SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Sac State President Robert Nelsen gave the 2018 Fall Address Thursday morning and outlined a number of new University initiatives, along with several accomplishments.

The four-year graduation rate at CSU Sacramento is now 14% – up from 9% a few years ago. President Nelsen introduced the Finish in Four and Through in Two campaigns during the 2015 address. The school hired a “Graduation Czar” in 2016 and since then the projected four-year graduation rate has increased more than 50%, and the projected two-year graduation rate for transfers has increased to 37.5%. The two-year rate was 34.5% a year ago. Despite the improvements, President Nelsen said, “We can and will do more for better graduation rates.”

One of the ways Sac State improved its graduation rate was adding the amount of academic internships offered. Currently, there are 2,629 academic internships. President Nelsen praised the program, saying “We know that these internships dramatically reduce the time to degree for our students.”

A record 7,883 students graduated in 2018. President Nelsen said, “Everyone in this room and everyone at this University deserves applause for this remarkable accomplishment.”

58 tenured professors have also been added to the faculty in recent years.

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The biggest concept introduced during the Convocation was turning Sac State into Sacramento’s Anchor University. President Nelsen described it as, “An Anchor University is driven to improve the community in which it lives. It aims at long-term solutions and improvements. An Anchor University wants to see true, lasting change through civic engagement.” He previously said, “An Anchor University is the opposite of an ivory tower and is driven to improve the community in which it lives. It aims to connect its students, faculty, and staff with the community and, in turn, help build and often heal that community, achieving long-term solutions and improvements.

One of the ways it’s doing that is by opening Sac State Downtown next week. The campus at 304 S. Street is “positioned to be a visible contributor to many important facets of leadership and education in the city and region,” according to a campus news release. The Downtown campus will offer Master’s classes in Public Policy and Administration, degree-completion and certificate programs in the College of Continuing Education, a doctorate in Education Leadership research-methods class, dietetic internship classes offered by the Department of Family & Consumer Sciences, and consulting services for public agencies and nonprofit organizations offered by the Institute for Social Research.

Eventually, Sac State Downtown will offer programs in entrepreneurship, innovation, and consulting, along with a bachelor’s program in hospitality and tourism management.

Sac State Downtown has its grand opening Tuesday, August 28.

Classes at both campuses start Monday, August 27.

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