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:
Bakersfield College (BC) continues its strong growth and leadership among community colleges in the state, particularly in its implementation of guided pathways. The annual 2016-17 headcount was 31,292 producing 15,879 Full-time Equivalent Students (FTES), a 7% increase relative compared to 2015-16. Early indications from fall 2017 enrollments indicate that more growth is projected for 2017-18.
In addition to growth in traditional first-time students, the College has greatly expanded its inmate scholar and dual enrollment programs and these programs have been an important source of growth over the past two years. The College has also been aggressively integrating new categorical and grant dollars (BSI, SSSP, Equity, Federal grants and state grants) to advance student access, success and learning.
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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:
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).
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.
As the executive head of a College, the President is responsible to the Chancellor of the District. As chief administrator of the College, the President shall be responsible for maintaining the policies, procedures, rules, and regulations as set forth by the Chancellor, the Board of Trustees, the California Education Code, the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges, and the general laws of California and of the United States of America. The President shall have the authority to delegate areas of responsibility as permitted by law.
The President shall appoint management representatives to standing and ad hoc committees and designate the chairs of College-wide committees according to College policy and the law. (Revised June 6, 1999)
The Presidents shall represent the College as appropriate at conferences and meetings and with county, state, and federal offices.
The President shall recommend to the Chancellor budget, curricular, facility, and employee requirements essential to effective operations of the College. (Revised February 3, 2005)
The President shall supervise programs and services appropriate to community services and the College as a civic center.
The President shall direct the efforts of a College toward a realization of its purposes and interpret the College's programs accurately and effectively to the various publics being served.
The President shall appoint department/ division chairs according to College policy. (Revised June 6, 1999)
The President shall be responsible for campus adherence to adopted courses of study with such exceptions as may be authorized by the Chancellor.
The President shall be responsible for the learning climate and have the right to administer suitable and proper corrective measures for student misconduct. This may include suspension from classes, disciplinary probation, revocation of Associated Student Body privileges, or other suitable means.
The President shall delegate, subject to the approval of the Chancellor, any of the powers and duties entrusted to him/her, but in every instance he/she shall continue to be responsible to the Chancellor for the execution of the powers and duties delegated.