Student Stories

Overview

Student Stories

Students are our best indicators of success.

We are continually inspired by the ongoing dedication demonstrated by our students and alumni, whether they are enrolled in professional development courses, learning English, pursuing innovative training methods or fulfilling the lifelong dream of earning a college degree.

These stories are living examples of how the support we provide can make a positive impact on people’s professional development and academic career.

Article Sacramento State NewsJune 2020

Summer Youth Programs offer respite for isolation-weary kids

When the COVID-19 pandemic forced school closures beginning in March, Jill Matsueda was initially optimistic about the potential for Sacramento State’s Summer Youth Programs to offer welcome respite to local kids and teens cooped up in their homes throughout spring.

That optimism changed first to heartbreak when she realized that the programs, held on campus each June and July, also would be affected by social-distancing protocols remaining in force into summer. Her keen disappointment, however, changed to determination when she and other University leaders decided to forge ahead and offer the much-loved courses online.

Student Success Story

Mark Fields
Community College Faculty Preparation Certificate Program

As a young officer with the California Highway Patrol, Mark Fields got some useful advice from his sergeant, to prepare a “back-up” in case an injury sidelined his career. Fortunately, that never happened and Lieutenant Fields spent nearly 30 years with the CHP before retiring.

But he still prepared for “that second career - just in case,” he said.

Article Jonathan Morales, University CommunicationsApril 17, 2019
Derek Parker completes his degree and starts a new program at Sac State

Derek Parker completes his degree and starts a new program at Sac State

Sacramento State honored newly promoted Battalion Chief Derek Parker with a 2019 Made at Sac State tribute for his leadership in starting the University’s Paramedic Program and for serving as an example, when he returned to college at 32. Read writer Jonathan Morales’ feature, “Derek Parker completes his degree and starts a new program at Sac State,” following a 2-part video series produced by Jessica Jarrety.

Watch the video: Derek Parker shares his journey back to college
Watch the video: Battalion Chief Parker explains the need for a paramedic program

Student Success Story
Veunta Dailey sits in front of the State Capitol building

Veunta Dailey
Bachelor of Arts in Child Development

Veunta Dailey says she went in and out of college until the day her employer went out of business. “I knew a degree completion program would help me to finally complete my bachelor’s degree and realize my true potential in real time.” Veunta’s story is featured in Access Magazine.

Spotlight
Jeanne Shuman: ‘Education is power and offers choices’

Jeanne Shuman: ‘Education is power and offers choices’

When Jeanne Shuman went back to school, she described herself as “a 57-year-old divorced mother who was reinventing life through the power of education.” At the time she was overcoming anxiety and post-traumatic stress as a victim of domestic violence. The ordinary bustle and noise of college life overwhelmed her and she needed a quieter alternative.

Student Success Story
Steve Taketa

Steve Taketa
Leadership for the Government Executive

Leadership for the Government Executive (LGE) reached a milestone in 2017 by celebrating its 25th cohort graduation. Steve Taketa, bureau chief in the California State Controller’s Office, was among the graduates and credits LGE for making him a better boss.

He shares his experience in this video.

Student Success Story
Photo of Wendy La

Wendy La
Second Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders

Wendy La was the first in her family to go to college. She earned a degree in psychology but later realized her passion was working in speech pathology with children. She found a degree program tailored to her needs at Sacramento State.

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Sacramento State President Thanks Paramedic Student

Sacramento State President Thanks Paramedic Student
Wil Stewart Described as 'the Perfect Sac State Student'

Sacramento State Paramedic student Wil Stewart dashed to join his family, taking his front row seat at the University Union as an honored guest of Sacramento State President Robert S. Nelsen.

Wil had just finished two local media interviews - one for CBS13 and the other for Fox40 - and promised another interview to KCRA, but he needed to take his seat with the President preparing to go onstage for his 2017 Fall Address.

Student Success Story

William Stewart
Paramedic Program

William Stewart heard a man choking and his training immediately kicked in. Wil, who’s a firefighter and student in our Paramedic Program, was waiting to be interviewed for an internship when he saw the man in distress and immediately performed the Heimlich maneuver. Wil’s heroic deed made national news. 

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Sac State’s Apprenticeship Program Tallies Success
Workforce Development Professional Apprenticeship Program Serves as a Model

Progress Report Six Months After the Graduation

Graduates from Sacramento State’s first apprenticeship program have completed all of their requirements and all 17 have received their pay raise and promotion. Six months after their graduation, interest in the Workforce Development Professional Apprenticeship Program continues to grow, with a labor association inviting the College of Continuing Education to return and report on the apprenticeship’s success at its statewide conference in September.

