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Nation's first Black Honors College launching at Sacramento State
[February 13, 2024]

Nation's first Black Honors College launching at Sacramento State

The unique college is specifically designed for students interested in Black history, life, and culture.

SACRAMENTO, Calif., Feb. 13, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Sacramento State President Luke Wood has announced formation of the nation's first Black Honors College, set to launch at the University in fall 2024.

Students in the Black Honors College will have their own specialized coursework, with smaller classes and faculty members who have a demonstrated record of success in teaching and serving Black students. Weekly seminars, experiential learning opportunities, internships, and set-alone advisors and counselors will create an enhanced college experience for students.

Sacramento State enrolls more Black students than any of the other 22 institutions in the California State University system and all but one of the University of California's 13 schools. "We are creating an institution within the institution that is specifically designed to serve the academic, co-curricular, and psychological needs of Black students," said Wood, who became Sacramento State's ninth permanent president in July 2023.

"We cannot be a Historically Black College or University, given that we wee not founded before 1964," Wood said, "but we can be everything but the historical part and implement the best practices that make HBCUs so critical to the Black community."

Applications for the Black Honors College open mid-February to incoming first-year students. Prospective applicants with a 3.5 GPA or higher are encouraged to apply. 

"We are going all in as a University to create something special for Black students, and we are calling upon the community to help us make this happen," Wood said. "We need the community's support, your prayers, internships for students, and scholarship dollars."

The University is providing significant resources for the college, including 6,000 square feet of space with a set-alone seminar room, conference rooms, study spaces, and offices. "Too often, students from California want to go out of state for college because they believe that public higher education in California is failing them," said Aniesha Mitchell, vice president for Student Affairs. "Unlike anything else in the state, the Black Honors College is specifically designed to meet the needs and aspirations of Black students. We are intentionally cultivating the courageous leaders of tomorrow."

Dr. Boatamo Ati Mosupyoe will serve as the college's dean of students and chief academic officer. Mosupyoe formerly served as associate dean for the College of Social Sciences and Interdisciplinary Studies and has led other campus programs that effectively serve Black students. Wood and Mosupyoe envision the Black Honors College as the first step in a larger national movement.

"Our aim is to develop a system of institutions throughout the nation that will also launch Black Honors Colleges," Mosupyoe said. "We will set forth a framework to certify whether those institutions have the critical components necessary to justify the designation and are not simply putting a new name on old or under-resourced efforts."

Ruth Williams will serve as the college's staff director. She previously served as Sacramento State's DEGREES Project associate director.

"As someone who has personally received a CSU education, specifically at Sac State, I understand first-hand how crucial a program such as the Black Honors College is for our current and future scholars," Williams said. "Our carefully crafted programming speaks volumes to the commitments our president, administrators, faculty, and staff have made to make our Black Honors College a success, not just for our students, not just for Sac State, but for you, our community, as well."

Based on California Proposition 209, the Black Honors College is open to students of all races and backgrounds, but it emphasizes programming and curricular efforts specifically designed for the Black and African American experience. Prospective students who are interested in learning more about Sacramento State's Black Honors College can email [email protected].

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SOURCE California State University, Sacramento

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