Bakersfield College

Collage of Bakersfield College students

CIQG Quality Award

BC Named as Recipient of CIQG Quality Award

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) International Quality Group (CIQG) has awarded Bakersfield College the 2019 CIQG Quality Award at the annual plenary CIQG meeting in Washington, DC. The Council annually awards one community college internationally for outstanding performance of colleges and universities around the world who meet the rigorous standards set forth by CHEA/CIQG. The criteria call for high-quality performance across seven categories ranging from the institution’s impact on student outcomes to its impact on community and society.

For more information, check out the press release about the CIQG Award announcement.

What is the CIQG Quality Award?

According to the Council for Higher Education Accreditation International Quality Group's (CHEA/CIQG) website, the CHEA/CIQG has established a CIQG Quality Award to recognize outstanding performance of higher education providers in meeting the CHEA/CIQG International Quality Principles. The Award is made annually after a rigorous review of institutions to ensure the Principles are met. The CIQG Advisory Council, a group of 20 higher education and quality assurance experts and leaders, is responsible for identifying annual Award winners.

To be eligible to apply for the Award, a higher education provider must be successfully reviewed for quality or accredited by the competent authority in its country or region. The Award is presented each year at the CIQG Annual Meeting.


Bakersfield College's commitment to quality begins with our committee structure to ensure academic rigor through Institution-Set Standards and continues throughout every classroom, program, and service on campus. BC prepares students for careers and futures that meet the emerging industry demands, and our student success initiatives are raising educational attainment rates in Kern County. Learning outcomes are an essential part of the ACCJC Standards embedded in every aspect of our curriculum, and our guided pathways initiatives are leading to momentum point gains across all departments. Bakersfield College was awarded several commendations for excellence in our 2018 accreditation review.

Principle 1

Quality and Higher Education Providers
Assuring and achieving quality in higher education is the primary responsibility of higher education providers and their staff.

Our Response

Description of how the provider addresses its primary responsibility

The Bakersfield College (BC) mission statement expresses our primary responsibility and how we address it: Bakersfield College provides opportunities for students from diverse economic, cultural, and educational backgrounds to attain Associate and Baccalaureate degrees and certificates, workplace skills, and preparation for transfer. Our rigorous and supportive learning environment fosters students' abilities to think critically, communicate effectively, and demonstrate competencies and skills in order to engage productively in their communities and the world.

How this responsibility is embedded in a provider's culture

Bakersfield College believes that dialog engenders innovation and catalyzes positive change. As such, the college has a deeply-rooted culture of dialog that occurs in our formal structure as well as less formally in workshops and in between meetings. Our formal committee structure is intentionally designed to ensure a systematic and regular dialog happens in the ongoing, public work of BC's shared governance committees. A key component of the dialog is our annual Program Review process in which every academic program and administrative department participates. In our Program Review process, every department, program, committee, and work group shows how their work enables the College to meet its mission. These groups make their personnel, fiscal, facility, and technology resource requests for ongoing program growth and improvement in their program review and assess the effectiveness of the resources they received in the previous cycle.

The Program Review Committee (PRC), composed of students, faculty, classified staff, and administration from across the college, provides peer-review feedback to the groups on their program review and distribute the resource requests to the appropriate committee who then prioritizes those requests before sending them to the President. In culmination of the program review process, the President's office creates an annual report called Closing the Loop showing how resource allocation is connected to the strategic goals and mission of the college. Established in spring 2013, this document compiles metrics showing results and the integration of the budget with our planning.

The Assessment Committee (AC) and the Accreditation & Institutional Quality Committee (AIQ) use the Program Review process in assessing learning outcomes and analyzing the College's effectiveness in meeting its mission. Longer-term dialog occurs in our three-year Educational Master Plan and Strategic Directions planning and implementation, both of which are explicitly tied back to our mission statement. The PRC, AC, and AIQ provide analysis and recommendations to and receive feedback from our Academic Senate and our College Council as part of our complex web of intentional dialog.

