Enhancing the Educational Experience of Black and African American Students Through Community, Culture and Mentorship

We are committed to providing a welcoming and supportive space for Black and African American students at Sierra College. With an emphasis on community, we offer engaging programs, people and resources that nurture your academic and personal growth.

On This Page You Can Find

Ten Black students gathered together at the Umoja booth during Wolverine Week

Ways to Meet Your Peers

Meet other students who share your interests.

Four smiling Sierra College graduates dressed in graduation attire and Umoja stoles

Umoja Learning Community

Support your academic and personal development through culturally relevant classes and programs.

Instructor teaching an Umoja Learning Community class for Black students at Sierra College

The Village

Access counselors who understand your experiences and who can who can assist you in your journey by connecting you with resources you may need.

Sierra College Financial Aid staff are assisting a student through the counter window

Resources

Find helpful resources available on-campus and off-campus to meet your needs.

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.

African Proverb

Ways to Meet Your Peers

Black Student Union

The Black Student Union fosters a sense of community among all students of the African Diaspora at Sierra College and to stimulate the intellectual, political, cultural, and social growth. This club is open to all Sierra College Students.

Student Clubs

Student clubs are great opportunities to develop interests and socialize. A few clubs at Rocklin and Nevada County campuses include:

  • Political Science Club
  • Writers & Editors Association Club
  • Art Club
  • Environmentally Concerned Organization of Students (ECOS)
  • And lots more!

Student Engagement Centers

The Student Engagement Centers (SECs) offer intersectional programs and services that include and are not limited to cross cultural, LGBTQ+, and gender identities with historically marginalized, underserved, and underrepresented student-scholars. The SECs, which serve as brave spaces across our campuses and surrounding communities, provide student employment, leadership opportunities, and co-curricular programming that advance equity and inclusion of all student-scholars.

Events

Community is central to Umoja and The Village. These are some of our events where we came together. Look for messages on Canvas and your email inbox for upcoming events.

  • Guest speakers
  • Conferences
  • Book readings
  • Movie screenings
  • Art/Music/Dance/Performance events
  • Business and Leadership events
  • Health and Wellbeing eventss
  • Black History Month events
  • Year End Celebration

View the Sierra College Events Calendar to learn about what’s happening on campus.

Two Sierra College graduates dressed in graduation attire

Umoja Learning Community

Umoja (a Kiswahili word meaning unity) is a community at Sierra College dedicated to enhancing the cultural and educational experiences of African American and other students. We are a family that helps you navigate the college environment, provides support and mentorship, motivates you towards graduation and celebrates your whole development – body, mind and spirit.

The Umoja Learning Community is open to all students and offers a strong support system with personalized attention and culturally relevant programs. Histories and voices of the African diaspora are intentionally acknowledged and woven into the learning experience. We believe that you become empowered when your voice is recognized, which is foundational to your academic and personal success.

Umoja is a recognized Student Success Program by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office. Learn more about the Umoja Statewide Community.

Our Mission

The Umoja Community seeks to:

  • Educate the whole student: body, mind and spirit
  • Engage students as full participants in the construction of knowledge and critical thought
  • Help students experience themselves as valuable and worthy of an education
  • Provide the opportunity for students to add their story to the collective stories of the African diaspora
  • Improve reading, writing, self-discipline, and critical thinking skills

Benefits

As a part of the Umoja family, you will benefit from:

  • A strong support system and personal attention by counselors and instructors to assist with the unique challenges facing African American students
  • Integrated instruction from caring faculty
  • Peer tutoring and supplemental instruction tutoring
  • Motivational and cultural workshops
  • Campus tours
  • Participation in the Umoja Community statewide events

How to Apply

  1. Fill out and turn in the Umoja Application Form.
  2. Complete the introduction interview with program faculty.
  3. Participate in the Umoja orientation.


Requirements

  • You are expected to attend at least one Umoja counseling appointment each semester.
  • You are expected to participate in Umoja-led/-sponsored activities, including planning and facilitation.
  • You are expected to maintain a 2.0 GPA each semester, and be willing to accept assistance if you fall below a 2.0 GPA.

Learning Community Classes

The Umoja program provides specialized learning programs designed to help students gain a solid foundation to succeed in college.

