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Roseville, Calif.- Sierra College along with California State University Sacramento, University of the Pacific, Brandman University, William Jessup University, and the City of Roseville will sign a memorandum of understanding to work toward establishing a University Center for higher education in Roseville, at 4 p.m., on Wednesday, November 6 at Sierra College’s Roseville Gateway campus, 333 Sunrise Blvd., Roseville, CA.

The concept of the University Center is to provide students with the opportunity to enroll in a range of undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate degree programs offered by multiple institutions in one physical location.  Sierra College will provide the freshman and sophomore years for each student and offer pathways that ensure that the transfer units articulate seamlessly to the institution of their choice.

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The City of Roseville’s focus on broadening its higher education options accelerated in 2011 when the City Council appointed leaders in education, business, and government to a Higher Education Task Force.  The strategies resulting from the Task Force effort have been guiding the City’s work. “The more barriers we can remove to make it easier for people to complete degrees, the more attractive our workforce is to companies in this knowledge-based economy,” said Roseville City Councilmember Tim Herman, current chair of the Higher Education Task Force.

The key goals of the University Center are to create strong links to area schools and businesses and to lower the cost and reduce the amount of time required to obtain a four-year degree.  The cost and time reduction are a result of coordinated, well-defined transfer pathways from lower division community college courses to upper division university studies to degree.

“Sierra College is always working to provide increased educational opportunities for our students.  We hope that the University Center will decrease the time to degree completion and lower the overall cost,” said Willy Duncan, Superintendent/President of Sierra College.  “This partnership will provide an opportunity for our transfer students to get their advanced degrees locally while also selecting from a highly regarded group of universities.”

With the MOU, the City of Roseville and its educational institution partners will work to establish the University Center at Sierra College’s Roseville Gateway campus as an initial “proof of concept,” with the ultimate goal of finding a long-term site to establish and operate a first-class, dynamic center for higher education serving the residents and businesses of Roseville, South Placer County, and the Sacramento region.

“The University Center is an innovative way to bring together multiple degree offerings from excellent universities in a convenient location for area residents. We appreciate the commitment and willingness of each of these universities to work together and explore new ways of making degree attainment more accessible in this region,” Herman added.

“The Roseville University Center will give us the opportunity to extend Sacramento State’s reach and better serve students in the region. This agreement is another example of how our work to strengthen community partnerships can lead to greater access to Sacramento State’s excellent educational programs,” said Sacramento State President Alexander Gonzalez.

“We are pleased to enter into a public-private partnership that will bring new higher education opportunities to students where they live and work,” said Maria Pallavicini, University of the Pacific Provost. “Together with the expanded new offerings that we are planning for the University of the Pacific McGeorge campus in Sacramento, this agreement will help to make a Pacific education possible for more students who seek an academically rigorous curriculum, small class sizes, and a supportive and engaging culture.”

“William Jessup University is committed to partnering with the City of Roseville to extend higher education opportunities to even more people,” said Jessup’s President, John Jackson. “As Placer County’s only accredited residential four year university, we are delighted to extend our courses to another location within the region.”

“We value this partnership greatly as it aligns with our University’s mission to provide students access to an affordable education at a location that remains convenient for them,” said Gary Brahm, chancellor Brandman University.

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