Support from provider leadership, including faculty and students

Bakersfield College's intentionally-designed formal structure ensures leadership at all levels of the organization including faculty and students. The ensuing dialog encourages and strengthens engagement and support of internal stakeholders through team analysis, institutional planning, and evaluation of our effectiveness and planning processes. Ultimately, these support systems help us determine resource needs and allocations. Bakersfield College's president, Dr. Christian, has embraced and strengthened this formal structure by using a distributed leadership model to create an environment that encourages individuals in all roles to bring forward ideas for institutional improvement. Dr. Christian uses her blog to encourage individuals by highlighting their accomplishments in moving the college forward. The Marketing and Public Relations office uses the blog as a key component of broadcasting news about college programs, events, and people to the rest of the college and community.

How the responsibility is carried out, including initiatives or programs

The Bakersfield College 2019-20 Catalog lists 160 programs of degrees or certificates. Of these, 36 are Job Skills Certificates (less than 16 units), Certificates of Achievement (16 or more units), 46 Associate degrees, 37 Associate Transfer degrees (designed so students transfer to a California State University bachelors program as a junior), and one Bachelor of Science in Industrial Automation. These programs are grouped together into ten Learning & Career Pathways to better support students.

Two recent examples of distributed leadership led to innovations in our Guided Pathways implementation: the Pathways Program Mapper and the Kern Promise. The Dean of Institutional Effectiveness, co-chairs of the Curriculum Committee, and chair of the Counseling department worked with the California Community College Chancellor's Office (CCCCO) and the software company Concentric Sky to create the Pathways Program Mapper: a customized visual representation of the College catalog. Bakersfield College secured funding through the CCCCO's Promise Innovation Grant program and private philanthropic dollars to disseminate the Pathways Program Mapper to other colleges in the California Community College system. This work has expanded to integrating curriculum systems across the entire CCC system and California State University system.

A cross-functional task force convened by the college president worked with community and state leaders to establish the countywide Kern Promise that guarantees students completion of their ADT in two years and junior standing when they transfer to California State University Bakersfield (CSUB). The Kern Promise task force: 1) established a Memorandum of Understanding with CSUB to align our transfer maps and 2) convened local educational leaders in Education Roundtables where they offered support of Bakersfield College programs through contributions of ideas and expertise. Students who are part of the Kern Promise have their tuition fully paid, $250 in book grants per semester, receive priority registration, and access to a specially-designated Kern Promise counselor.

Other innovations include Data Coaches, who are data analysts embedded in each Pathway Completion Coaching Team; the Renegade Scorecard, which communicates metrics that reach into the heart of the college's work and guides data-informed decision making; and Closing the Loop described above.

Testimonials from external stakeholders (e.g., employers, civil society organizations or groups)

Community engagement and support is a critical component to the operation of Bakersfield College. For the Kern Promise we received many letters of support from government leaders in the city, county, state, and U.S. Congress, as well as, business leaders and leaders in the Kern High School District and CSU Bakersfield. Another notable example is the community support of Bakersfield College's application to offer a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Automation. The college's efforts to become a bachelor's degree pilot site were widely supported in our community. Nearly 70 letters of support from business and community leaders, as well as a dynamic list of Bakersfield College staff and students, supported our bid to offer a baccalaureate degree.

Principle 2

Quality and students
The education provided to students must always be of high quality whatever the learning outcomes pursued.

Our Response

Evidence that high-quality student learning outcomes are established and at a postsecondary or tertiary education level

Bakersfield College's Assessment Committee (AC) is the primary agent responsible for ensuring we have defined and are assessing SLOs for all of our courses, programs (including our baccalaureate degree), and institutional levels. The AC works with the Curriculum Committee to ensure that all Course Outline of Records have appropriate postsecondary education SLOs. Bakersfield College has mapped all of its course level SLOs to its Program Learning Outcomes (PLOs) and Institutional Learning Outcomes.

Evidence that the claim of "high-quality" is justified

Bakersfield College has established Institution-Set Standards (ISS) for student achievement that are appropriate to the College's mission. These mutually-agreed upon, objective metrics enable all stakeholders to have a common frame of reference. In pursuit of continuous improvement, BC reviews trend metrics for the past five years, revising goals upwards when they are achieved. We also have a process, developed by the Office of Institutional Effectiveness at the request of College Council, to engender further review and to develop action plans to improve outcomes if we fall below an ISS.

Because curriculum development and approval is one of the primary responsibilities of faculty, our faculty ensure both academic quality and rigor across all subject areas through a thorough curriculum review and approval process of the Curriculum Committee, a sub-committee of our Academic Senate. The curriculum review and approval process uses standardized templates and forms in our curriculum-warehousing platform to ensure that all standards, policies, and procedures are enforced through the curriculum approval process.

