Plans Unveiled for Future Bakersfield College Arvin Educational Center

arvin educational center plans

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

On Tuesday evening, leadership of Bakersfield College unveiled plans and details for the long awaited expansion to serve rural students closer to home in Arvin. The community meeting, held in the library of Arvin High School, shared digital renderings and specifications for the new 27,300 sq. ft. center to be located nearby on Varsity Road. Plans for the facility include 5 classrooms, a tutoring center, writing center, computer labs, library, bookstore, and dedicated space for Student Government with construction to begin as early as July 2022.

“This future Arvin Educational Center will empower our students by providing local, high-quality education which we know has the power to transform individual lives and this community as a whole,” said Kern Community College District Trustee, Yovani Jimenez. “This Education Center would not have been possible without the collaboration between members of the Arvin community, the rural education team from Bakersfield College, county and state officials, and our taxpayers who voted yes on Measure J in 2016.”

The informational update provided the community details on the actual specifications of the facility, planned timeline, as well as details about the educational programming that BC will make a focus of at the Arvin Educational Center. 

According to Bakersfield College's Executive Director of Facilities and Operations, Marcos Rodriguez, bids on construction will take place this upcoming spring with construction to commence as early as July 2022. Based on rough estimates, the project is anticipated to complete two years later in spring 2024.

Alongside a robust offering of core classes needed to meet general education requirements, efficient and complete pathways will be made available at the Arvin center for Associate Degrees for Transfer in Sociology and Communication Studies, skilled Certificates for Welding and EMT, and non-credit courses for basic office skills and English for multilingual students.

The Arvin center will also include a comprehensive representation from a variety of support services including Financial Aid, Admissions and Records, Counseling and Educational Training, Academic Support, Disabled Students Programs and Services, Student Life, Student Government, Outreach and Early College, and Veterans Services. A permanent library and bookstore will also be available for rural students in Arvin.

Bakersfield College has been committed to building a college going culture in the Arvin and Lamont area for nearly 18 years, beginning with developmental courses offered at Arvin High. By 2010, there was a need for local college-level courses and BC was there to bolster offerings.

Since then, the college has worked with Arvin High School and Building Healthy Communities South Kern to identify and address the unique needs of rural students. In 2013, BC provided a part-time counselor at the high school to share information about the college and assist students with the transition after high school.

By 2017, BC's Early College Program welcomed their first cohort of students with funds received through the “Game Changer” grant. The objective was to build a program that allowed Arvin students to complete at least one year of college prior to high school graduation. The program has since developed into an extensive list of Early College courses and pathway offerings for Arvin High students. BC is now offering over 30 college course sections for approximately 300 high school students each Fall and Spring at Arvin High, with additional evening courses scheduled for community members as well. These courses include the opportunity for high school students to complete an entire Associate Degree for Transfer, for free, while in high school.

“This partnership opens access to higher education for all members of the Arvin and Lamont communities. Whether they are a high school student seeking support as they get an early start on their degree, a high school graduate, or an adult learner making the bold decision to return to college, Bakersfield College's Arvin Educational Center will be a place where these dreams can come true,” said BC's Director of Rural Initiatives, Jaime Lopez.

Arvin High and Bakersfield College are excited to continue and grow their partnership with the addition of the Bakersfield College Arvin Educational Center, to be located adjacent to the high school, right across the street.

Story picked up by: 
Kern Sol News