Fall Semester

DepartmentCourseUnitsTitle
Personal DevelopmentPDEV 13College and Life Success
EnglishENGL 1A4College Reading, Writing and Research
Skill DevelopmentSKDV 101How to Be a Successful Online Student
Ethnic StudiesETHN 203Introduction to African American Studies
Fall Semester Umoja Classes

Spring Semester

DepartmentCourseUnitsTitle
Personal DevelopmentPDEV 63Career Planning
EnglishENGL 1B3Critical Thinking: Writing About Literature
EnglishENGL 1C3Critical Thinking: Writing Across Curriculum
Ethnic StudiesETHN 503Ethnic Images in Film
SociologySOC 33Race, Ethnicity and Inequality
Spring Semester Umoja Classes

Fall Semester

DepartmentCourseUnitsTitle
CommunicationCOMM 13Public Speaking
AnthropologyANTH 23Cultural Anthropology and the African Diaspora
Environmental Sciences and SustainabilityESS 13Intro to Environmental Sciences and Sustainability
Fall Semester Umoja Classes

Meet Your Umoja Learning Community Coordinator

Your professors will know your name and they’ll make sure that you’re doing great in all your classes. If you’re struggling, they’re there for you.

– Kaysha, Umoja participant and graduate

What Students Have to Say about the Umoja Learning Community

Umoja at Sierra College

“I joined Umoja because I wanted to feel that sense of belonging and I wanted to have that community behind me. There’s nothing like being around your own people. Secondly, I wanted to utilize the campus resources. There’s a lot of things that I didn’t know coming into college. If it wasn’t for the fact that I had people that knew those things to help me, I probably wouldn’t have gotten as far as I did. Thirdly, there’s nothing like having a mentor. Take advantage!”

– Anthony Lowe, Umoja participant and graduate

“Your professors will know your name and they’ll make sure that you’re doing great in all your classes. If you’re struggling, they’re there for you. I feel like that is what made Umoja special for me. The students within Umoja are all so friendly. It’s like one big family at school.”

– Kaysha, Umoja participant and graduate



The Village

The Village is a community of counselors who intentionally focus on the success of Black and African American students at Sierra College. The foundation of our mission is building community and fostering relationships with you.

We are committed to honoring you where you are and providing timely support for you to accomplish your academic, career, and personal goals.

We’re Here to Help

The Village is committed to creating spaces where you will be valued, seen and validated for your contributions in the classroom, campus and community.

Prospective and New Students

Whether you’re uncertain about college or haven’t yet applied to attend Sierra College, our counselors in The Village can help answer any questions or concerns you may have. 

Current Students

Whether The Village is in your Sierra Connect network or not, you are welcome to reach out to our counselors in The Village via email or by scheduling a counseling appointment online to meet with them.

What We Offer

  • Culturally relevant, sensitive counseling and support.
  • Connection with professionals who know and understand your journey and experiences.
  • Overall support to assist you in your journey by connecting you with resources you may need, such as financial aid.
  • If we can’t help you, we will take out the guesswork by connecting you directly with staff and resources who can.

Meet The Village Team Counselors


On-Campus Resources

Academic, Career, Personal and Crisis Counseling: Whether you want to discuss your educational goals, career or job options, or need short-term mental health counseling, our counselors can help.

Basic Needs Resources: Learn more about assistance funds/emergency aid, food access, health and wellness resources, housing, technology and transportation.

Career and Transfer Center: Access resources and guidance for transferring to a four-year college, participating in internship opportunities, or preparing for a career.

Financial Aid: Learn more about scholarships, book vouchers, grants, Two Years Free, student employment opportunities, student assistance funds.

Student Health Services: Our Health Services emphasize health education, prevention, and early intervention. Services include immunizations, health screenings, and family planning/birth control. 

Student Success Center: Our support specialists can help direct you to relevant resources for your situation and interests.

Student Support: Find a comprehensive list of helpful resources at Sierra.

Off-Campus Resources

Transfer and Four-Year Colleges

Wellness and Personal Assistance

  • Aunt Bertha (FindHelp.org): A free tool to help find financial assistance, food pantries, medical care, help paying bills, and other free or reduced cost programs, including new programs for the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Cal Voices: Dedicated to improving the lives of residents in the diverse communities of California through advocacy, education, research, and culturally relevant services.
  • Safe Black Space: Offering Safe Black Space Community Healing Circles on a monthly basis across Sacramento, as well as advocating locally and demanding justice in instances of racism and oppression.

Employment, Business and Leadership

  • Greater Sacramento Urban League: Provides under-represented youth and adults with educational, career training and employment opportunities in order to achieve economic self-reliance.
  • Sacramento Black Chamber of Commerce: A network of business professionals working together to improve the economic, cultural, and civic well-being of the African American community.