Bakersfield College

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History of the Baccalaureate Degree Program

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

Kern EDC LogoIn 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!
 


Photo Gallery

Check out images from Jan. 20, 2015: BC President Sonya Christian in Sacramento for the announcement; and the following news conference at BC. See more images here.

Bakersfield College's efforts to become a bachelor's degree pilot site were widely supported in our community. Below, find letters of support from business and community leaders, as well as a dynamic list of Bakersfield College staff and students who supported our bid to have a Baccalaureate of Applied Science at Bakersfield College.

 


Full List (Alphabetical)

AC Electric

A-C Electric’s talent needs go well beyond the educational opportunities currently available in Central California. Our customers are leaders of industry, looking to us to solve their automation needs utilizing sophisticated, sustainable design and development methods. Sourcing this caliber of talent has proven to be both difficult and costly. Further, our growth models require exceptional talent, and as such we have set talent sourcing, acquisition and development at the forefront of our strategic objectives. Supporting a local source for automation technology is an obvious and desirable option for A-C Electric, therefore we welcome the opportunity.

AC Electric

Jim Baldwin, President, Bakersfield ARC

Like BARC, Bakersfield College strives to build a stronger community. Bakersfield College has a proven track record of meeting local workforce demands in applied and technical areas, supporting underrepresented students and providing affordable, accessible quality instruction. In our book, Bakersfield College is a shining star in California and the nation! We fully support Bakersfield College’s proposed baccalaureate degree.
Jim Baldwin

Gaurdie E. Bannister, Pres./CEO, Aera Energy

As a major employer in Kern County, Aera Energy supports Bakersfield College’s efforts to offer an Allied Baccalaureate degree in Industrial Automation. Having a local academic program that prepares students for careers in technical management will support many of the employment needs in the community while creating lasting partnerships with key industries in Kern County.
Gaurdie E. Bannister

Richard Beene, Pres./CEO, Bakersfield Californian

The Bakersfield Californian, family owned for more than 130 years, believes strongly in any effort to provide access to higher education to everyone in our community. Bakersfield College has a long and storied history of educating our future leaders, and we strong support the school's application for a BAS in Industrial Automation. The Bakersfield College leadership team as our unwavering support in this process.
Richard Beene

Martin Biter, Warden, Kern Valley State Prison

I have known about Bakersfield College Delano Campus for some time now as part of the Delano Community Alliance. Their drive for creating successful programs is commendable, and Bakersfield College’s vision of offering a baccalaureate degree in Applied Science in Industrial Automation will only enhance and further the economic development of northern Kern County, the southern Central Valley and provide considerable needed economic opportunities for the families that live here.
Kern Valley State Prison

Gregory Bynum, Owner, Gregory D. Bynum and Associates

Bynum and Associates’ success is built on its dedication to providing superior products and services in all areas of its businesses as well as to its commitment to the communities it serves. That’s why we support Bakersfield College’s proposed baccalaureate of applied science in Industrial Automation.

Gregory Bynum

Morgan Clayton, CEO/President, Tel-Tec Security Systems Inc.

From its inception, Tel-Tec Security Systems, Inc. has been involved in making the community a better place to live and work. Bakersfield College has a proven track record in that arena, too. Bakersfield College meets local workforce demands in applied and technical areas, and that is very important to us. Bakersfield College’s proposed baccalaureate of applied science in Industrial Automation has our full support. 
Morgan Clayton

Tom Corson, Exec. Director, Kern County Network for Children

Kern County Network for Children works for the benefit of children and families in Kern County through a host of special programs including job training and integrated services to current and emancipated foster youth. We stress that continuing education is critical to life and career success, so we are pleased to know that Bakersfield College's proposed baccalaureate of applied science in Industrial Automation might be available in our community. Affordable and accessible education is the key to building a strong community for the young people of Kern County.
Tom Corson

Chris Crawford, Superintendent, Greenfield Union School District

The Greenfield Union School District supports Bakersfield College in its endeavor to establish a baccalaureate degree in Applied Science in Industrial Automation. This program will provide students in our community with the skills and degree necessary to work in this well-paying, growing industry.
ChrisCrawford

Karen Davis, Director, Arvin School District Family Resource Center

The Arvin School District Family Resource Center applauds the efforts of Bakersfield College to offer a baccalaureate degree in Applied Science in Industrial Automation. Our community members are ready and eager to pursue careers at the cutting edge of technology, and we expect that many of them will want to take part in this exciting BAS program, which will promote the economic development of the southern Central Valley and provide much needed economic opportunities for the families that live here.

