The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

The Student News Site of Sacramento City College

The Express

City College outreach specialist strives for student success


The Outreach and Recruitment office is home to City College’s outreach specialist Tanya Anderson. Nine years at her job position, Anderson has been a force on campus and in high schools. She is most likely the first face new students from high school see from the get-go. There is nowhere she says she’d rather work than inside the community college system.

“There’s something about community college students that’s different from other students,” Anderson says. “We get students on both sides of the learning spectrum.”

Anderson has brought several “firsts” to City College as the head of outreach programs on campus.

“We are the only campus in our district that has Summer Success Academy. We are the only campus in our district with Preview Night and Freshman Welcome,” Anderson says.

During her first year as outreach specialist, Anderson made it her duty to volunteer for everything.

“I can handle a full plate,” Anderson says.

Being involved in so many activities means many students across campus know her.

“I have worked with Tanya for over seven years,” says Adam Freas, Anderson’s colleague and an EOPS counselor. “She is a true bright spot of this campus, which can easily be understood by how many students turn to her for advice, support or guidance toward greatness.”

Working with students has changed Anderson’s mindset. She’s gained compassion for students’ experiences and their struggles. Her experience has made her character grow.

Students who have worked with her often keep in contact with Anderson after they’ve graduated and transferred.

“I have known Tanya for almost four years,” says Jazmine Harris, a friend and former student of Anderson’s. “She has introduced me to myself and has encouraged me to continue to take steps toward becoming that inner queen that I sometimes shy away from when trying new things or exploring different perspectives.”

Anderson says she immigrated from Belize City, Belize, at the age of 2. She grew up with her mother in Los Angeles. During high school, Anderson says she joined Upward Bound, which helped her get to college. She zoomed through high school with a soaring GPA. Entering into UC Davis, she says she failed her assessment tests twice. This started her on the path to City College.

Throughout high school, Anderson, now 36, says she didn’t have any study skills. The lack of learning skills doomed her to take English remedial courses at City College. She had to pass the classes to return to UC Davis.

“You gotta keep trying,” Anderson’s cousin told her in her time of worry.

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“I didn’t think I was smart enough,” Anderson says.

Nervous and scared, Anderson says she reached within herself and found confidence.

“My favorite saying is ‘do it afraid’,” Anderson says.

With much success, Anderson was accepted into a graduate program at Sacramento State University, where she obtained her master’s in education. Anderson is currently studying at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, a private university with an acceptance rate of 47 percent, working toward her Doctorate of Education.

Anderson has a wide range of career experience. She’s worked for the California State Capitol for the Assembly as an intern.

“I thought I wanted to work at the Capitol,” Anderson says. “After about eight months, I didn’t want to work there. Too many politics, but it was a great experience.”

Anderson has worked with the Department of Education, specifically with the California High School Exit Exam during 2000. She worked with the Department of Statistics at UC Davis, and as an outreach supervisor with the Girl Scouts.

Anderson’s internal traits are things that an onlooker wouldn’t guess at first glance. She is hard on herself, even with things that are simple human errors. Her biggest fear is failing, but she continues learning.

While a cousin is the closest blood relative she has, Anderson says she has inherited “sisters” that function as her support system. Anderson bought her own house and she loves being home. She loves getting together with girlfriends and she enjoys decorating.

“HGTV is my best friend. I love decorating,” Anderson says.

As Anderson continues to fight for student equality, she looks forward to the future.

“I trust my journey. I trust God’s plan for my life,” Anderson says. “Student success is my success.”

Editor’s Note: This story was written by guest writer Kalaisha Totty ([email protected]).

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