Under the agreement, Sierra College will offer courses to meet academic requirements for the first two years of college. The collaboration between the two schools would likely happen at a planned Sacramento State satellite campus in Placer County.
Westpark Communities is the developer of the proposed 2200 acre Placer Ranch in Roseville, where the two schools may co-locate.
Westpark Communities COO Jeff Jones said the company is donating 300 acres to Sacramento State for the satellite campus.
"This [new satellite] campus is envisioned to accommodate their student needs in the future," said Jones. "Sac State is nearing capacity with the existing campus in Sacramento, also about 300 acres, and is maxing out. And rather than figure out how to go to 40,000 or 50,000 students as the Sacramento region grows, they are looking at south Placer County."
Sacramento State University President Alexander Gonzalez said the school will continue to work with Sierra College as plans are developed for the new satellite campus.
"As we plan our satellite campus at Placer Ranch, we are pleased to incorporate a Sierra College presence on our campus," said Gonzalez. "We still have room to grow in Sacramento, but delivering programs in Placer County would benefit the region in numerous ways."
Sierra College President Willy Duncan said co-locating with Sacramento State at Placer Ranch would be a unique opportunity.
"For Sierra College, the location at the satellite campus would help meet the long-term and growing need for academic offerings, particularly in the fast-growing areas of Roseville and Lincoln," said Duncan. "The two institutions will be working together to determine the best academic programs to offer at a Placer Ranch campus."
Duncan said Sierra College has a center in Roseville now and Sacramento State is talking to the college about offering university courses at that location.
The two schools have partnered on other programs, including one for incoming nursing students to earn a degree from Sierra College and a bachelor's in nursing from Sacramento State.
"By working together, we can find ways to streamline what we do and make the experience better for the student and provide our services, maybe jointly, and save some expenses, if we have shared facilities," said Duncan. "We might be able to save some taxpayer dollars in the way that we operate."
Westpark Communities COO Jones said the Placer Ranch development plan, including the 300 acres for the satellite campus, must go through a lengthy Placer County and City of Roseville approvals process, including an environmental review.
Jones said it's likely 2018 would be the earliest date the project would break ground.