Bakersfield College has nearly 500 courses in 67 subjects that transfer to four-year schools, including 176 courses certified for California State University (CSU) Breadth General Education and 135 courses certified for Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (for transfer to any CSU or University of California). In Fall 2018 at least 210 courses are C-ID approved, having been vetted through a thorough statewide peer review process. All courses in our 37 Associate Transfer degrees must be C-ID approved and each transfer degree undergoes a thorough statewide peer review process.

Evidence of learning outcomes that may include information about: Completion or graduation, Success with licensure or other entry-to-profession examinations, Successful transfer of credit, Entry to graduate school, and Job placement

Completion and Awards: Since the passage of Senate Bill 1440 legislating Associate Degrees for Transfer (ADT), Bakersfield College has developed and begun offering 37 ADT pathways, and the number of ADT completers has grown significantly since 2012-13 from 31 to 1,497 in 2018-19 – a more than 4,700% relative increase. In 2018-19, BC awarded more degrees and certificates than ever before with 5,381 awards, a 43.88% change over 2017-18.

Bakersfield College Career Technical Education (CTE) programs provide cutting-edge, rigorous and relevant instruction to prepare skills builders/incumbent workers and future employees for a wide range of high-wage, high-skill, and high-demand careers. Job placement data provide concrete evidence of students' attainment and practical application of BC's Institutional Learning Outcomes. Job placement rates among students who earned a CTE certificate averaged above 70% for the 2014-15 entering cohort. The CCCCO's Workforce and Digital Futures recognized several of our CTE programs as Strong Workforce Stars in Spring 2018 because of their outstanding post-college outcomes: 11 Bronze Star programs, 3 Silver Star programs, and 2 Gold Star programs.

Description of basis of evidence for the learning outcomes, e.g., Faculty-designed comprehensive or capstone assignments, Portfolios of student work over time, Samples of representative student work

Learning outcomes are embedded throughout instruction and codified on every Course Outline of Record and in every course syllabus provided to students by faculty. Data assessing the effectiveness of learning outcomes is reported by faculty annually using eLumen software to ensure a broad analysis of results takes place in our Office of Institutional Effectiveness. Our course-level SLO and PLO assessment data and analysis are posted on the Assessment Committee's public website for all programs at BC, including our baccalaureate degree. Faculty use an array of vehicles and instruments to provide assessment results. These include 1) embedded assessment through quizzes, tests and other assignments in Canvas, the student portal for each course; 2) course-wide analysis of learning outcomes through common assessment instruments used by all faculty teaching a course; 3) linking of individual assignments in some syllabi to specific outcomes; and 4) institutionalizing learning outcome analysis through inclusion in the faculty evaluation process for both non tenured and tenured full-time faculty.

Principle 3

Quality and society
The quality of higher education provision is judged by how well it meets the needs of society, engenders public confidence and sustains public trust.

Our Response

Major, current societal needs are identified, whether local, national or regional

Bakersfield College plays a critical role in improving the quality of life for the great majority of the citizens of Kern County who come from underserved communities. For most, higher education is the only way they can attain any measure of a middle class standard of living.

Service-Area Educational Attainment: In a recent study of 98 of the 100 largest metro regions in the country, researchers at the non-profit Measure of America found that Kern County has the fourth highest rate of disconnected youth in the country. With 17.3 percent of those ages 16 to 24 either not in school nor employed, nearly 21,000 young people in Kern County are completely disengaged. According to data reported by the California Department of Education, Kern County's baccalaureate attainment rates are of significant concern at roughly half the statewide rate. In rural service areas like Arvin, California, fewer than nine in every 100 residents hold a bachelor's degree or higher. Over 28 percent of those in BC's service area lack a high school diploma. These extremely low levels of education underscore the critical urgency of BC's mission to "provide opportunities for students from diverse economic, cultural, and educational backgrounds to attain Associate and Baccalaureate degrees and certificates," as described in our mission.

Service-Area Poverty & Unemployment: The per capita income in the area is among the lowest in California, at just $21,094– well below the state average of $31,458. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the unemployment rate in Kern County well exceeds the national rate at 8.4% as of July 2019, while nearly a quarter of residents live below the poverty line. In many of our service-area rural communities, residents experience poverty rates topping 35% and debilitating unemployment over double the national average.