Arvin School District Family Resource Center

Delano Joint Union High School District

The Delano Joint Union High School District applauds the efforts of Bakersfield College to offer a baccalaureate degree in Applied Science in Industrial Automation. Our graduates are ready and eager to pursue careers at the cutting edge of technology, and we expect that many of them will want to take part in this exciting BAS program, which will promote the economic development of the southern Central Valley and provide much needed economic opportunities for the families that live here.
Delano Joint Union High School District

Mark DeRosia, Police Chief, City of Delano

It is with great pleasure that I offer my full support and recommendation for the Bakersfield College to be approved to offer a Bachelor's of Arts degree of Applied Science in Industrial Automation. As a Chief of Police, I look to our local colleges and universities to provide innovative programs to not only the residents of the City of Delano, the surrounding communities, and also for the men and women of the Delano Police Department. Technology is ever changing and a program such as industrial automation would be a perfect program for many of my staff to pursue. I am very eager and excited to learn of the possibility that the Bakersfield College might be able to offer this program to all those who are in attendance at the college, and for the many potential students who would benefit from it as well.

Delano Police

Danny Espitia, Community Resource Manager, North Kern State Prison

NKSP understands the importance and the rewards the course will offer each graduate in the BAS program. The importance to communicate effectively in both written and oral forms including presentations is vital in all areas in today’s work force. With today’s technology playing an integral part in every industry, we understand the impact this will have not only in industrial design, facility planning and operations, project management and budgeting. The ultimate reward of leadership and entrepreneurship and quality assurance upon completion will only enhance the quality of life in the Central Valley.

North Kern State Prison

Darren Filkins, Sr. VP of Agriculture, Bolthouse Farms

I am pleased to support the efforts of Bakersfield College in bringing a Bachelor of Applied Sciences to our community. This degree would help us meet our employment and technical service needs tremendously, while providing a solid employment opportunity with an industry leading company.

» Read the full letter of support

Darren Filkins

Jenny Frank, Office Mgr., Bakersfield Vet Center

The Bakersfield Vet Center provides veterans with readjustment counseling services to assist them in a successful transition into civilian life. Part of a successful transition includes education that will lead to career enrichment, and therefore, life enrichment. Bakersfield College has been a strong partner of this mission and this degree will further enhance both our relationship and the opportunity for personal and educational development for those who have sacrificed for our freedoms.
Jenny Frank

Jean Fuller, State Senator, 16th District

As a graduate and former superintendent of schools, I know Bakersfield College provides its students with a high-quality education. Given the region's need for workers in the petroleum, agriculture, logistics and manufacturing industries, the addition of a four-year BAS degree in Industrial Automation will be a tremendous asset to Bakersfield and the region's economy. For these reasons, I support the efforts of Bakersfield College to offer this degree on their campus.
Jean Fuller

Valerie Garcia, Principal, McFarland Learning Center

Providing students with an opportunity to receive their Baccalaureate of Applied Science in Industrial Automation at Bakersfield College is another way BC is supporting our community. I know our students would benefit from earning a BAS in Industrial Automation, which would allow them to apply for high wage jobs in the Central Valley. We are looking forward to all the possibilities this degree will offer. Thank you Bakersfield College for you continued support in our future!

McFarland Unified School District

Mick Gleason, Kern County Supervisor, District 1

I am in full support of Bakersfield College's willingness to offer a baccalaureate degree in Applied Science in Industrial Automation. Bakersfield College is an outstanding educational facility that would maximize the BAS program for both students who are seeking rewarding careers and our business community within the Central Valley desperately needing their skills.

