Sacramento State Pioneers Black Success Initiative And Black Honors College Aim To Empower Black Scholars

Sacramento State is launching the groundbreaking Black Student Success Task Force, accompanied by the innovative Black Honors College.

According to the State Hornet, in response to a nationwide decline in Black student enrollment and retention rates, the California State University system is taking bold steps to support its Black student community. Sacramento State is launching the groundbreaking Black Student Success Task Force, accompanied by the innovative Black Honors College—a first-in-the-nation initiative geared toward advancing the academic success of Black students.

The Black Student Success Task Force, a part of CSU’s 2025 Graduation Initiative, focuses on recruitment, retention, achievement, graduation, and fostering a sense of belonging for Black students on campus. With approximately 2,000 Black students, Sacramento State boasts the highest number of Black students across all CSU campuses, making it a vital hub for the Black community.

Mia Settles-Tidwell, vice president for Inclusive Excellence at Sacramento State, serves as the cabinet-level sponsor for the Black Success Initiative. The BSI aims to address historical inequalities by providing a supportive educational community for Black students in higher education. It aligns with the broader CSU initiative to ensure all students, regardless of racial, ethnic, and financial background, have the opportunity to earn a college degree.

Ernest Uwazie, director of the Center for African Peace and Conflict Resolution and Black Faculty Success co-chair, emphasizes the importance of retaining Black faculty to enhance the sense of belonging for Black students. Uwazie advocates for educating faculty to better understand and support the circumstances of Black students in the classroom.

Tina Jordan, co-chair of Black Student Success and member of Sac State’s Peer and Academic Resource Center, highlights the significance of creating inclusive classrooms. The BSI Task Force aims to address challenges faced by Black students, including professor mistreatment, and foster a sense of community and acceptance.

The Black Honors College, set to open in the fall of 2024, plays a pivotal role in realizing the goals of the Black Student Success Task Force. Designed around research, scholarship, and service centered on the Black experience and thought, the Black Honors College will provide individualized resources. President Luke Wood underlines the transformative impact of the Black Honors College, providing dedicated space and resources for academic excellence.

Priority admission for the Black Honors College is open until March 1, with standard admission available from April 1 to June 1. Students with a 3.5 Grade Point Average or higher are encouraged to apply, with financial aid opportunities provided.

Elijah Martin, Martin Luther King Jr. Center Outreach Coordinator, commends the Black Honors College for addressing the challenge of low Black student graduation rates. The institution-within-institution approach is hailed as an innovative solution to uplift and empower Black scholars.

Sacramento State’s commitment to the success of its students of color is evident in these groundbreaking initiatives, marking a historic moment for higher education and the Black community.

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