The 26,000-square miles from Merced to Kern counties constitute a significant population of low-income rural residents with the nation’s lowest educational attainment. The lack of education translates to reduced employment opportunities, increased poverty, and limited access to resources such as education. Like rural communities across America, ensuring that California’s Central Valley meets the workforce demands of industry is essential to the economic stability of our rural communities. In rural regions, where populations are more dispersed and farther from major job centers, labor markets face different challenges than those in metro areas, where people are closer to education, training, and employment options.
More specifically, Bakersfield College serves over 20,000 students, within nearly 25,000 square miles in California in parts of Kern, Tulare, Inyo, Mono, and San Bernardino counties. The mission of Bakersfield College is to provide opportunities for students from diverse economic, cultural, and educational backgrounds to attain Associate and Baccalaureate degrees and certificates, workplace skills, and preparation for transfer.
This Fellowship will provide post-baccalaureate students interested in teaching in a 2-year college with an opportunity to participate in a Faculty Fellowship Program. This program will provide candidates a mentorship collaboration with a Bakersfield College faculty. In addition, candidates will gain exposure to the community college culture, including best practices for teaching and supporting the diverse group of students enrolled at Bakersfield College.
Bakersfield College is in need of qualified diverse faculty that can contribute to the Guided Pathways and other campus-wide efforts. The college has a growing number of students of color and it is imperative for the college to implement practices that will aid in the recruiting and retention of students of color. Additionally, as described in the literature, faculty of color are vital to the success of underrepresented minorities.
A Faculty Fellowship Program allows the college to recruit and train qualified candidates in an effective and fiscally responsible manner. More importantly, it is a contribution to the community to hire candidates from the San Joaquin Valley, and the surrounding areas, to teach for Bakersfield College. Bakersfield College is a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) with 67.93% of students enrolled identified as Hispanic in the 2018-2019 Academic Year. The table below shows the desegregated data for full-time faculty at Bakersfield College by race.
The Regional Collaborative (RC) will be composed of 4-year partners, which includes both public research-based and comprehensive institutions. In addition, an Advisory Board, which will be composed of key industry stakeholders in the Greater Bakersfield Area, will also be invited to participate in some capacity.
Data from Fall 2018 show that faculty at Bakersfield College are not representative of the student demographic. Scholars argue that institutions that serve a large demographic of Underrepresented Minorities (URM) students have a responsibility to hire faculty and staff that mirror their student population. Furthermore, data show that institutions with faculty of color typically serve students of color with a deeper sense of belonging, higher test scores, and higher persistence rates.
Further, data comparing student demographics compared to faculty racial makeup (both adjunct and fulltime) show that white faculty are overrepresented while URM groups are underrepresented, as shown below:
Equally as important, is the mentorship and development of faculty of color. According to the literature, it is not enough to diversify the hiring process, it is vital to also foster and cultivate newly hired URM faculty. That is why initiatives like the Faculty Fellowship Program assist with both goals. Not only are candidates given exposure to the classroom, they are also mentored by an established faculty member. Additionally, once candidates are recruited and trained through this program, exemplary candidates can be recruited to assist with campus-wide efforts such as rural initiatives, inmate scholars program, early college, dual enrollment, amongst others.
Bakersfield College is part of the Aspire Network Regional Collaborative (RC), which focuses on preparing STEM graduate students to transition into teaching positions in community colleges. Further, the RC follows a Collective Impact (CI) model between two and four-year institutions in the Central Valley region as described below.
|Players/Collective Impact Criteria||Common Agenda||Shared Measurements||Mutually Reinforcing Activities||Continuous Communication||Backbone Support|
|Co-Leads||Outline the goals of the Regional Collaborative||Collect data on faculty diversity in STEM areas||Establish and plan RC meetings and oversee the work in alignment with established goals||
Develop and adopt a communication plan at the first Regional Collaborative Meeting
|Institutional Administrators||Establish and document needs for the Faculty Fellowship Program||Utilize disaggregated data collected to establish goals for recruitment and placement of Fellows||Ensure resources are available to successfully maintain the RC goals|
|STEM Faculty||Identify gaps in STEM faculty recruitment||Establish goals for the Bakersfield College faculty mentorship portion||Utilize RC partnerships to address areas of need (e.g. Math faculty recruitment; Recruit faculty (2-year) to participate as mentors in the program|
|Education Faculty||Focus on joint curriculum for the program||Create curricular goals for the program||Push curricular plan through governance boards for approval|
|Rural Initiatives Team (BC)||Identify placement of Fellows in high-need areas||Set goals for addressing placement gaps in rural sites||Work with STEM faculty in identifying mentoring faculty that can help candidates transition to their assigned site|
The Bakersfield College Faculty Diversification Fellowship Program:
Program Fellows will:
For program consideration, applicants must submit the following documents as part of their online application:
Email Maria Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org.