Kern County

Leslie Golich, Public Affairs and Brand Comm. Mgr., Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is committed to making lives better in the communities we serve. The Bakersfield College Baccalaureate in Industrial Automation is in keeping with that mission. By increasing the education level of residents, Bakersfield College will help improve the economic status of people, thus benefiting overall health and wellness of people in our community. Delivering Total Health takes teamwork, and Kaiser Permanente joins with Bakersfield College to achieve that goal.
Leslie Golich

Karen Goh, President, Garden Pathways

Garden Pathways mentors children, youth, and adults to build productive lives. Our community-based non-profit enthusiastically supports the proposed Bakersfield College BAS in Industrial Automation. The program increases higher education accessibility and affordability for our ethnically diverse and socioeconomically disadvantaged population. It also enables underrepresented and place-bound Central Valley students to compete in high-demand occupations in a changing economy and contribute to the local region. Our community needs this economically viable program to increase local capacity to meet the 21st century workforce demands in Kern County.
Karen Goh

Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce

The Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce provides leadership for a healthy business community. The opportunity to benefit regional business is the reason we support the proposed Bakersfield College BAS in Industrial Automation program. The degree is a means to support local business needs to develop the trained workforce for future business growth of our community.

Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce

Jeffrey Green, Grimmway Enterprises, Inc.

As a family owned and operated business, and the largest agricultural employer in Kern County, Grimmway Farms relies upon a workforce that can meet the continually changing and challenging demands of the international agricultural marketplace. The products grown and processed by Grimmway Farms compete with products grown and processed around the world. To support a workforce that can meet the challenge of competing on an international scale, Grimmway Farms strongly supports Bakersfield College’s application to offer a Baccalaureate of Applied Science in Agriculture.
Jeffrey Green

Lisa Green, Kern County District Attorney

As the District Attorney of Kern County, I am aware of numerous studies that link lack of education to increased crime rates.   Education, and a college education in particular, can be one path that will ultimately allow people to improve their economic status. This in turn helps to improve the overall well-being of the individual and his or her community.  Therefore, I wholeheartedly support the proposal to bring a baccalaureate of applied science degree in Industrial Automation to Bakersfield College.
Lisa Green

Douglas R. Greener, Bakersfield Fire Chief

The Bakersfield Fire Department mission is to protect life, property, and the environment, in part through education and training. The BFD respects the value that the Bakersfield College Baccalaureate of Applied Science in Industrial Automation would bring to the community in terms of industrial safety and quality assurance, and we fully support the proposal as common to our own mission goals.
Douglas R. Greener

Shannon Grove, State Assembly, District 34

Bakersfield College's proposal to offer Baccalaureate of Applied Science degrees in Industrial Automation will be a new and exciting step in the school's long and rich history. This program will provide a vital skill in an important industry, translating into a stronger employment base and economy in Bakersfield and the entire San Joaquin Valley.

» Read the full letter of support

Shannon Grove

Connie Grumling, Principal, South High School

South High School is committed to preparing students for post-secondary education leading to jobs that will serve our community. Our curriculum includes an Industrial Technology and Engineering California Partnership Academy (MS3). While many of our students dream of continuing education in this field, some lack the funds needed between the gap in grants available and actual living expenses. In order to continue their studies in this field, most students leave Kern County after high school and do not return. The BAS in Industrial Automation will create a pathway that provides a means to a career many students have explored and dreamed of. We support the proposed Bakersfield College BAS in Industrial Automation.
Connie Grumling

Harvey Hall, Bakersfield Mayor

The City of Bakersfield and its citizens stand to greatly benefit from the ability of Bakersfield College to offer Applied Baccalaureate degrees.  This affordable four-year option will open horizons for many of our residents, resulting in greater earning power and prosperity for those individuals as well as their families, and have a positive economic impact on the entire community.
Harvey Hall

Della Hodson, President, United Way of Kern County

United Way of Kern County is dedicated to improving the financial stability of working families in our community, and building a better quality of life for all. Increasing the education level of residents improves their economic status and, in turn, benefits overall health and wellness of the individual and the community. With its 100-year history of meeting local workforce demands in applied and technical areas, Bakersfield College is uniquely positioned to deliver a quality BAS in Industrial Automation program.
UWKC

Scott Hurlbert, City Manager, City of Shafter

Shafter City Council supports Bakersfield College's efforts to increase educational opportunities in the southern San Joaquin Valley.  Shafter believes this to be a very good fit in Kern County and ties nicely to technology used in all of Shafter's core industries.  Shafter is very much excited about exploring with Bakersfield College the new and exciting educational partnerships.

