Bakersfield College is a place of hope, transformation, and dreams; a place where life-changing opportunities become real through the power of education.
Our story began 105 years ago, when the college welcomed 13 students to the Kern County High School Campus. I can’t help but imagine the generations that benefited from state-of-the-art technology, training, leadership focused on the future, engagement and dedication from their community.
Next week, we welcome over 33,000 unique students to the Renegade community and a new chapter begins. The year ahead holds exiting things in place with the Accreditation visit in October, the groundbreaking of Measure J projects including the Veterans Resource Center in November, and the flurry of growth within innovative programs like Early College, Dual Enrollment, and Inmate Scholars.
What an honor and privilege for each and every one of us to say that WeAreBC and it is our hands that are writing the next chapter of BC’s story.
Before I jump into the Strategic Directions, I’d like to thank some important people for making today possible.
Faculty & Staff – The work of your hands and heart has served this community for over one hundred years. Your creativity and inspired commitment to quality education provides a strong foundation and structured support for our students to obtain awards, certificates, and degrees. The contributions from BC faculty and staff, in and out of the classroom, on the campus, and in the community, helps make a better BC, a better Bakersfield, and makes our world a better place.
Our KCCD Trustees and Chancellor Tom Burke provide the leadership and oversight to ensure strength and success at Bakersfield College. They are generous with their time and strong in their commitment to our values and mission. Together, we ensure students are challenged to develop curiosity, communicate effectively, think critically, thrive, and always feel supported.
Days like today would not be possible without incredible planning and people to make it happen. Our Opening Day Team has prepared every little detail so we can have a successful morning. Thank you to:
Last year was another great year for Bakersfield College and I say this not by using a single metric to evaluate our performance but by using multiple measures. The list of our accomplishments and highlights is extensive and one of the largest undertakings includes the development of our Institutional Self Evaluation Report. Our document is an incredible piece of work which took countless hours, passionate work, and devotion to this remarkable institution. Thank you to the special hearts and minds of Nick Strobel, Sondra Keckley, and Lesley Bonds who championed this report and created a masterpiece.
In May, we celebrated with the record breaking 104th Bakersfield College Commencement with the largest class of eligible graduates in the history of our college. In one evening, surrounded by proud parents, friends, family members, and our community, over 2,000 graduates received a college degree. Bakersfield College recognized our first seven graduates of the Industrial Automation Baccalaureate degree and our first 40 Early College Wonderful Ag Prep graduates with an Associate’s degree in Ag Business.
In 2002 Measure G was passed and 16 years later, we are still utilizing that funding on improvements. Last year, significant progress was made in regards to Measure J planning and we are moving aggressively to complete signature projects within an accelerated six to seven year time frame. There is also a strong commitment to keep the construction work with local contractors to benefit the community.
Last year, the staffing for our Office of Institutional Effectiveness came together. The focus of this department is a dream that BC’s administration has had for the last five years. They are going to be one performing team integrated with the work of the campus, integrated through our 12 campus committees like Program Review, AIQ, Assessment etc…. and Guided Pathways. This dynamic team is being led by a true pioneer and champion for using data as a means to improve our systems for student success, Craig Hayward. His team includes Amber Hroch, Institutional Researcher; Karen Snow, Senior Data Analyst; Alma Livingston, Data Analyst; David Buitron, Data Analyst; and Lori Ortiz, Executive Secretary.
Last academic year, Bakersfield College also launched eLumen, a new curriculum and assessment management system which is opening the gateways for us to evaluate with valuable insight to student progression and completion.
Reflecting on the past year brings forward how our work is always moving forward. We remain committed to the journey of continuous movement and improvement, working together towards a better BC. This State of the College will focus on our new Strategic Directions and how we each contribute to the work of Bakersfield College. We are bound by a common mission to serve our students and our community and through the evidence of our work, our students are living and evolving proof that our very values drive and strengthen Kern County.
A commitment to provide a holistic education that develops curiosity, inquiry, and empowered learners.
A commitment to eliminate barriers that cause students difficulties in completing their educational goals.
A commitment to improve the maintenance of all facilities, technology, and infrastructure and implement Measure J funding to build a better BC.
