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Sac State, regional partners will promote education-to-career pathways in engineering and health care

Sacramento State will be part of a new partnership to create a regional pipeline for more students to pursue engineering and health care careers while addressing inequity in higher education and the workforce. (Sacramento State/Andrea Price)

Sacramento State will join the region’s educational institutions and an array of other local partners in a new effort to provide more career pathways for students and address longstanding issues of equity in higher education and the workforce.

The Sacramento K16 Collaborative brings together Sac State, UC Davis, the Los Rios Community College District, the Sacramento County Office of Education, and others to develop new education-to-career pathways in healthcare and engineering, especially for students from traditionally underrepresented communities.

The collaborative is one of six partnerships throughout the state that are first to receive funding from the Regional K-16 Education Collaboratives Grant Program. The program aims to cultivate regional economies, strengthen education-to-career pathways, and ensure that that education, vocational, and workforce programs work together to provide broader access to education and employment opportunities.

Each partnership has received about $18.1 million – of  $108.6 million total – from the California Department of General Services, the Office of Public School Construction, and the Foundation for California Community Colleges.

The Sacramento K16 Collaborative is part of ProjectAttain!, an existing regional partnership that focuses on educational attainment and workforce development in the Sacramento region. The new funding will accelerate current work focused on adults and introduce new efforts to help K-12 students move through college and into careers. It will expand the geographic reach of its work into Nevada, Colusa, Yolo, and Yuba counties. Together, the K16 Collaborative partner institutions serve more than a half million students.

College of Continuing Education Dean Jenni Murphy, the founder of ProjectAttain!, says the new collaborative is a natural extension of Sac State’s existing work.

“The ProjectAttain! Board of Directors, staff, partners, and volunteers are excited to expand and accelerate the intersegmental work in our region,” Murphy said. “We are collectively motivated and focused on dismantling barriers that stand between our diverse communities and the pathways that lead to family-sustaining wages.”

During the five years covered by the grant, the Sacramento K16 Collaborative aims to:

  • Promote educational and workforce equity by enrolling 1,300 additional young men of color at Sac State and UC Davis.
  • Create and strengthen dual enrollment programs to triple the number of students who can graduate from high school already having completed a year of college.
  • Develop career pathways to triple the number of high school students who graduate ready to enter college programs or apprenticeships in health care or engineering.
  • Award 4,000 degrees to adults who have either earned their degrees and not claimed them or who are close to completing their degrees, while enrolling an additional 4,000 returning students in community college.
  • Achieve Hispanic Serving Institution status for all colleges and universities involved in the collaborative.

Among other activities, Sacramento State will develop new accelerated pathways to help students – particularly underserved students – earn degrees in health care and engineering more quickly through more flexible class schedules and online options. The University will also work with UC Davis to clarify transfer requirements and better prepare admissions advisors to help students wishing to transfer.

“Education not only powers our regional workforce, it is a pathway for opportunity and mobility,” Sac State President Robert S. Nelsen said. “As both an anchor university committed to serving our communty, and a university dedicated to removing systemic inequities and barriers to success, I am proud that Sac State is joining its regional educational partners in this important work.”

Additional partners in the Sacramento K16 Collaborative include the Placer County Office of Education, Sierra Community College District, Yuba Community College District, Lake Tahoe Community College District, and multiple Sacramento and Placer county school districts.

For more information about the Regional K-16 Education Collaboratives Grant Program, visit the program website.

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About Jonathan Morales

Jonathan Morales joined the Sac State communications team in 2017 as a writer and editor. He previously worked at San Francisco State University and as a newspaper reporter and editor. He enjoys local beer, Bay Area sports teams, and spending time outdoors with his family and dog.

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