Service-Area Industry Landscape: Agriculture remains the economic base of the Bakersfield area; California's Central Valley is the most productive agricultural region in the U.S. and a critical part of the nation's food supply. Across all industries in Kern County, BC has diligently prepared our graduates for careers that meet industry demand. In 2015, The Brookings Institution ranked BC first in California and sixth in the nation for value-added mid-career earnings for alumni.

Evidence that the needs are met, including documentation of confidence and trust; Evidence can include: Examples of provider initiatives established to meet societal needs and success with the initiatives, Surveys of students that document that at least some societal needs are met

In addition to integrating our internal structures, BC has strengthened the alignment from 9th grade to the Baccalaureate. Since 2014-15, BC has grown from fewer than 500 dual enrollments to over 10,000 annually across 56 high schools and has developed Early College pathways through which high school students earn certificates and degrees while in school. Ninety percent of enrollees are students of color and they see an approximate 90% course success rate.

In 2015, the college began offering dual and concurrent enrollment courses to high school students, with a focus on rural Kern. Since then, BC has seen massive growth in Dual Enrollment programs: with sections and enrollments increasing by approximately 9,500% over the last 5 years. In 2018-19, BC saw nearly 11,000 enrollments among high school students—the largest program of its kind in the state.

By packaging courses into pathways that begin in the 9th grade, BC began offering cohorts of students the opportunity to earn associate's degrees and/or certificates by the 12th grade. In spring 2018, 94 Early College 12th grade students graduated with an Associate Degree for Transfer before they walked the stage to earn their high school diploma. In fall 2019, BC launched a full Early College high school in partnership with rural McFarland High School to matriculate 100% of the incoming 9th grade class onto certificate and degree pathways.

Bakersfield College has also led the charge to advance transfer alignment and baccalaureate attainment through the Kern Promise Finish in 4 Project. Faculty leaders from BC and CSU Bakersfield developed a joint Memorandum of Understanding to map and publish four-year pathways with guaranteed admission in the Program Pathways Mapper tool. As described in Principle 1 above, BC has secured funding from the CCCCO to implement this tool across the entire state.

Testimonials from external stakeholders (e.g., employers, civil society organizations or groups)

Our intersegmental alignment work is unprecedented in that it requires a whole college, whole community effort. The work does not happen in a silo, nor is it applicable only to a small group of students. All of Bakersfield College's 37,000 current students, prospective students from 56 feeder high schools, and thousands of others in our community benefit from the work while both instructional and student affairs units at BC and CSUB are responsible for advancing our shared outcomes.

Bakersfield College's recent Early College work has garnered local, regional, statewide, and even national attention. College leaders have been invited to share the work and outcomes extensively, including at the national meeting of the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and the School Superintendents Association (AASA) in March 2019.

Principle 4

Quality and government
Governments have a role in encouraging and supporting quality higher education.

Our Response

Bakersfield College has been a pioneer statewide in guided pathways, with a rich history of creating collaboratives and hosting advisory councils across the state to advance initiatives that impact all community colleges. For example, BC created and led the California Guided Pathways Advisory Committee from 2016-17 and played an instrumental role in securing resources for the Guided Pathways Project for 20 California Community Colleges and later the $150 million investment in guided pathways implementation to all 114 California community colleges over a five-year period.

Additionally, Bakersfield College is currently leading the Educational Systems and Intersegmental Pathways Task Force in partnership with the CCCCO. The statewide implementation of BC's Program Pathways Mapper is a major focus. This task force brings together leaders from all major educational systems in California to discuss opportunities for data alignment to streamline pathways from K12 through to the Baccalaureate. BC secured resources for this work through the CCCCO's Promise Innovation Grant program. In addition to the $2.3 million Innovation Award, BC earned the CCCCO Student Success Award for this project in October 2018.

What counts as government encouragement and support

From the 2014-15 to 2018-19 fiscal years, Bakersfield College's budget has increased from $85 million to $152 million with general unrestricted state funding support accounting for 88% of the total in 2014-15 to 79% in 2018-19. California has encouraged Bakersfield College by increasing state allocations in programs focused on particular groups of students and student support services in "categorical" or "restricted" funding areas such as Extended Opportunity Programs and Services, Student Success and Equity, Disabled Student Programs and Services, and Financial Aid. The categorical/restricted funding has increased from 11% of the total budget in 2014-15 to almost 21% in 2018-19. Other examples of improvements made possible by categorical funding include enhancements to the Student Success Lab and career training programs, creation of the Writing Center, and expansion of math tutoring.

