Sacramento State Launches First Black Honors College

Sacramento State, home to the largest population of Black students in the California State University (CSU) system, is introducing what will become the nation’s inaugural Black Honors College.

Set to commence operations in the fall, the honors college will admit students with a GPA of 3.5 or higher and a passion for Black history, life, and culture.

Dr. J. Luke Wood, who assumed leadership of the institution seven months ago, expressed, “This is part of a broader initiative to improve success rates for Black students. We’re establishing an institution within the institution.”

Unlike Honors Colleges at other institutions, which have developed specialized programs to attract Black students, Sacramento State’s approach is distinct. The entire college is being tailored specifically for Black students.

The college will have its own dean, director, counselors, academic advisors, and support staff, drawing from faculty with a proven track record of teaching Black students.

Accepted students will complete their General Education (GE) classes in the college, with small class sizes and mentoring primarily by Black faculty members. The curriculum will focus on the Black experience, influenced by Pan-African studies.

Dr. Wood hopes to recruit students who might otherwise attend for-profit colleges or historically Black colleges and universities in other states.

The idea took shape following the release of a CSU report last June, titled “Advancing Black Student Success and Elevating Black Excellence in the CSU: A Call to Action.”

Despite potential criticism, Dr. Wood remains committed to the vision, aiming to replicate it at other institutions nationwide.

Administrators have allocated over 6,000 square feet of space for the college, including seminar rooms, study areas, and a lounge in the library.

Selected students will have the opportunity to live in a dedicated community.

Initial funding and support have been secured to enroll the first 500 students. Recruiters are promoting the college in high schools across California.

Ruth Williams, the staff director for the Honors College, and Dr. Boatamo “Ati” Mosupyoe, the inaugural dean of students, express excitement about the college’s potential.

Dr. Wood emphasizes the importance of improving success rates for Black students, aiming to reverse the institution’s historical trend of low success rates among this demographic.

#FocusQuest #Sacramento #SacramentoState #BlackHonorsCollege #HigherEducation #Empowerment #Innovation

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