» Read the full letter of support

Shafter

Patrick Jackson Jr., President, NAACP

The NAACP believes strongly that future leaders must be developed today. We support the leadership development potential of Bakersfield College’s proposed BAS in Industrial Automation. Bakersfield College has a proven track record of supporting underrepresented students and providing affordable, accessible quality instruction that will help educate tomorrow’s leaders. The Bakersfield College’s proposed baccalaureate degree gets our vote.
Patrick Jackson Jr.

Russell Judd, CEO, Kern Medical Center

Kern Medical Center has greatly benefited from Bakersfield College academic contributions to our community. It is our privilege to support Bakersfield College in their endeavor to continue this tradition by privoding a Baccalaureate of Applied Science in Industrial Automation. A program for individuals to achieve this skill set would be a valuable asset to Kern County.

» Read the full letter of support

Russell Judd

Kern Economic Development Corporation

Kern Economic Development Corporation Supports a Baccalaureate of Applied Science in Industrial Automation at Bakersfield College. Kern County ranks at or near the top of state and national lists that indicate a successful and growing economy, thanks largely to the area’s energy, agriculture and logistics industries. The main threat to continuing this trajectory is workforce. These growing industries require a workforce that has the technical skills to meet current, and future, employment needs. Kern Economic Development Corporation recruits these businesses to the region and works with existing local businesses to help them grow. Unless our education system can keep up with this demand, Kern County (and California) will very possibly lose these new and expanding businesses to other states.
Kern Economic Development Corporation

Steven D. Kinsey, Chairman/Pres., Delano Community Alliance

The Delano Community Alliance is in full support of the efforts by Bakersfield College to expand educational opportunities to our community through a baccalaureate degree program in Applied Science in Industrial Automation. Our area is in desperate need of opportunities for our youth to obtain the knowledge and skills needed to be successful in pursuit of a viable career. This program will have far-reaching benefits to our community, valley and even the state.
Steven D. Kinsey

Martin Lonza, Principal, Wasco Independence High School

The Wasco Union High School District is supportive of Bakersfield College and its effort to offer a baccalaureate degree in Applied Science in Industrial Automation. Our students are in need of expanded options in fields that lead to careers currently in demand. We believe that this Bachelor of Science degree helps fill this need. This degree will not only support our graduating students, but will also provide opportunities for economic advancement to the whole of the Southern San Joaquin valley. It is through programs and degrees such as this that our community can begin to exploit its' skills and potential.

» Read the full letter of support

Wasco Independence High School

Carmen Lopez, Reg. Career Pathways Specialist, John Muir Charter School

John Muir Charter School strongly supports Bakersfield College's pursuit of the baccalaureate degree in Applied Science in Industrial Automation. Our students as well as the Kern County communities could greatly benefit from such an opportunity. This baccalaureate degree will provide greater opportunities to all of our students as well as help boost our local economy.

» Read the full letter of support

John Muir Charter School

Mike Maggard, Kern County Supervisor, District 3

Kern County sets the standard for excellence in energy, agriculture, aerospace, transportation and logistics. The Bakersfield College BAS in Industrial Automation will help Kern County continue this tradition by meeting the business needs of our region while developing an educated workforce for a brighter future.
Mike Maggard

Dena Maloney, Superintendent-President, Taft College

Taft College, like all community colleges in our region, is dedicated to meeting the workforce preparation needs in the Central Valley.  We understand the shortage of qualified technicians at the bachelor’s degree level, particularly in Industrial Automation. The Bakersfield College BAS in Industrial Automation is an innovative response to the Central Valley’s labor market demands while providing a pathway to a cost-effective, high quality baccalaureate degree program for students.  This program will strengthen the regional economy and create a much-needed educational opportunity for students in the Central Valley.

» Read the full letter of support

Dena Maloney

Kevin McCarthy, U.S. Congressman - 23rd District

Access to high-quality higher education is essential to a community's prosperity.  Please give full consideration to Bakersfield College's application for participation in the California Community Colleges Baccalaureate Pilot Program.