California has encouraged student success by shifting the funding formula from one based purely on the number of students who enroll in the College to one that includes an "equity" component based on the number of enrolled students who rely on financial aid to attend college and a "student success" component based on program completions, transfers, and attaining a regional living wage. Long before the new funding formula was proposed, Bakersfield College adopted a guided pathways framework, a systemwide redesign in order to advance students successes in attaining their educational goals. As California implements the new funding formula, Bakersfield College's Guided Pathways Implementation Team has worked to position BC for success.

Another example of California's encouragement of student success is the passage of Assembly Bill 19 (AB 19) in Fall 2017. AB 19 established the California College Promise, aimed at increasing college participation for recent high school graduates and continuing the state's role as the national leader in providing free tuition to students with financial need. In 2018-19, Bakersfield College received an AB19 allocation of $585,835 for 2018-19 to help fund the Kern Promise discussed in Principle 1. In 2019-20, BC's AB 19 allocation increased to $1,097,462.

Evidence that the encouragement and support are sustained

California has sustained its support of Bakersfield College's mission with a general unrestricted allocation that has steadily increased over the past five years. The general unrestricted allocation has increased from $75 million in 2014-15 to $120 million in 2018-19, an increase of almost 61%. During that same time period, California has increased its commitment to improving student support and success through categorical/restricted allocation from $9.4 million in 2014-15 to $31 million in 2018-19.

Examples of trust between government and provider

Bakersfield College has garnered clear and sustained support from local legislators to advance student completion. In addition to the letters of support from government leaders mentioned above in Principle 1 for the Kern Promise and the Bachelor of Science in Industrial Automation program, we give here three more examples of trust between government and Bakersfield College. For two consecutive years, Assemblymember Rudy Salas has secured $1 million annually for workforce development in BC's service-area rural communities from the state budget. His public support has resulted in nearly 1,400 BC student enrollments in programs like Industrial Automation, public health, HVAC, and electronics.

Senator Emerita Jean Fuller joined BC in working to advance Early College pathways for students throughout the Central Valley. Through her connections in both California and nationally, Senator Emerita Fuller has propelled the program into the national spotlight, securing Bakersfield College leadership a coveted spot on the national meeting agenda for the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) and The School Superintendents Association (AASA) joint meeting in March 2019.

In September 2019, Bakersfield College hosted a community college roundtable for Congressman Kevin McCarthy's office. The goal of this roundtable was to bring together chancellors and presidents from Antelope Valley College, the Kern Community College District, and the West Kern Community College District for an open discussion on community college issues. The conversation revolved around updates and recent happenings on the respective campuses, as well as student loan reform issues and the Higher Education Reauthorization Act.

Principle 5

Quality and accountability
It is the responsibility of higher education providers and quality assurance and accreditation bodies to sustain a strong commitment to accountability and provide regular evidence of quality.

Our Response

Evidence that accountability measures have been developed and implemented by both the provider and quality assurance or accreditation body; Evidence that these measures are met

Bakersfield College is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 331 J Street, Suite 200, Sacramento, CA 95814, (415) 506-0234, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education.

Every seven years as part of the accreditation process, BC undertakes a comprehensive self-study that culminates with a multi-day visit from a team of evaluators. This team evaluates the quality of the college and assesses the degree to which the college meets the accreditation standards. Bakersfield College must also submit a midterm evaluation in the third year of the cycle, and submit annual reports. Bakersfield College's accreditation was reaffirmed in 2019 with a finding that indicated no recommendations for improvement and several commendations for excellence (one for BC's leadership in the intentionally-designed formal structure described in Principle 1, one for BC's Rural Initiative that is the core of BC's Early College described in Principle 3, and one for BC's professional development program).

In addition, BC President Sonya Christian has been a public voice for accountability in higher education and believes that the peer review process of accreditation is the best way for quality assurance. As the executive head of BC, the President is directly responsible for the institution, administers board policies, delegates responsibility and authority as necessary, and communicates institutional information to internal and external constituencies. Dr. Christian brings to BC substantial knowledge about accreditation and the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), serving as an ACCJC Commissioner since 2015, and currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the Commission.

