SJSU Celebrates Spring 2020 Graduates

SJSU graduates smile while taking a selfie.

Photo: David Schmitz.

San Jose State University is honoring and celebrating the spring class of 2020 in a new way. On May 22, San Jose State will launch the Spring Class of 2020 graduate recognition websites—one site for eight of the colleges. Now, no matter where they are, grads can share their pride and excitement about earning their degree from SJSU with friends, family and loved ones anywhere in the world.

The traditional in-person commencement ceremony was made impossible this year due to the mandatory shelter-in-place order to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

“No matter the circumstances, this truly is a time of celebration, a time of pride and a time of joy,” said SJSU President Mary A. Papazian. “All of the Spartans who are a part of this resilient and historic graduating class are now part of San Jose State’s celebrated legacy. They will never be forgotten, and we are so proud of what they have achieved.”

The Spring Class of 2020 graduate recognition websites are not a virtual commencement ceremony or replacement for a live commencement ceremony. Instead, each college website will showcase the accomplishments of SJSU’s more than 7,000 spring 2020 graduates. Each college site will have searchable, shareable content, including personalized graduate slides that include their names, degrees, and applicable latin honors for all Spartans completing undergraduate and graduate degrees and those earning certificates from the Connie L. Lurie College of Education. Graduates will be able to share their personalized slides with family, friends and fellow students. They will also see congratulatory messages from President Papazian, Provost Vincent J. Del Casino Jr. and the deans of eight colleges.

Spring 2020 graduates will receive their diplomas, diploma covers and commencement books in the mail and are invited to return to campus to walk across the stage in-person at a future commencement ceremony: fall 2020 is scheduled for the week of December 14, 2020, or spring 2021, scheduled for the week of May 24, 2021.

“The beginning of 2020 will be a year to remember for many reasons, but I will remember it as the time we overcame adversity,” said Associated Students President Branden Parent. “I have seen students support others, triumph over obstacles and finish their last semester strong. I am glad to be graduating with such a resilient and diverse group of students who can face any odds. I look forward to seeing fellow grads on the new graduate recognition websites.”

The Spring Class of 2020 graduate recognition websites will remain on the SJSU homepage and commencement website throughout the summer.

SJSU Braven Program Shows Promising Results

Braven, a career accelerator, launched a pilot program at San Jose State University in 2014 with 17 students. In its 2018-19 Impact Report released on July 23, Braven founder and CEO Aimee Eubanks Davis shared that the program has served 1,600 underrepresented college students to date at three universities. Early data is showing promising outcomes for participants.

“Given our initial promising results, we are projected to grow dramatically to serve 5,000 new Fellows over the next three years at our three current university partners,” wrote Aimee Eubanks Davis, founder and CEO, in an email announcing the release of the report.

Braven Fellows join a cohort of other students who enroll in a one-semester course in which they engage with coaches, followed up with one-on-one mentoring, networking opportunities and career fluency experiences. Through the program, students connect with a leadership coach from a tech firm or business who meets with them in person to discuss career development. SJSU has partnered with coaches from LinkedIn, Google, Facebook and Teach for America, among other employers.

“The most valuable part of the Braven experience is the organized tools that are given to help us succeed with our assignments and apply to the real world,” said Dylan Dutt,’18 Electrical Engineering and a 2016 Braven Fellow.

Dutt is working as a sales engineering for Johnson Controls.

The career accelerator program launched a pilot at San Jose State University in 2014, and expanded to two other universities since then, including National Louis University and Rutgers University-Newark. Of the 300 Braven Fellows who graduated in 2016-2018, 69 percent had landed a strong full-time job or enrolled in graduate school within six months of graduation.

This compares to the national average of 54 percent and 46 percent for black and Latinx students from public universities.

Other notable results include:

  • 48% of Bravengraduates are already out-earning their parents’ combined income from when they were growing up;
  • 48% of Bravengraduates have received a promotion since entering the workforce; and
  • 75% report that they are able to put away savings with their current income, which is a significant improvement over the national average: 41% of millennials (age 25-34) report having $0 saved in their savings account.

Braven will follow the career paths of the 370 Braven Fellows who graduated with the class of 2019. The program has plans to expand to serving 5,000 new fellows over the next three years.

“Braven helps you become a better you,” said Antoinette Martin, a 2016 Braven Fellow who plans to complete her bachelor’s in computer engineering in 2020. “In a matter of weeks, I gained the insight of Silicon Valley’s most successful leaders, obtained a solid foundation of my aspirations and made lifelong connections.”