Bakersfield College begins a new academic year with the fall semester, kicking off August 22. Enrollment is up an estimated 11% and new enrollments keep coming in. College representatives are eager to welcome new and returning students with the traditional Welcome Week, where BC’s staff are stationed at Welcome Tents across campus to help answer questions and help students navigate the 150-acre main campus. Courses are still available in all modalities including face-to-face, hybrid, and fully online and a wide variety of services are available both in-person and online, too.
President of Bakersfield College, Dr. Zav Dadabhoy (pronounced “Daada-boy”), is excited to see students returning to campus. “I am so grateful for our students, faculty, and staff. The Bakersfield College campus is safe and thriving,” he said. “While our enrollment numbers are still growing, we have hired numerous new faculty, expanded our programs, and have many educational opportunities for students to choose from. I am proud to see students finish the education they started or begin a new pathway towards a recession-proof and in-demand career for tomorrow.”
As many students return to complete their certifications and degrees after the pandemic disruptions of the past few years. in-person classes on campus are expanding while virtual and hybrid courses remain an option. Renegades are even electing to Finish Fast by enrolling in BC’s 8-week course offerings, giving students the flexibility to maintain full-time status while focusing on two or three courses within each 8-week period. Students coming to campus will see spaces that have been transformed with new building renovations with some ongoing construction, giving the college a vibrant and invigorating look and feel.
New to her position this year is the head of BC’s Student Government, BCSGA President, Shehrazad Barraj, also serving in a dual role as the Student Trustee for the Kern Community College District. She says, "SGA looks forward to seeing the campus come back to life with our fellow Renegades this fall. We could not be more privileged and excited to welcome them into our vibrant learning community. It is our responsibility as student leaders to support the concerns and wants of the student body. We look forward to the fresh ideas and energy they will bring to our campus, and incorporating their ideas into our program."
Here’s a look at what to expect this Fall at Bakersfield College:
In addition to the many certificate and associate degree programs, BC continues to create flexible options for all schedules and lifestyles including the option to Finish Fast. These classes are on 8-week schedules, allowing students to focus on select courses during each 8-week period of the 16-week semester.
Nearly two dozen students are entering their final year of the four-year Industrial Automation bachelor’s degree program at Bakersfield College. Students who pursue this pathway to a bachelor of science degree spend an estimated grand total of $11,000 for a 4-year education compared to $40,000 or more for similar programs in the CSU or UC systems.
Meanwhile, BC’s Early College program continues to expand its offerings and reach to local high school students wanting to get an early start on college. BC’s Early College program is the largest of its kind in the state of California, serving dually enrolled students at 42 high schools within the service region.
The college has also launched a number of non-credit courses and certificate programs in the past couple years. These are open to all members of the community and offered free of cost for the community to skill up or increase their earning potential through certifications and knowledge.
Renegades will find more benefits and resources available to them than ever before. Qualifying students can receive financial aid for tuition and books, Chromebooks, groceries from the Renegade pantry, and even weekday lunches in the Dining Commons. All students also receive a free on-campus parking permit for the semester, as well as no-cost rides on Kern Transit. Students are encouraged to complete either the FAFSA or the California Dream Act applications to get started.
Dr. Nicky Damania, Dean of Students at Bakersfield College says it's the best time to be a Renegade. “We have a great year planned with an active Office of Student Life and Student Government. Students this year will have the opportunity to engage in a college experience unlike anything we’ve been able to have the past two years.”
In addition to aid, tutoring and academic support is also available both in-person on campus and online.
And the Campus Community is maintaining safety as a top priority. BC’s Student Health and Wellness Center recently moved into a new location in the Administrative Services Building. BC’s SHWC is now offering a second COVID-19 booster dose (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) to all students or members of the community who meet the criteria. The Center continues to offer FREE vaccination and testing. Call the SHWC @ (661) 395-4960 to use our drive-up location.
Returning Renegades who haven’t been on campus in a while might notice a few changes. In the past year, the renovated Dining Commons and the newly built Campus Center opened. A new bookstore is located on the bottom west side of Campus Center and a student operated cafe recently began operations in the Dining Commons and proudly serves your favorite Starbucks drinks.
Meanwhile, work continues on several other construction projects such as the one-stop shop Welcome Center and Athletics Complex. Finishing touches are being put on the state-of-the-art, 71,000 square foot Science and Engineering Building, which is expected to open this fall.
BC’s rural Renegades will also notice a transformation in progress. Work is underway on the new Learning Resource Center at the Delano Campus, with completion expected next summer.
In Arvin, construction of a new campus is slated to start later this fall, with an open date of Spring 2024.
BC has a robust lineup of events for its students and the wider community. After scaling back for several years because of the pandemic, the campus community is excited to bring back our beloved sporting events and Distinguished Speaker Series.
BC’s Alumni Association will also debut a brand new event, Renegade Promenade on Oct. 15, when BC’s students, alumni, their families and the general public are invited to come to campus to tour new facilities, learn about our programs and get to know Bakersfield College a little better.
“We are so happy to finally be coming back together again as a community on our beautiful campus and to get back to the business of creating brighter futures through education,” President Dadabhoy said. “We recognize none of it would be possible without the broader support of our community and we extend an invitation to all to attend one of our fabulous events this fall.”
Mark your calendars:
Classes are still available and interested individuals are invited to visit the BC website to learn more. BC’s Student Information Desk is also fully staffed and also available to assist new or returning students with any questions Monday through Saturday.