» Read the full letter of support

Kevin McCarthy

Michelle McLean, Superintendent, Arvin Union School District

My mother, husband, daughters and I are all proud alumni of Bakersfield College, and we most definitely appreciate what Bakersfield College did for us and our family.  My family and I wholeheartedly support the Bakersfield College BAS in Industrial Automation program.

» Read the full letter of support

Michelle McLean

Anthony Monreal, Superintendent, Delano Union Elementary School District

Delano Union Elementary School District is in full support of your request for a Baccalaureate of Applied Science in Industrial Automation at Bakersfield College. I believe the content of the degree will benefit the area employment needs, as well as provide needed skill sets for employees seeking higher level employment in this area.
Delano Union Elementary School District

Dena Murphy, Director, Kern County Dept. of Human Services

If our county is going to be adequately prepared to address the latest challenges we will need to have a trained workforce ready for those challenges. We believe that Bakersfield College's BAS will help us to do just that. This program will not only assist with folks entering into more technologically dependent industries, but also will prepare them for advancement into technical management careers that will ensure that their former life of poverty will become just a recent part of their past.

» Read the full letter of support

Kern County Dept. of Human Services

Carla Musser, Public Affairs Manager, Chevron

Chevron believes increasing the education level of residents improves their economic status and, in turn, benefits overall health and wellness of the individual and the community. Chevron supports the proposed Bakersfield College BAS in Industrial Automation program.
Chevron

Michael O’Doherty, CEO, Cushman & Wakefield/Pacific Commercial Realty

The demand for such talent is growing daily in our market, and with the combined expansion of agriculture and the oilfields, there is a neverending search for these skill sets.
PACCRA

Ryan Pellett, Pres./CEO, J.D. Heiskell & Company

Our company is constantly on the lookout for quality industrial tradespeople to staff our feed manufacturing plant locations, which is why the prospective Applied Science in Industrial Automation offering from Bakersfield College really hits our sweet spot. Our leadership is energized by the potential for new, specifically-trained talent becoming available in an area where it has traditionally been in woefully short supply.
J.D. Heiskell

Jimmy Phillips, Marketing Director, San Joaquin Community Hospital

San Joaquin Community Hospital provides physical, mental and spiritual healing in our community. Increasing the education level of residents is another way to improve the health of a community, and that’s why San Joaquin Community Hospital supports Bakersfield College’s proposed baccalaureate of applied science program. BC’s plan to improve the education level of residents will also serve to improve people’s economic status. The result is a corresponding increase in the health and wellness of individuals and the community at large.
San Joaquin Community Hospital

Blair Pruett, Business Development, Kern Steel Fabrication

Kern Steel Fabrication, Inc. is pleased to support Bakersfield College in their quest to offer a baccalaureate of applied science in Industrial Automation. As an innovative and highly automated structural steel fabricator, Kern Steel is keenly aware of the large need for technically qualified employees. We are currently and historically understaffed in these positions. We look forward to the benefit of technically skilled employees provided by Bakersfield College, and we will support the BAS degree program as much as possible.
Blair Pruett

Janet Rabanal, Exec. Director, Delano Chamber of Commerce

The Delano Chamber of Commerce strongly supports Bakersfield College’s efforts to establish a Baccalaureate of Applied Science in Industrial Automation. The chamber’s efforts in economic development, and advocacy, are designed to create an environment for our members to prosper and succeed. The Bakersfield College BAS in Industrial Automation will prepare individuals for technical management careers and this supports our membership by improving the management pool needed in a critical area. The program addresses a significant employment gap in our community and we think it is essential to help improve our local economy.
Delano Chamber of Commerce

Stephen P. Renock, President, Kern Schools Federal Credit Union

Kern Schools Federal Credit Union is a full-service financial institution founded in 1938 by a small group of teachers from regional public schools. Improving education in the communities we serve is at the heart of our business just as it is for Bakersfield College. BC has a proven track record of meeting the needs of local workforce demands. That’s why Kern Schools Federal Credit Union fully supports the proposed Bakersfield College Baccalaureate of Applied Science in Industrial Automation as a means of creating new ways to prepare underrepresented students and providing affordable, accessible quality instruction.
Stephen P. Renock

