Sac State’s launch of Black Honors College heralds first-in-the-nation initiative
February 12, 2024
Sacramento State is recruiting students for the inaugural class for the newly created Black Honors College, the first institution of its kind in the nation.
The college is specifically designed for all students interested in Black history, life, and culture. It will start accepting students in fall 2024.
The University’s announcement of the college’s creation coincides with Black History Month, which the University is celebrating throughout February. One of the month’s key events is Super Sunday, on Feb. 25. That day, campus leaders, including President Luke Wood, will visit Sacramento-area churches that serve predominantly Black congregations to extoll the value of higher education and encourage young people to attend Sac State.
In creating the Black Honors College, Sac State is taking initiative to support the CSU’s efforts to advance Black student success. A key goal is to boost Black graduation rates and improve Black student enrollment and retention.
The University will provide details to the public about the college during a community meeting at 5 p.m. Feb. 19 in Library Room 11.
Sac State enrolls more Black and African American students than any other university in the CSU system, and Wood said the University should lead the way in ensuring that they succeed in college and beyond.
“While we have the highest population of Black students, we are in the bottom quartile for success, and have been for many years,” and the Black Honors College will seek to reverse that trend, he said.
The college will offer high-achieving students of all races, cultures, and majors a comprehensive curriculum focusing on the Black and African American experience.
“We already have some cultural communities, like the MLK Center and the DEGREES Project, but this will go much further. I think students who hear about this will be very hopeful and will want to join in.” -- Imani Harper, Sac State Sociology student
It will feature specialized general education courses with smaller classes, and faculty members who have a record of success in serving Black and African American students.
“The Black Honors College is designed to create a pathway for our Black students at Sacramento State that has never existed, to uplift our scholars, and to help them persist to graduation,” said Boatamo “Ati” Mosupyoe, the college’s dean of students and chief academic officer. Ruth Williams, previously associate director of Sac State’s DEGREES Project, is staff director.
“There will be an intentional focus on authentic mentorship to adjust students to the rigors of college, paid internship opportunities to give students tangible experience, and elite co-curricular education to enhance their overall college experience,” Mosupyoe said.
Sac State Business student John Carey III said he believes the college will help Black students build confidence and community as they pursue their degrees.
“It’s a great idea to offer a program where people who look like me can learn together in the same space,” Carey said. “It will bring us together as a group. It will build a sense of community, and I think that will help us academically as well.”
Imani Harper, a Sociology student, said smaller classes, a focus on Black culture and history, and specially curated courses are among the college’s significant attractions.
“I’m proud that Sac State is doing this,” she said. “We already have some cultural communities, like the MLK Center and the DEGREES Project, but this will go much further. I think students who hear about this will be very hopeful and will want to join in.”
Mosupyoe said the University aims to help establish Black Honors Colleges across the country.
The college, which will have its home in Library 11, is accepting applications for the fall. Prospective students must have a GPA of at least 3.5. Students interested in learning more about the Black Honors College can email the college.
As Sac State and the nation mark Black History Month, the University will commemorate the month in a variety of ways, including musical and dance performances, social media campaigns, lectures, and more.
The University’s rich background in Black history will be on display in the first installation of a Black at Sac State exhibit in the University Union Lobby Suite, 9 a.m.-4p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20.
Other events include:
- Feb. 14: Art, Talent, and Business showcase in the MLK Center, 10:30 a.m.- 1:30 p.m. in Lassen Hall.
- Feb. 20: Men of Honor program, sponsored by the Male Empowerment Collaborative, noon-1:30 p.m. in the Harper Alumni Center.
- Feb. 21: Hip-Hop and R&B Art Show, noon in the Redwood Room of the University Union.
- Feb. 25: CSU Super Sunday, Sac State leaders will attend services and speak about higher education at Sacramento–area churches.
- Feb. 28: African dance lessons with Grace Ballou, at noon in the Redwood Room of the University Union.
- Feb. 29: Black Music Night with DJ Daan, 7:30 p.m. in the University Union Ballroom.
More information about Black History Month at Sac State can be found online.
Looking for a Faculty Expert?
Contact University Communications