History of BC

BC in the 1950s

Celebrating 110 years of educational excellence!

bc campus center

Established in 1913, Bakersfield College (BC) is one of the oldest continuously operating community colleges in the nation. In 1913, BC opened its doors to 13 students and since then, the needs of Kern County and the future success of our students has been our highest priority for nearly 110 years.

It was April 30, 1953, that Bakersfield College broke ground and began construction on the153-acre lot on the Panorama Bluffs. Breaking ground on our beloved campus, overlooking the prolific Kern River oil field was just the beginning of a rich history at 1801 Panorama Drive. At the time, the campus had 15 buildings and greeted 1,400 students and 89 faculty members.

In 1972, BC started offering classes in Delano and shortly after, in 1975 began offering health education courses in downtown Bakersfield at the Weill Institute. In 1981, BC expanded the Delano location, opening with 20 courses and nearly 400 enrollments. Considering the success of BC’s rural presence in Delano, BC focused on Arvin, offering courses at various community locations, such as Arvin High School, for those students who live and work in the Arvin and the surrounding south Kern area.

For over twenty years, Bakersfield College has also committed to serving students in southwest Bakersfield through locations such as Stockdale High School. In 2019, BC invested in a co-location, now known as BC Southwest, which opened on the shared property of California State University Bakersfield. This location is focused on offering high utility courses and transfer pathways, encouraging students to start at BC for their transfer degree and finish at CSU, Bakersfield, allowing them to earn their degree more affordably.

Bakersfield College is seen as a pillar throughout the community, blazing a trail at the forefront of the intellectual, cultural, and economic vitality for all of Kern County. The work is critical for building the solutions to some of our greatest societal and economic challenges including workforce development, job insecurities, income disparities, wellness, safety, and community health.

campus dedication in 1956
Celebrating BC's Rich History

Bakersfield College Archives

If you are wanting to learn even more about the history of Bakersfield College, the BC Archives is the place to go. From pictures throughout the years to Renegade Rip articles, there is so much to learn about BC's 110-year history.