Rudy Salas, State Assembly, 32nd District

I proudly support Bakersfield College and their efforts to offer a baccalaureate degree in Applied Science in Industrial Automation. The success of our students is vital to the valley and our economy. Bakersfield College will provide the central valley with another option to achieve a quality baccalaureate education for place-bound local students and military veterans. A BAS degree will better equip students to enter an ever evolving work force, and push our community towards a greater tomorrow.
Rudy Salas

Bryon Schaefer, Superintendent, Kern High School District

This program will provide increased relevance to many of our students' high school education and a clear and aspirational pathway for post-secondary work that will lead them to a viable career.  Offering a BAS in Industrial Automation will also provide opportunities for our district and the college to work together to build courses that give our students dual or transfer credit, strong program components that would incentivize more students to complete their a-g college entrance requirements and enroll into college immediately after high school.

» Read the full letter of support

Bryon Schaefer

Stephen W. Schilling, CEO, Clinica Sierra Vista

I am pleased to support the proposal by Bakersfield College to bring a four-year baccalaureate of applied science (BAS) degree in Industrial Automation to the southern San Joaquin Valley to meet the significant workforce training needs in the area.

» Read the full letter of support

Stephen W. Schilling

Kevin Silberberg, Superintendent, Panama-Buena Vista School District

The Panama-Buena Vista Union School District encourages the college experience beginning in 7th grade. Our students need additional options beyond the 4 year traditional university that might be out of town. Bakersfield College always comes up as a top three option for our students. Expanding the BC option for our students would be great news. We enthusiastically support the Bakersfield College BAS program!
Kevin Silberberg

Zane Smith, Exec. Director, Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County

The Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County is the largest Club in California with approximately 6000 school-age children relying upon the Club’s education and enrichment programs to support their academic success on a daily basis. This is why we support Bakersfield College’s BAS in Industrial Automation program as feasible pathway for our youth to reach both their academic and professional goals locally. We hope that this model will be approved to create positive futures for our students by allowing them to reach their full potential while living and working in our community.
Boys & Girls Clubs

Carol Sorrell, COO, Bakersfield Family Medical Center

Bakersfield Family Medical Center/Heritage Physician Network is recognized regionally and nationally as an innovator in our health care delivery system. Patient education and satisfaction is highly prioritized as a component of all of our medical programs and service activities. In this same spirit of innovation and education, BFMC recognizes the benefit that the Bakersfield College Baccalaureate of Applied Science in Industrial Automation would have on our community in equipping the next generation of skilled workers with the abilities and opportunities necessary to bring increased production and prosperity to the southern San Joaquin Valley.
Carol Sorrell

Jay Tamsi, Kern County Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Increasingly, job openings are requiring college education and more and more are looking for employees with a baccalaureate degree. BC's proposal is right on track to meet the needs of our region's Hispanic businesses.

» Read the full letter of support

Jay Tamsi

Alan Tandy, City Manager, City of Bakersfield

As a community, it is vital that we invest in developing our leaders of tomorrow today. For this reason, the City of Bakersfield supports expanding educational opportunities which will contribute to developing the skilled workforce our dynamic local economy requires. The Bakersfield College Baccalaureate of Applied Science in Industrial Automation program is one such example of a program designed to strengthen our community through advanced education.
Alan Tandy

Dick Taylor, Director, Kern County Veterans Service Department

The Kern County Veterans Service Department is supportive of the Bakersfield College BAS in Industrial Automation program. We feel this will be a significant benefit to our military personnel that are returning to civilian life.
Kern County

Michael Turnipseed, CEO, Kern County Taxpayers Association

The Kern County Taxpayers Association (KernTax) recognizes that a healthy business climate is necessary for a strong economy, and a strong economy is critical for a vibrant community. With local businesses calling for a more sophisticated workforce, the Bakersfield College BAS in Industrial Automation will be a critical component in an attempt to close the workforce skills gap in Kern County.

Michael Turnipseed

David Valadao, U.S. Congressman - 21st District

The ability to offer baccalaureate degrees would allow the college to provide accessible, high-quality and relevant instruction that prepares students for success in their future education and employment goals.