Under Dr. Christian's leadership, the accreditation standards have been embedded within the charge of appropriate campus-wide committees. The Accreditation and Institutional Quality Committee reports to College Council, which the president chairs. In 2018, President Christian oversaw the preparation of the 2018 Institutional Self-Evaluation Report (ISER), making it visible through regular reports at College Council and in public college-wide forums in fall 2017. Following the 2018 ISER development and ACCJC peer review team site visit, Bakersfield College not only earned reaffirmation of accreditation for seven years, but also earned 3 college commendations, one district commendation, and zero recommendations.

Evidence that the provider's information about quality is made available regularly

Bakersfield College publicly documents its assessment of student learning and evaluation of student achievement on the BC website, particularly in the Renegade Scorecard, the BC Committees website, and reporting at the public meetings of the Board of Trustees. Through the Renegade Scorecard, BC provides publicly-accessible institutional data and information pertaining to student enrollment, achievement, engagement, equity, and other key indicators of institutional effectiveness. The Renegade Scorecard includes the Institution-Set Standards described in Principle 2. The Renegade Scorecard also reports data from our administration of the Community College Survey of Student Engagement (CCSSE) that includes measures of critical thinking in our coursework.

All accreditation standards are embedded within the scope of work of the 12 campus-wide governance committees to provide oversight, increase transparency, and improve communication of our work to our stakeholders. Our publicly-accessible BC Committees website houses all participatory governance committees' and operational committees' agendas, minutes, presentations, survey results, supporting documents and reports from invited guests. Current and prospective students and the public are able to access the Renegade Scorecard and the Committees website from the About BC link at the top of every page of the BC website and choosing the appropriate item under the "Our Institution" menu.

In addition, we communicate our assessment and evaluation efforts in the Educational Master Plan posted on the BC website. The 2014-17 and 2017-2020 Educational Master Plans are posted in the President's Projects section of the President's website as well as on the Institutional Plans webpage that is accessed from the "About BC" link. and choosing the "Mission, Vision & Values" item. Annually, the District is required to present the BC results for the Student Success Scorecard of the California Community College Chancellor's Office, as evidenced by the Student Success Scorecard report and the related Board of Trustees review on their agendas.

Principle 6

Quality and the role of quality assurance and accreditation bodies
Quality assurance and accreditation bodies, working with higher education providers and their leadership, staff and students, are responsible for the implementation of processes, tools, benchmarks and measures of learning outcomes that help to create a shared understanding of quality.

Our Response

The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) serves as the accrediting body for Bakersfield College. An excerpt from the ACCJC Accreditation Standards reads:

The primary purpose of an ACCJC–accredited institution is to foster student learning and student achievement. An effective institution ensures that its resources, programs, and services, whenever, wherever, and however delivered, support student learning and achievement. The effective institution ensures academic quality and continuous improvement through ongoing assessment of learning and achievement and pursues institutional excellence and improvement through ongoing, integrated planning and evaluation.

The four Standards include:

  • Standard I: Mission, Academic Quality and Institutional Effectiveness, and Integrity
  • Standard II: Student Learning Programs and Support Services
  • Standard III: Resources
  • Standard IV: Leadership and Governance

The ACCJC Standards reference "learning outcomes" 19 times:

