African American Initiatives


African American Initiatives are planned interventions and strategies to address the underrepresentation of African American students at Bakersfield College. These initiatives address the student retention, persistence, and success rates. Coordination of these strategies involves the intentional establishment of collaborative partnerships among departments, programs, and in the hiring of faculty and staff committed to this work.

African American Initiatives work is funded in part by the California Community College Chancellor's Office Student Equity Plan funding. Learn more about the college's strategic equity planning.

Student Recruitment

  • Lead: Steven Watkin, Interim President of Bakersfield College:
  • Targeted outreach and recruitment at selected high schools
  • Community-based outreach programs

Completion Coaching Community

We'd like to introduce you to YOUR Completion Coaching Community specifically designed to work with you, BC African American Students.


Paula Parks, Coordinator, Umoja ASTEP Community

(661) 395-4767


Jennifer Achan, Executive Director, Financial Aid & Scholarships

(661) 395-4428

Academic Communities, Classes, and Clubs

  • Lead: Paula Parks, Faculty, English
    Coordinator, Umoja Community African-American Success Through Excellence and Persistence (ASTEP)
    • Core English and Student Development Courses
    • Umoja-supported courses, such as Math and Astronomy
    • BC and Community Mentors
    • Study Sessions
    • Academic and Cultural Trips
    • College Trips and Transfer Activities 
  • Advisor, Umoja Community Club
    • Speakers
    • Study Sessions
    • Porch Talk
    • Black History Month Conference

Support Groups and Activities

Community Partnership

More Information


Photo Slideshows

2017 African American Community Leaders Breakfast

2016 Black Graduation

2015 Black Recognition Ceremony

2014 ASTEP Community Meeting