History of the Baccalaureate Degree Program
Looking for the Industrial Automation Baccalaureate Program page?
Another historic first for Bakersfield College!
On Jan. 20, 2015, the California Community Colleges Chancellors Office announced BC had been selected as one of just 15 colleges in California to pilot a four-year degree program.
Following the announcement, BC immediately began work with the state developing the parameters for a new Bachelor of Science in Industrial Automation program to be offered to BC students.
The decision rewarded BC's exhaustive five-month pursuit of the program following the signing of SB 850 by California Governor Jerry Brown in September 2014. In completing the state's rigorous application process, Bakersfield College obtained statements of support from more than 80 representatives of local businesses, education, and government, illustrating how strongly the greater Bakersfield community supported the college's application for the baccalaureate pilot program.
Industrial automation represents the technology-driven business model of the 21st century. In today's industry, engineers involved in developing new products or processes work closely with supervisors who apply scientific and technical knowledge in the design, manufacturing, and repair of automation systems. Bakersfield College's Baccalaureate Degree Program in Industrial Automation will train students with the skill set those managers require, meeting the needs of a host of local employers, including major companies in the agriculture, distribution, and manufacturing sectors.
Under the law, the four-year degree programs must be up and running by at least the 2017-18 academic year. However, districts may start their programs by the fall 2015 semester following final approval of the plan in March 2015.
Kern EDC Endorses the IA Program
In addition to getting the campus and BC students buzzing, the new program has even captured the attention of Bakersfield's business elite. Check out the fantastic spread on the Industrial Automation degree in the Kern Economic Development Corporation's Connections newsletter. When one of the region's most formidable business advocacy organizations is on your side, it's just more assurance that area businesses are as anxious to see program graduates enter the workforce as we are to deliver them!
Letters of Support
- 02/12/15 - Kern EDC Connections Newsletter: New Baccalaureate of Applied Science in Industrial Automation at Bakersfield College - Kern Economic Development Corporation (PDF)
- 01/20/15 - Press Release: Bakersfield College Selected as Baccalaureate Pilot Site Location - Bakersfield College (PDF)
- 01/20/15 - Press Release: First California Community College Bachelor's Degree Programs Receive Initial Approval from Board of Governors - California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office (PDF)
- 01/20/15 - State chancellor's office recommends BC offer four-year degree - Bakersfield Californian (PDF)
- 01/20/15 - BC picked for community college bachelor's degree test run - Bakersfield Now (PDF)
- 01/20/15 - Bakersfield College selected as baccalaureate pilot site location - KERO 23 (PDF)
- 01/20/15 - California community colleges board approves 15 pilot bachelor's degrees - Sacramento Bee (PDF)
- 06/21/14 - California community colleges may soon offer bachelor's degrees - The Daily Breeze
- 05/05/14 - Dan Walters: It's time to revisit outdated Master Plan for Higher Education - The Sacramento Bee (PDF)
- 03/24/14 - Editorial: California's community colleges re-opening door to those shut out during Great Recession - The Sacramento Bee (PDF)
- 03/18/14 - BC supports community college bachelor's degrees - Bakersfield Now (PDF)
- 03/15/14 - Bakersfield College seeks to add four-year degree - Bakersfield Californian (PDF)
Letter to Chancellor Harris
Dear Chancellor Harris:
One year ago, in January 2013, I returned to become the tenth President of Bakersfield College. What I found here at Bakersfield was the same vibrant campus that I knew and loved since my days as math faculty, a campus with a fierce dedication to service in education and a 100-year history of innovation since bringing higher education to the southern reaches of the central valley.
I'm writing to state the obvious, that Bakersfield College should be one of your pilot sites for the baccalaureate degree (SB 850 - Community College District Baccalaureate Degree Pilot Programs). The combination of quality, capacity, dedication, willingness, community need and economic viability make this choice, for me, a self-evident one.
We are widely recognized as having one of the best Associate Degree Nursing Programs. As you know, nursing is a program where successful students are virtually guaranteed a job -- healthcare needs new nurses faster than we can train them. The industry is changing however, and Bachelor's degrees in Nursing are now the standard for entry level jobs in most areas of California. Both the need and the opportunity for Bakersfield College to address that need are immediate.
Bakersfield College is an ideal choice as one of the first community colleges to successfully offer a Bachelor's degree for all the right reasons. It would build on existing strength to meet fundamental community health needs and build the economy. It would maintain the premise and promise of making our nursing graduates among the best prepared and most competitive in a rapidly changing marketplace. And it would continue a proud lineage of educational innovation for the citizens of the South San Joaquin Valley.
Please let me know if I can be of assistance in moving SB 850 forward in any way, as I truly feel offering baccalaureate degrees at California's community colleges, and Bakersfield College in particular, is important to the health of California's healthcare system. I believe that this legislation needs to be part of the next California Educational Master Plan. After all, it was Dorothy Donahoe, the legislator from Bakersfield, who in 1958 proposed developing a progressive plan for California's Higher Education Institutions. So let's do it, and in 2014, let's have Bakersfield as one of the pilot sites.
Thank you for your consideration.
Documents and Resources
- CTE Program Endorsement: Bachelor of Science in Industrial Automation Degree
- Comprehensive Program Review: Industrial Automation
- Baccalaureate of Applied Science: Industrial Automation Official Application (12.19.2014)
- Baccalaureate of Applied Science: Industrial Automation
- ACCJC Substantive Change Proposal (9.29.2015)
Letters of Support
- Sonya Christian letter of support to Chancellor Brice Harris (2.1.2014)
- KCCD Chancellor Sandra Serrano letter to support SB 850 (8.22.2014)
- Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce Minutes (6.20.2014)
- Nursing Deans' & Directors' Letter of Support
For more, see our "Letters of Support" above.
- Letter of Congratulations from CCCCO Chancellor Brice Harris (10.23.15)
- BC Approved for BAS: President Sonya Christian's Email to Staff (1.20.2015)
- Update on Status of Approved Baccalaureate Programs from Chancellor Brice Harris (3.16.2015)
- Update on SB 850 from Constance Carroll (8.5.2014)
- SB 850 Assembly Committee on Higher Education Analysis (6.25.2014)
- SB 850: Amended Language (5.1.14)
- Senate Education Committee analysis and staff recommendations
- Carroll Public Testimony at BOG Meeting (3.4.14)
- Email: Baccalaureate Discussion at CCC Board of Governors Meeting (3.4.14)
- SB 850 Introduced Language
- California Community Colleges Baccalaureate Degree Study Group Report
- Overview & Issues
- Applied Baccalaureate: Board of Trustees (11.13.2014)
- PDF: 10.24.2014 Bakersfield College FCDC Presentation
- PowerPoint: 10.24.2014 Bakersfield College FCDC Presentation
KCCD Board of Trustees
- May 15, 2015 Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes - BC Mission
- May 15, 2015 Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes - BC Catalog
- Nov. 13, 2014 Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes - SB850 Pilot
- May 8, 2014 Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes - SB 850
- Resolution in Support of SB850 - Board of Trustees