Degree-Attainment Program Targets the Oh-So-Close Crowd


Jonathan Morales

“Educational attainment for working-age adults puts them on track to employment, health, income and an overall higher standard of living." - College of Continuing Education Dean Jenni Murphy


Putting degrees or credentials in the hands of a significant number of people in the Sacramento region has become a major initiative for Jenni Murphy, dean of the College of Continuing Education. Photo courtesy of College of Continuing Education

Nearly 345,000 Sacramento-area residents have some college but no degree, with an estimated 62,000 of them within 15 credits of graduation at the associate or baccalaureate level. That’s a lot of college without the payoff.

For new College of Continuing Education Dean Jenni Murphy—who has established as a major priority boosting the number of the region’s people who have attained a degree or credential—they represent a remarkable opportunity.

 “In many cases, working-age adults are closer to graduation than an incoming first-year or transfer student,” Murphy says. “At Sacramento State, we are uniquely situated to help these individuals realize their dream of a college degree or certificate, which in turn benefits the region by providing the diverse, college-educated workforce today’s employers need.”

Through the College of Continuing Education, Sacramento State is partnering with Align Capital Region on ProjectAttain!, a new, major regional initiative designed to increase the number of Sacramento’s working-age adults with college degrees, certificates and other credentials to 60 percent by 2025.

The motivation is practical: By then, about two-thirds of all jobs will require workers to have some type of post-secondary credential.

A major part of the college’s push for education attainment is its six degree-completion programs and nine certificate programs, which are designed for working adults and offer flexible class schedules and a mix of online and on-campus courses. The University offers such programs in child development, psychology, career and technical studies, criminal justice, nursing, and arts and letters with Continuing Education leading the administration and support to serve adult audiences, 

“The role of education, in its purest form, is about ending poverty,” Murphy says. “Educational attainment for working-age adults puts them on track to employment, health, income and an overall higher standard of living.

“Meeting our regional goal of 60 percent will be a challenge, but it’s one we are excited to take on.”


Jonathan Morales

Jonathan Morales became a permanent member of the Sac State communications team in 2017 as a writer and content editor. He previously worked at San Francisco State University and as a newspaper reporter and editor. What appeals to Jonathan? Local beer and Bay Area sports teams.