Sac State College of Continuing Education adds new degree completion program


Dayla Cook - The State Hornet

Sacramento State’s College of Continuing Education has partnered with the College of Arts and Letters to provide a new degree completion program for former students who dropped out just short of graduation.

Dayla Cook, news editor

Sacramento State’s College of Continuing Education has recently implemented a new degree completion program in collaboration with the College of Arts & Letters.

The new program intends to support former students who were majoring in any discipline within the College of Arts & Letters and had to leave college just short of graduation.

Designed to provide flexibility in its studies, the program will offer an opportunity for non-traditional students to earn a bachelor’s degree in arts and letters.

Michele Foss-Snowden, a professor of communication studies, is the faculty liaison for the new program, serving as a intermediary for the College of Arts & Letters and the College of Continuing Education.

Foss-Snowden’s duties include helping the arts and letters faculty get courses ready for online delivery while also helping the staff at the College of Continuing Education create a program that stays true to arts and letters standards and ideals.

“We would love to see this program help people reach their goals,” Foss-Snowden said. “There are so many individuals in the region who have given up on having a bachelor’s degree. We want to find as many of them as possible and show them that achieving that goal is within reach — closer than they thought.”

Program Manager Gabe Hernandez said anywhere between 1,200 and 1,500 students drop out of the University every year, creating a need for “alternative pathways” to finish a degree.

“Sometimes life gets in the way, you know?” Hernandez said.

According to Hernandez, not enough classes are offered for students to finish in the amount of time that the University would like them to finish.

The rising number in student population with a limit to how many classes are being offered present challenges for students trying to finish school.

In addition, Hernandez said students can face other challenges outside school that hinder their capability to make it to graduation.

According to a Sac State press release, this new implementation is the first program to incorporate a broad academic discipline.

It is the sixth degree completion program offered through the College of Continuing Education, joining child development, psychology, career and technical studies, criminal justice and nursing.

According to the College of Continuing Education website, the bachelor’s degree in arts and letters is a multidisciplinary major offered in a flexible, hybrid format that will allow students to complete their degrees.

Returning students will be required to take four core courses that will be offered online — Text over time; Individual, community, and citizenship; Creativity, meaning, criticism; Happiness, wellbeing, and the good life.

Foss-Snowden said the four classes represent what the College of Arts & Letters believe are the foundational concepts of the disciplines.

“We designed the core classes so they could be taught by any arts and letters faculty,” Foss-Snowden said. “We love the idea of the professors bringing their individual perspectives and areas of expertise to the classes.”

After completion of the four core courses, students may choose from courses offered on campus and online to complete the remainder of the 120 units needed to graduate.

The application deadline for the fall semester is July 1. In order to apply, students must have completed at least 84 units, including all lower division general education requirements.

In addition, students must have been away from college for at least one year and have a minimum GPA of 2.0.

While each student will be admitted on a case-by-case basis, Hernandez said the unit requirement is intended to ensure that students are coming back and able to finish.

According to Hernandez, tuition is based on CCE’s per-unit fee scale. This system, in comparison to the University’s traditional unit-range tuition rates, offers greater flexibility for non-traditional students. Financial aid is available to students who are eligible.

“The program truly is a dream solution for so many people in the region,” Foss-Snowden said. “Sometimes life gets in the way of earning a college degree. We want people to know that they can earn their B.A., from a school with a fantastic reputation, at no more cost than any Sac State student would pay, in a reasonable amount of time.”

Correction: In a previous version of this story, Michele Foss-Snowden’s name was misspelled. We regret this error.