San Diego, California - San Diego State University’s Sage Project has announced a partnership with the city of Lemon Grove for the 2016-17 academic year.

The Lemon Grove City Council recently approved a list of projects for students to work on in the coming year. Lemon Grove’s wish list includes an analysis of its urban areas, an infrastructure maintenance and improvement project, the development of a wall mural, as well as efforts to develop branding images for the city.

“This year’s partnership will involve students from disciplines across campus,” said Jessica Barlow, director of the Sage Project. “The variety of projects provides students with an opportunity to make their mark in Lemon Grove and get involved in community events where they will be able to present their ideas and showcase their work.”

Participating disciplines this year include graphic design, geography, public administration, criminal justice, city planning, political science, civil engineering, economics, communications and the arts.

"SDSU is committed to the success of all students through the strategic expansion of transformational opportunities such as service learning," said Eric Rivera, vice president for Student Affairs. “Through programs like Sage, students are exposed to local government and regional issues, which help them further develop the skills they learn in their coursework. At the same time, local communities gain direct benefits through our students' engagement."

Sage was founded at SDSU in 2013 and is modeled after the Sustainable City Year Program created seven years ago at the University of Oregon. In the past three years, SDSU students have tackled multiple real-world projects in National City, redesigned two parks in Tijuana and worked closely with officials in Santee and San Diego to implement changes that support sustainability.

Through their involvement with Sage, students are getting hands-on work experience in the community, but for many, the success does not stop there.

More than 70 students have had internships, either with the Sage Project or directly with one of the city partners. And two SDSU graduates now have full-time jobs with the City of National City as a direct result of participating in a Sage Project class.

“The Sage Project is a program that can open many doors for SDSU students, cities and the residents of those cities,” said Jessica Madamba, a graduate student in the SDSU city planning program. “I was offered a full-time position at City Hall in the Neighborhood Services Division, where I work now - all from taking one class.”