Bakersfield College

President Christian's Evaluation Portfolio

President Sonya Christian during the 2020 Virtual Commencement.

2020-2021 Bakersfield College President's Portfolio

Prepared by Dr. Sonya Christian, President

This portfolio contains several pieces of work that paint a picture of the work President Christian completed over the last several years. Specifically, the portfolio includes the following elements:

  • The State of Bakersfield College, December 2020
  • ACCJC Accreditation Standard IV.B on the Chief Executive Officer
  • Evidence of accomplishments Aligned with KCCD Board Policy

Below is a high-level summary of President Christian’s key accomplishments across Bakersfield College’s Strategic Directions.

Skip to 2020-2021 Work ⇓

Student Learning

A commitment to provide holistic education that develops curiosity, inquiry, and empowered learners


  • Hosted in collaboration with ACCJC, the CCCCO and the CCC Academic Senate, the national webinar series: The Future of Learning: Conversations Among Thought Leaders
  • Expanded Noncredit Curriculum and Certificates to 15 programs, providing additional educational opportunities for working adults and returning students
  • Continued operation of the BC Launchpad, an entrepreneurship center to provide a system of connected resources for students and the community to encourage business development and growth
  • Expanded badging and non-traditional credentialing with the development of eight complete programs

Administrative Services

  • Continued effective response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, supporting all instructional courses and student support services, and keeping employees safe with remote work capabilities

Student Progression and Completion

A commitment to eliminate barriers that cause students difficulties in completing their educational goals


  • Scaled Early College from 38 graduates in 2018 to over 100 graduates in 2021 within 36 local high schools
  • Celebrated the inaugural cohort of 14 students awarded Certificate of Achievement as part of the Project HireUp ‐ Homeless to a Job program
  • Secured over $750,000 additional grant funds to scale the Mapper to UC Merced
  • Expanded rural initiatives and Early College initiatives to reach over 15,000 students and improve BC’s commitment to equitable access and completion
  • Named 2020 Champion of Higher Education by the Campaign for College Opportunity for innovative statewide work to advance student success and completion

Student Affairs

  • Increased Associate Degree for Transfer Completion by 439% in five years through the Kern Promise: Finish‐in‐4 program and increased transfer offerings at BC Southwest
  • Developed partnership with Kern Medical, Dignity Health Systems, and Bakersfield Heart Hospital for BC’s RN students to join the workforce, answering the call for additional support during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Expanded student support services through the virtual Student Information Desk
  • Continued implementation of the Laptop Loaner Program
  • Continued institutional AB19 funding to incentivize full‐time enrollment and remove financial barriers for first-time, full-time transfer students

Facilities and Technology

A commitment to improve the maintenance of and secure funding for college facilities, technology, and infrastructure for the next thirty years

Instruction and Student Affairs

  • Completion of the Campus Center building
  • Completion of Phase 1 Wireless Infrastructure updating all external/green spaces
  • Continued construction on the co‐location of the BC SouthWest center on the CSU Bakersfield Campus
  • Continued construction on the Science and Engineering building
  • Completion of Memorial Stadium Phase II
  • Continued construction with Memorial Stadium Phase III
  • Broke ground on the combined Gym and Field House
  • Broke ground and completed Phase I of the Peace Gardens at BC
  • Communicated progress on Measure J projects through regular reporting to the campus community and KCCD Board of Trustees.

Administrative Services

  • Focused college efforts on growing access and securing categorical and grant funding to advance the mission of the college and support students towards completion goals
  • Communicated matters related to facilities, technology, and infrastructure to the college community through ongoing campus‐wide Budget Forums and the annual Closing the Loop document shared with campus governance groups.
  • Continued focus with the 2020‐23 BC Technology Master Plan

Leadership and Engagement

A commitment to build leadership within the college and engagement with the community

  • Launched the development of the 2021‐2024 Strategic Directions document aligned with the CCCCO Vision for Success and Guided Pathways framework
  • Continued focus with the 2020‐23 Educational Master Plan
  • Launched region-wide Energy Technology Transfer and Workforce Development in partnership with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the County of Kern
  • Continued advancement of the HEAL collaborative with partners across the central valley to focus on the improvement of health, equity, education, economic mobility, and learning
  • Hosted the CCCCO Chancellor’s Listening Tour to discuss BC’s equity and completion agenda
  • Continued implementation of the New Employee Orientation Workshops for all newly hired BC employees
  • Continued service on the Student‐Centered Funding Formula Task Force as a Governor’s appointee
  • Served as Chair of the Accrediting Commission for Community & Junior Colleges
  • Continued expansion of the Program Pathways Mapper tool to more than 30 California Community Colleges and 6 CSUs with the support of seed funding from the CCCCO Innovation Award

December 2020

Bakersfield College’s finances, academics, student success outcomes, leadership, and innovation continue to be strong.