» Read the full letter of support

David Valadao

Jon Van Boening, Pres./CEO, Bakersfield Memorial Hospital

As an affiliate hospital of Dignity Health, Bakersfield Memorial Hospital is dedicated to delivering health services that are compassionate, high-quality and affordable. We promote healthy lifestyles as an integral part of the community we serve, with a special concern for the underserved. Bakersfield Memorial Hospital has enjoyed a long history with Bakersfield College and its excellent services to both its student community and the community at large. The four-year baccalaureate of applied science (BAS) degree in Industrial Automation would meet significant workforce training needs in the southern San Joaquin Valley, especially in our critical industries of petroleum and agriculture. I am pleased to offer the support of Bakersfield Memorial Hospital for this program.
Jon Van Boening

Ken Vaughan, Daniells Phillips Vaughan & Bock

As a Bakersfield College graduate and member of the Bakersfield College Foundation Board of Directors, I'm in full support of the proposed baccalaureate of applied science in Industrial Automation being proposed by Bakersfield College. This important degree will help the southern San Joaquin Valley and the community I call home attract new employers and provide the employee base for local business expansion. Our community needs the increased education and economic development that this degree program and its graduates can provide.
Ken Vaughan

Andy Vidak, State Senator, 14th District

Programs created in the wake of Senate Bill 850, such as the proposed BAS in Industrial Automation, will fill a need in our region as well as statewide.  Additionally, this proposed program may spur the cultivation of new jobs and industries in the Valley.

» Read the full letter of support

Andy Vidak

Michael Wolf, Div. Manager, Matrix Service Inc.

With the increasing demand for college graduates with technical degrees and the robust energy and agricultural industry in central California, a local degree program is very important to the region. In addition, raising the number of local residents that have achieved higher education will help attract new business to Kern County which benefits everyone in the community.

» Read the full letter of support

Matrix Services

Lisa Wong, Principal, T.J. Cross Engineers, Inc.

TJ Cross Engineers, Inc. recognizes the value of providing affordable quality technical education in our local community. We welcome the opportunity to partner and support higher education with their goals to support our growing automation workforce needs. Industrial automation is critical to Engineering, Operations, Process, Safety Management, Data Management, and Supervisory Control. We appreciate that Bakersfield College has recognized and addressed this gap.
Lisa Wong

Jennifer Wood-Slayton, Proj. Dir., Building Healthy Communities, S. Kern

Building Healthy Communities – South Kern strongly supports the establishment of a Baccalaureate of Applied Science in Industrial Automation at Bakersfield College. South Kern youth, residents, and partners strongly prioritize education because it is a pathway out of poverty for the families in our poor, rural communities. Programs such as this are essential to offering our youth opportunities to receive quality education and training and enter the workforce prepared, and in turn support the development of a strong local and regional economy.

BHC

Mark Wyatt, Principal, Bakersfield Adult School & Reg. Occupational Ctr.

Bakersfield Adult School and the Kern High School District’s Regional Occupational Center served over 12,000 underrepresented students last year. Raising the community’s literacy and providing career technical education to a diverse local workforce are vital part of our mission. Our students need the affordability and accessibility Bakersfield College offers to attain their career goals. The majority of our students need training in technical career fields. Having a BS in Industrial Automation will help support the technical education needs of our students. We strongly support Bakersfield College's application to offer the Applied Baccalaureate degree.
Bakersfield Adult School

Marko Zaninovich, President, Sunview Vineyards

Sunview Vineyards strives to grow quality table grapes. We value employees with a quality education who are problem solvers. Sunview supports the establishment of the Bakersfield College BAS degree program in Industrial Automation. The degree will help meet our future employment needs and generate capable citizens that will improve and contribute to the welfare of our community.
Sunview Vineyards

Barry Zoeller, Vice President, Corp. Comm. & Marketing, Tejon Ranch Co.

Tejon Ranch is happy to support Bakersfield College’s efforts to pursue offering a baccalaureate of applied science in Industrial Automation. Kern County ranks 35th out of 50 California counties in the percent of bachelor’s degrees (or higher) earned by residents. BC’s plans will produce a better educated population and enable place-bound local students and military veterans the opportunity to earn a baccalaureate degree needed for job opportunities. Benefiting the local community is part of the focus of Tejon Ranch, and our support of the BAS in Industrial Automation is consistent that value.

» Read the full letter of support

Tejon Ranch

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.

Sincerely,

Sonya Christian

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