Bakersfield College serves over 30,000 students in the 25,000 square miles in California, spanning parts of Kern, Tulare, Inyo, Mono, and San Bernardino counties. Within those miles is a significant population of low-income rural residents. Typically in rural regions, populations are more dispersed and farther from major job centers. There is also lower educational attainment, job training, and the job market faces unique and specific challenges compared to more urban areas. Bakersfield College already works tirelessly to meet those workforce demands by providing opportunities for students from diverse economic, cultural, and educational backgrounds to attain Associate and Baccalaureate degrees and certificates, workplace skills, and preparation for transfer.
Bakersfield College is also a Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) with 66.7% of students identified as Hispanic in the 2020-2021 Academic Year. Yet, data from Fall 2020 also show that faculty at Bakersfield College are not representative of the student demographic. Data comparing student demographics compared to faculty racial makeup (both adjunct and full time) show that white faculty are overrepresented while Underrepresented Minorities (URM) groups are underrepresented, as shown in the graph below.
Institutions that serve a large demographic of URM students, like BC, have a responsibility to hire faculty and staff that mirror their student population because institutions with faculty of color typically serve students of color with a deeper sense of belonging, which leads to higher test scores, and higher persistence rates.
To meet workforce demands and the needs of the student population, Bakersfield College requires a qualified diverse faculty group. 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 those students, and faculty of color is vital to the success of underrepresented minorities.
Therefore, the Faculty Diversification Fellowship provides post-baccalaureate STEM students interested in teaching at a 2-year college with an opportunity to participate in 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 a rural California Community College.
The Faculty Fellowship Program allows the college to recruit and train qualified candidates in an effective and fiscally responsible manner. More importantly though, it is a contribution to the community to hire candidates from the San Joaquin Valley, and the surrounding areas, to teach for Bakersfield College.
The mentorship and development of faculty of color is equally important as the development of our students of color. It is not enough to diversify the hiring process, it is vital to also foster and cultivate newly hired URM faculty. Therefore the Faculty Diversification Program provides candidates with both exposure to the classroom, as well as mentorship from 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, the rising scholars program, early college, dual enrollment, and 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. 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. 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:
Questions? For further information or questions regarding the program, contact Dr. Maria Wright at firstname.lastname@example.org.