50 more than this time last year. The final headcount will be tallied later this month.
The 700 waitlisted students who enrolled after the University in March mistakenly sent an email to 3,500 on a waitlist indicating their acceptance had no adverse impact on total enrollment. The only real issue, Mills said, was that the 700 were admitted at the beginning of March rather that at the end of the month, as University officials worked through the waitlist.
Sac State keeps enrollment within about 1 percent of the previous year.
“Our goal is to make sure that the students we bring in will have access to classes, so that their unit load stays close to 15 and they can graduate in four years,” Mills said.