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Workforce Development Professionals Boost Their Careers
Mayor-Elect to Graduates: 'I love this, I can't tell you how much I love this!'

Sacramento’s new city leader saluted the graduates of an innovative apprenticeship program at Sacramento State. These apprentices don’t work in the industrial trades, like most apprentices, but in workforce development. They’ve learned new skills to put Californians back to work. 

Mayor-elect Darrell Steinberg spoke at the Workforce Development Professional Apprenticeship Program graduation and said graduates, like Megan Bailey, have an important role to play in the city’s growth.   

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Testimonial: Workforce Development Professional
Brandon Anderson: 'The program was a true turning point in my life'

Brandon Anderson studied music and vocal performance with dreams of becoming an opera singer. But with a sluggish economy and orchestras barely hanging on, he went in search of other work. He unexpected found a new audience to inspire when he became a job coach for people with disabilities. His work earned him a spot in the Workforce Development Professional Apprenticeship Program.

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Testimonial: Workforce Development Professional
Matt Hidalgo: 'The program has empowered me to succeed'

August 2017 Update: Congratulations Matt!

A year ago, Matt was a job coach going through the Workforce Development Professional Apprenticeship Program. He was hired by the California Workforce Association as a program manager coming out of the program. He just received his first-year evaluation and he continues to impress his boss. Matt has been promoted to a program director and received a nice raise too. 

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Testimonial: Workforce Development Professional
Ira Ayers: 'We've learned economic development'

Ira Ayers played football in high school and college and later coached a high school football team. He was a natural in his career as a job coach, but he never received formal training until the Sacramento Employment and Training Agency (SETA) selected him for the Workforce Development Professional Apprenticeship Program. And there, he discovered his ability to “grow and change.”

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2017 Multimedia Journalism Summer Academy
Teens Capture & Narrate Videos for the First Time

Anyone can shoot a video on a smartphone. But not everyone can produce a video that captures your attention and leaves a lasting impression. High school students rose to the challenge during the 2017 Multimedia Journalism Summer Academy at Sacramento State.

Their assignment: “Tell Your Video Story in 100 Seconds!” 

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Testimonial: Workforce Development Professional
Megan Bailey: 'I feel I have the capacity to be a workforce leader'

As Megan Bailey went through the Workforce Development Professional Apprenticeship Program, her background as a graphic artist and her nine years as a job coach paid off. Before the program ended, the California Workforce Association (CWA) hired her and two other apprentices as program managers to handle workforce development issues on a statewide level. 

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Leadership for the Government Executive: 25th Cohort

Leadership for the Government Executive: 25th Cohort
Co-Founder Clark Kelso Calls for 'Courageous Leadership'

A signature leadership program in the College of Continuing Education reached a milestone in 2017. Leadership for the Government Executive (LGE) celebrated its 25th cohort graduation in April.

“Our graduates improve government in California” and stand out as “more valuable and attractive candidates for promotion,” said Clark Kelso, one of LGE’s co-founders and an associate dean at McGeorge School of Law, who delivered the keynote address.

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Nelsen: “Amazed by his tenacity”
With President Nelsen's Support, Rodolfo Castillo Wins Multiple Awards

Rodolfo Castillo finished his bachelor’s degree through a long-distance program at Sacramento State later in life, in his 70s, in order to keep teaching preschool.

This achievement has been recognized within the Sacramento State community, the western United States, and now nationally.The University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA) has named Mr. Castillo the 2017 Outstanding Continuing Education Student.

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Eleonor Castillo adjusts her father's cap at a reception at Sacramento State, honoring students who completed their bachelor's degree through a long-distance program. (College of Continuing Education/Risa Knight)

Sac State Graduate Wins National Continuing Education Award
Rodolfo Castillo: 75 Years in the Making

Update (Feb. 14, 2017): Mr. Rodolfo Castillo has been named the 2017 Outstanding Continuing Education Student by the University Professional and Continuing Education Association (UPCEA), following a nationwide search.

Mr. Castillo was previously recognized as an Outstanding Nontraditional Student in UPCEA’s West Region, covering institutions in the western U.S. and Canada.

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First Class Completes Workforce Development Apprenticeship
Photo Gallery: Workforce Development Professionals

Congratulations to the first graduates of the Workforce Development Professional Apprenticeship Programat the College of Continuing Education (CCE) at Sacramento State!