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07/19/05 Sierra College partners up with Sacramento State


Sierra College partners up with Sacramento State


Number of upper division courses will increase on Roseville campus

By: Keith Reid, The Placer Herald
Tuesday, July 19, 2005 3:08 PM PDT

Sierra College interim Presiden Morgan Lynn signs a memorandum of understanding marking stronger transfer agreements between Sierra College and Sacramento State. Photo by Karina Williams/The Placer Herald

Sierra College and Sacramento State are attempting to alleviate student headaches as they embark upon the process of transferring from the community college to the California State University.

With a memorandum of understanding signed Thursday morning at the Sierra College campus in Rocklin, the two institutions of higher learning tightened the strings separating Sierra College coursework from Sacramento State coursework.

It will also expand Sierra College programs to become more transfer friendly and will increase the number of upper-division courses taught at the Sierra College Gateway campus in Roseville.

The MOU was signed by Morgan Lynn, Sierra's interim president; Alex Gonzalez, Sacramento State president; Frank DeCourten, Sierra College interim vice president of educational programs; and Ric Brown; Sacramento State provost.

It will be of most benefit to Sierra students taking vocational programs or business administration classes.

The accord also creates transfer agreements for students enrolled in the college's new AA-One or Mechatronics programs as well.

Anthony Maki-Gill, a Sierra College AA-One student who holds a full-time job and the responsibilities of fatherhood, called the program a "perfect opportunity" for him.

He is happy to see the college enter into a deeper agreement with Sacramento State.

"It's a very positive experience for an adult learner with so many other things going on in their life," Maki-Gill said. "I can work towards my four-year arts and humanity degree without driving to Sacramento for four years."

Steve Hunter, a professor of Mechatronics, said the MOU excites him because it will allow at least two of the lower-division courses he teaches to be transferable to Sacramento State as upper-division engineering courses.

"It's unprecedented that lower-division community college courses would count as upper-division at a CSU," Hunter said. "This agreement is very exciting for me and people who work or learn in my area. It is allowing students to transfer in a way they couldn't before because of the bureaucracy (of the transfer process)."

The AA-One program is a fast-track course that allows students to earn an associates degree in 24 months.

The Mechatronics program is a specific set of courses designed to produce skilled workers in the fields that combine mechanics and electronics.

The administrators touted the MOU as an opportunity for vocational students to get an associate degree while taking their vocational job-training classes.

Then after two or three years in the field, they could re-enter college as a transfer student at Sacramento State if they so desire.

Brown said students enrolling in programs will be able to easily recognize which courses to take to make the transfer from Sierra to Sacramento State seamless.

"We will work hard to make sure it's obvious," Brown said.

Gonzalez said he considers the relationship between his institution and Sierra College to be one of the "best models" for how a four-year university and two-year college have the opportunity to work together.

"This is a great strengthening of our partnership," he said.

Keith Reid can be reached at

Placer Herald Article

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