The importance of higher education
Sac State Magazine
Building the ranks of under-represented students at Sacramento
State is the focus of many programs at the University. One that has
been particularly successful is the 65th Street Corridor Community
Collaborative, an outreach program that provides mentors and
tutors while stressing the benefi ts of attending college. It recently
began a new partnership with the Greater Sacramento Vietnamese
American Chamber of Commerce pairing Sac State tutors with as
many as 35 students from the Vietnamese community.
“I think the parents are very, very enthusiastic and very touched
by the new partnership,” says Gregory Mark, ethnic studies professor
and head of the collaborative.
For the last several years the 65th Street program has been in
a strong relationship with Will C. Wood Middle School and Hiram
Johnson High School which, as two of the most ethnically diverse
schools in the region, represent both challenges and opportunities.
To make sure the message gets through, Sac State faculty,
staff and students give annual campus tours to potential college
students and their often non-English-speaking parents. The
secret? Like a mini-United Nations, the parents are accompanied
around campus with translators communicating simultaneously via
headset in Chinese, Hmong, Mien, Russian, Spanish, Ukrainian or
Vietnamese. Along the tour, the visitors are encouraged to discuss
such topics as fi nancial aid and degree requirements in their native
Another population that is receiving additional support and
guidance to navigate college is former foster youth. The Guardian
Scholars Program, which acts as a safety net for Sac State students
who have been emancipated from the foster care system, has
been able to expand to sponsor internships. Students who have
gone through the program serve as guides to incoming students,
explains Joy Salvetti, Guardian Scholars director. Internship positions
include community outreach, student leadership, mentoring,
orientation and social events.
Guardian Scholars serves as many as 55 students per semester.
“We really look at giving the students a holistic education,”
Salvetti says. “It’s not just the academics. It’s also forming the