  • I.B.2: The institution defines and assesses student learning outcomes for all instructional programs and student and learning support services
  • I.B.5: The institution assesses accomplishment of its mission through program review and evaluation of goals and objectives, student learning outcomes, and student achievement. Quantitative and qualitative data are disaggregated for analysis by program type and mode of delivery.
  • I.B.6: The institution disaggregates and analyzes learning outcomes and achievement for subpopulations of students. When the institution identifies performance gaps, it implements strategies, which may include allocation or reallocation of human, fiscal and other resources, to mitigate those gaps and evaluates the efficacy of those strategies.
  • I.C.1: The institution assures the clarity, accuracy, and integrity of information provided to students and prospective students, personnel, and all persons or organizations related to its mission statement, learning outcomes, educational programs, and student support services. The institution gives accurate information to students and the public about its accreditation status with all of its accreditors.
  • I.C.4: The institution describes its certificates and degrees in terms of their purpose, content, course requirements, and expected learning outcomes.
  • II.A.1: All instructional programs, regardless of location or means of delivery, including distance education and correspondence education, are offered in fields of study consistent with the institution's mission, are appropriate to higher education, and culminate in student attainment of identified student learning outcomes, and achievement of degrees, certificates, employment, or transfer to other higher education programs.
  • II.A.3: The institution identifies and regularly assesses learning outcomes for courses, programs, certificates and degrees using established institutional procedures. The institution has officially approved and current course outlines that include student learning outcomes. In every class section students receive a course syllabus that includes learning outcomes from the institution's officially approved course outline.
  • II.A.9: The institution awards course credit, degrees and certificates based on student attainment of learning outcomes. Units of credit awarded are consistent with institutional policies that reflect generally accepted norms or equivalencies in higher education. If the institution offers courses based on clock hours, it follows Federal standards for clock-to-credit-hour conversions.
  • II.A.10: The institution makes available to its students clearly stated transfer-of-credit policies in order to facilitate the mobility of students without penalty. In accepting transfer credits to fulfill degree requirements, the institution certifies that the expected learning outcomes for transferred courses are comparable to the learning outcomes of its own courses. Where patterns of student enrollment between institutions are identified, the institution develops articulation agreements as appropriate to its mission.
  • II.A.11: The institution includes in all of its programs, student learning outcomes, appropriate to the program level, in communication competency, information competency, quantitative competency, analytic inquiry skills, ethical reasoning, the ability to engage diverse perspectives, and other program-specific learning outcomes.
  • II.A.12: The institution requires of all of its degree programs a component of general education based on a carefully considered philosophy for both associate and baccalaureate degrees that is clearly stated in its catalog. The institution, relying on faculty expertise, determines the appropriateness of each course for inclusion in the general education curriculum, based upon student learning outcomes and competencies appropriate to the degree level. The learning outcomes include a student's preparation for and acceptance of responsible participation in civil society, skills for lifelong learning and application of learning, and a broad comprehension of the development of knowledge, practice, and interpretive approaches in the arts and humanities, the sciences, mathematics, and social sciences.
  • II.A.13: All degree programs include focused study in at least one area of inquiry or in an established interdisciplinary core. The identification of specialized courses in an area of inquiry or interdisciplinary core is based upon student learning outcomes and competencies, and include mastery, at the appropriate degree level, of key theories and practices within the field of study.
  • II.A.16: The institution regularly evaluates and improves the quality and currency of all instructional programs offered in the name of the institution, including collegiate, pre-collegiate, career-technical, and continuing and community education courses and programs, regardless of delivery mode or location. The institution systematically strives to improve programs and courses to enhance learning outcomes and achievement for students.
  • II.B.3: The institution evaluates library and other learning support services to assure their adequacy in meeting identified student needs. Evaluation of these services includes evidence that they contribute to the attainment of student learning outcomes. The institution uses the results of these evaluations as the basis for improvement.

Principle 7

Quality and change
Quality higher education needs to be flexible, creative and innovative; developing and evolving to meet students' needs, to justify the confidence of society and to maintain diversity.

Our Response

Documentation of the provider's commitment to innovation in its education programs and services

It is common to see BC faculty, staff, and administrators among the list of speakers for statewide conferences. This is public evidence that institutional leaders create and encourage innovation leading to excellence. Under the leadership of President Christian, BC has been recognized statewide for its innovation and leadership, particularly related to Guided Pathways.

In Principle 1, we describe Bakersfield College's deeply-rooted culture of dialog that occurs in an intentionally-designed formal structure that ensures an actively-engaged leadership at all levels of the College, including students and all employee groups. In re-affirming our accreditation, ACCJC commended Bakersfield College for the active engagement of leadership in this formal structure that creates "an empowering environment to drive innovation."

Evidence of implementation and effectiveness

Since beginning its Guided Pathways (GP) implementation in 2014, BC has seen universal growth and improvement across virtually every metric at the college. To get more students to complete and/or transfer – on time and without excess units – BC has intentionally designed an innovative, formal structure through which cross-functional teams of faculty and staff are responsible for advancing four key research-based momentum points. The goals have become our college's mantra and the aligned activities our practice. They include:

  • Attempting 15+ units in the first term
  • Completion of transfer-level math and English in the first year
  • Attempting 30+ units in the first year
  • Completion of 9 core pathway units in the first year

Bakersfield College's GP implementation has required a whole college effort to redesign existing structures in order to advance equitable access and completion. This formal structure includes 10 Completion Coaching Communities, organized by meta-major, with an additional eight Affinity-Based Completion Coaching Communities. Each of the Completion Coaching Communities has a designated Data Coach. This organization of BC faculty, staff, and administrators ensures each student is actively helped to pursue the most direct path to his or her educational goal and illuminates barriers to facilitate a swift and at scale response to remove those barriers.