For more, read the entire:

President Sonya Christian speaks at podium in full regalia.

IV.B.1 | The institutional chief executive officer (CEO) has primary responsibility for the quality of the institution. The CEO provides effective leadership in planning, organizing, budgeting, selecting and developing personnel, and assessing institutional effectiveness.

Dr. Sonya Christian has served Bakersfield College (BC) very well as our tenth President. Beginning work in November 2012, Dr. Christian has taken BC to the next level of quality and commitment to educating the citizens of Kern County and meeting them where they are. Nearly 85% of the BC employees responded positively to the statement of her providing effective leadership in the BC Accreditation Survey administered in 2014 and the positive responses increased to nearly 88% in the 2017 accreditation survey—well beyond any sort of “honeymoon phase” a new college leader might experience (IV.B.1-1; IV.B.1-2). Furthermore, these positive responses were shared by both new employees (10 or less years experience at BC) and “veteran” employees (11 or more years experience at BC) (IV.B.1-3).

Dr. Christian led the effort in revamping and organizing our 2015-18 strategic plan into five strands or components that we call Strategic Directions (IV.B.1-4). This overhaul of our strategic planning provided the clarity we needed to pull the pieces together to support the primary Strategic Direction of Student Learning. Two supporting Strategic Directions that speak directly to this standard are:

  • Leadership and Engagement: A commitment to build leadership within the College and engagement with the community. This includes initiatives about professional development, increasing engagement of non-management employees in leadership, increasing and strengthening the connections to the community, and organization of our outreach and recruitment activities.
  • Oversight and Accountability: A commitment to improve oversight, accountability, sustainability, and transparency in all college processes. This includes initiatives about budget development, institutional research, SLO/PLO/ILO assessment, focus of committee work, and assessment of the initiatives in Strategic Directions (IV.B.1-5).

In June 2015, the Academic Senate commended President Sonya Christian for her “progressive, innovative, and visionary leadership, driving our institution to local, state, and national recognition as an exemplary educational leader.” In August 2015, the Executive Board of the Academic Senate commended the President’s role in “stable educational program development, student success, and leadership” (IV.B.1-6; IV.B.1-7).

Under Dr. Christian’s leadership, BC has revamped and reorganized its long-term Educational Master Plan (IV.B.1-8). No longer a hodge-podge of individual department plans, we describe in our response to Standard I.B how the 2017-20 Educational Master Plan has been set in the framework of institutional redesign to create the Guided Pathways System that promotes student success with an eye to promoting student equity in achievement and learning outcomes (IV.B.1-9).

In our responses to Standard III.D and other standards, we describe the annual Closing the Loop report that Dr. Christian established in 2013. With this report, the President’s Office explains how it translated the requests from program review and institutional planning documents (such as Strategic Directions, Educational Master Plan, etc.) into the allocation of resources reflected in the budget Dr. Christian recommends to the KCCD Chancellor for approval by the Board of Trustees (BOT). The evidence file is the latest end-of-year Closing the Loop report that shows the various tasks we do in planning, organizing, budgeting, selecting and developing personnel, and assessing under her leadership that enable the College to meet its mission and improve institutional effectiveness (IV.B.1-10).

Crowd in BC Outdoor Theater

Analysis and Evaluation

The evidence we provide above are some examples of Dr. Christian’s effective leadership that show how we meet the Standard. The Strategic Directions, Educational Master Plan (and other institutional plans), and Closing the Loop are data-rich documents, easily accessible by the public on our website—a clear demonstration of President Christian’s priority to sustain a culture of evidence and communicate to internal and external stakeholders our focus on student learning. Another example of this is the Renegade Scorecard website established under Dr. Christian’s leadership in March 2014 (IV.B.1-11; IV.B.1-12). Through the Renegade Scorecard, BC provides publicly accessible institutional data and information pertaining to student enrollment, student achievement, student engagement, student equity outcomes, and other key indicators of institutional effectiveness.

The Office of Institutional Effectiveness (OIE), established by Dr. Christian in 2016, now maintains the Renegade Scorecard. A Dean of Institutional Effectiveness leads the OIE, which includes a team of researchers, data coaches, and administrative support responsible for institutional research, integrated planning and assessment of critical institutional metrics so that we are able to evaluate our work in a timely, ongoing way. The president directly supervises the Dean of Institutional Effectiveness (IV.B.1-13; IV.B.1-14; IV.B.1-15).

Dr. Christian’s efforts to sustain an open culture of evidence and communication of our focus on student learning to external stakeholders laid the groundwork for the successful passage of the $504 million Measure J local bond that we describe more fully in our response to Standard IV.B.6 below, as well as in Standard III.B.

One last example of Dr. Christian’s effective leadership we will mention is the California Community College Guided Pathways system redesign. She led the application process to ensure BC was one of just three California Community Colleges, and among a competitive cohort of 30 colleges nationwide, selected to participate in the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Guided Pathways Project. Her leadership in adapting the national Guided Pathways Project to the structure and regulations of the California Community College system was critically important. She began presenting Guided Pathways at all the key leadership meetings in California and communicating to hundreds of California college leaders through newsletters (IV.B.1-16). After effectively building a strong basic understanding among a variety of leaders such as Academic Senate, Chief Instructional and Student Services Officer and college CEOs, and philanthropic educational groups, Dr. Christian coordinated both funding and leadership to create a California Guided Pathways Advisory Committee (CGPAC), serving as its chair (IV.B.1-17; IV.B.1-18). This team worked with educational funding sources and the California Community College Chancellor’s office to produce two statewide conferences (Redesigning Community Colleges in spring 2016 and Leadership Matters in spring 2017) that reached over 1,000 people to lay a foundation for the work (IV.B.1-19; IV.B.1-20). With Dr. Christian as chair, CGPAC worked with other state leaders to create the California Guided Pathways Project based on the AACC national project but customized to California’s unique legislative and regulative environment and educational practices and structure (IV.B.1-21). It is safe to say that without Dr. Christian’s leadership, the Guided Pathways statewide system redesign would not have happened.

Student Learning

Evidence Standard Board Policies
COVID-19 Response website
President's Virtual Seminar Series, 2020-21
Spring 2021 Opening Week Remarks
IV.B.1: Primary Responsibility 6A5B1; 6A5B2; 6AB5; 6A5B6; 6A5B10; 6A5B11; 6A5B12; 6A5B14; 6A5B16; 6A5B17
Annual Administrative Structure Review IV.B.2: Administrative structure 6A5B2; 6A5B5
Virtual Forum on Strategic Direction, Student Learning -November 5, 2020
ACCJC Learning Seminar Series - December 2020
Virtual Forum with Instructional Work Group - April 6, 2021
IV.B.3: Improves teaching and learning 6A5B1; 6A5B6; 6A5B10; 6A5B11; 6A5B12; 6A5B14; 6A5B17

Student Progression and Completion

Evidence Standard Board Policies
BC's Early College with KHSD Press Release - February 11, 2021
Champion of Higher Education Award Press Release - November 23, 2020
IV.B.1: Primary Responsibility 6A5B1; 6A5B2;6AB5; 6A5B6; 6A5B10; 6A5B11; 6A5B12; 6A5B14; 6A5B16; 6A5B17
BC's Nursing Students Volunteer at Vaccine Clinic Press Release - January 13, 2021
Virtual Forum on Strategic Direction, Student Progression and Completion - November 17, 2020
Virtual Forum with Student Information Desk, March 2, 2021
Project HireUp- Homeless to a Job Program Press Release
IV.B.3: Improves teaching and learning 6A5B1; 6A5B6; 6A5B10; 6A5B11; 6A5B12; 6A5B14; 6A5B17
COVID-19 Response website
President's Renegade Roundup Communication, 2020-21
Virtual Forum on Strategic Direction, Student Progression and Completion - November 17, 2020
IV.B.6: Communicates Effectively 6A5B1; 6A5B6; 6A5B10; 6A5B11; 6A5B12

Facilities and Technology

Evidence Standard Board Policies
A Better BC Facilities Plans and Documents
2020-2023 BC Technology Master Plan
IV.B.1: Primary Responsibility 6A5B1; 6A5B2; 6AB5; 6A5B6; 6A5B10; 6A5B12; 6A5B14; 6A5B20
BC State of the College - December 2020
All-Campus Budget Forum - January 25, 2021
IV.B.5: Effective Control 6A5B1; 6A5B10; 6A5B14
President's Report to the Board of Trustees - November 2020
Closing the Loop - December 2020
IV.B.6: Communicates Effectively 6A5B1; 6A5B6; 6A5B10; 6A5B11; 6A5B12

Leadership and Engagement

Evidence Standard Board Policies
2018-21 Strategic Directions
2020-2023 Educational Master Plan
IV.B.1: Primary Responsibility 6A5B1; 6A5B2; 6AB5; 6A5B6; 6A5B10; 6A5B11; 6A5B12; 6A5B14; 6A5B16; 6A5B17
HEAL Rural Collaborative Webinar Series
CCCCO Listening Tour at Bakersfield College
IV.B.3: Improves teaching and learning 6A5B1; 6A5B6; 6A5B10; 6A5B11; 6A5B12; 6A5B14; 6A5B17
BC's Institution-Set Standards
ACCJC Commissioners Webpage
IV.B.4: Leads accreditation 6A5B1; 6A5B10; 6A5B14
BC State of the College - December 2020
Energy TT&WD Webinar Series
IV.B.6: Communicates Effectively 6A5B1; 6A5B6; 6A5B10; 6A5B11; 6A5B12