Bakersfield College's Completion Coaching Community structure has led to whole-college gains in our guided pathways momentum points in the past 12 months. The college has seen the most substantial gains over the 24-month period the Completion Coaching Communities have been active in cohort management with the support of their Data Coaches using a high-tech, high-touch strategy:

Gains in Guided Pathways Momentum Points
Learning & Career Pathway 15 units in 1st Term English Math
Agriculture, Culinary Arts & Nutrition 10.5% to 14.8% 6.9% to 15.8% 3.4% to 3.2%
Arts, Humanities & Communication 9.2% to 16.5% 15.5% to 28.3% 3.0% to 8.3%
Business 13.5% to 17% 16.4% to 21.9% 7% to 10.8%
Education 4.9% to 14.1% 15.4% to 23.8% 2.8% to 4.6%
Health Sciences 11.4% to 16.1% 17.4% to 26.9% 3.4% to 8.1%
Industrial & Transportation Technology 6% to 12% 3.9% to 11.2% 0.7% to 3.3%
Public Safety 12.1% to 18% 8.1% to 18.2% 0.9% to 4.9%
Science, Technology, Engineering & Math 13.6% to 24.1% 26.2% to 32.6% 13.4% to 23.3%
Social & Behavioral Sciences 10.9% to 18.3% 19.6% to 32.6% 4.4% to 11.7%

Notably, BC has made significant progress in our equity agenda using the GP framework:

  • Closed transfer-level English completion gap for African American Students: from 14% to 44%
  • African American now students exceed overall rate of 39% for this metric.
  • Closed Latinx Gap in Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) attainment: from 61.6% to 67.4% of all ADT earners in two years
  • Improved completion rates for Latinx students from 26.8% to 38.6%
  • Improved completion rates for African American students from 32% to 39.8%

Examples of successful efforts at innovation

Pioneered through a collaboration between BC and software design and development firm Concentric Sky, with support from the CCC Chancellor's Office (CCCCO), the Program Pathways Mapper (PPM) features an interactive visualization of the traditional course catalog alongside easy-to-understand career data, facilitating students' deeper understanding of their potential options as they explore available college programs. In May 2018, the CCC Board of Governors recognized BC with a $2.3M Higher Education Innovation Award to implement the PPM systemwide.

The work of clarifying student pathways through college matters because it facilitates the path to transfer and degree completion for college students, particularly those who are first-generation college students with little social capital or "college knowledge." Additionally, clarifying the path helps college and university personnel to be more effective and intentional in their support of student completion goals.

Program Pathways Mapper is a critical and necessary systems solution which, when implemented across all community colleges, will immediately allow the over 2.1 million students to identify their educational plan using the shortest path. Having students start on their path with this tool is the single investment which will change the trajectory to their completion, resulting in a massive increase in the outcomes identified in Vision for Success. The Mapper tool presents to us systems-based solutions to the barriers that have plagued many college leaders as they wrestle with the most complex and pressing issues of our time. Only intentional efforts to clarify the path, get students on the path, and keep them there will result in the outcomes we seek.

Testimonials from external stakeholders (e.g., employers, civil society organizations or groups)

Bakersfield College has led the charge for a community-wide commitment to expand equitable educational access and attainment through the Kern Promise. In an effort to catalyze this work, President Christian developed a President's Education Roundtable, which gathered business and organization leadership in a think-tank environment off which to bounce ideas, gather feedback, and gauge community response to college efforts. Collaborating with community leaders to raise visibility of the partnership across the educational pipeline, President Christian was instrumental in BC being selected as one of the 15 colleges in California to offer a baccalaureate, and the recent selection of BC as one of 14 California community college districts awarded the College Promise Innovation Award. To make visible the widespread support for this work and further BC's competitiveness for this grant, Bakersfield College gathered and archived Letters of Support online.