A commitment to build leadership within the College and engagement with the community.
The greatest privilege we have is to serve our students and share in their stories of resilience by offering a commitment to provide holistic education that develops curiosity, inquiry, and empowered learners.
The state of student learning at Bakersfield College is strong.
Today, times are changing. Students throughout local high schools are starting to see possible pathways that extend above and beyond their 12th grade year. These options include visible higher education obtainment, unlimited student support, clarity of goals, and mastery of skills. The Guided Pathways are not about limits, it’s about clarity so students can enter the path and navigate their college life, while the College intentionally supports students to stay their course while ensuring learning.
With the innovative times, Bakersfield College has moved from the outdated CurricUNET to the more advanced eLumen, which is performing better than expected. BC’s Assessment Committee has shared that we have reached 100% assessment compliance in eLumen for the 2017-2018 academic year. This means with the ease of entering assessment data, the 38.5% of SLOs that were not planned to be assessed have been completed.
We know through our data that students who complete a degree at Bakersfield College think critically and communicate effectively and we have the ILO data to show it.
Last year, we also finalized the Assessment Committee Handbook and launched Renegade Roundtable Discussions to highlight the best assessment practices.
As we’re advancing, it was an important goal to break down the discipline silos and take a more holistic approach to evaluating student learning outcome data during the program review process. Today, I’m proud to share that starting this fall, we will be reimagining assessment by evaluating the needs of our students using a comprehensive picture of all the major courses in a program to see how our students are doing in each course along their path to completion.
For example, the Economics Associates Degree for Transfer is made up of 11 courses, but only 2 are Economics courses. In the previous way of doing assessment, this meant that faculty could only speak to the learning outcome data for students in those 2 Economics courses, but now with eLumen, faculty can generate reports that show how students are performing in other disciplines, resulting in the college making more informed decisions about our programs for the students.
Our goal for the year ahead is to roll out PARR (Plan, Assess, Reflect, Refine Training opportunities) which will include entering assessment data, generating reports, and completing the new assessment report for program review. BC’s annual Program Review and Strategic Directions updating and monitoring processes are the primary ways we assess how well we are accomplishing our mission and the process through which we evaluate our goals, objectives, student learning outcomes, and student achievement.
All of this was possible because of the leadership and engagement of the Assessment Committee including Billie Jo Rice and Brent Wilson, Bill Mosely and Eddie Nelson for their tireless work with eLumen, and all faculty and leaders at BC because we all engage in student learning.
The state of Student Progression and Completion at Bakersfield College is strong, and we know this because more students than ever before are:
The Pathways Program Mapper: A customized, visual representation of your college’s catalog that addresses sequence of courses towards a degree or certificate completion aligns with the first pillar of Guided Pathways, Clarifying the Path. The mapper is being designed to provide colleges with an easy and consistent way to develop and publish default program maps that show what a typical student journey through a program looks like, semester by semester. The map can be thought of as a visualization of the college catalog, making it more accessible to prospective and current students. It addresses common pain points in the mapping process such as variations in coursework and timing due to differences in transfer destination and student unit load, as well as a way to flexibly handle electives.
In Guided Pathways, we are being relentlessly clear with our students about all the steps necessary to get the degree they need for their eventual career; what intellectual, social, and technical skills they will need for that career; and providing the clear nudges and encouragement when “life happens” to get them back on track. As we work to increase the number of Bachelor-degree holders in California by an additional million beyond what the traditional system is capable of producing, we know that we will, by necessity, be reaching out to more and more first-generation college students who do not have the family history to navigate the environment of higher education. They will need us to be explicit, to provide relentless clarity.
WARBA and Transfer Pathways: By engaging in active partnerships with four-year universities, BC is ensuring alignment of curriculum and expected outcomes across educational systems so students efficiently stay on track to degree completion. The College is integrating multiple technologies and systems to improve usability and data access, in partnership with CSU Bakersfield and the Kern High School District. In our integrated framework, BC has kept a laser focus on the end objective: improving baccalaureate attainment rates throughout Kern County. As such, our work with our primary four-year university partner, CSU Bakersfield, has resulted in at-scale improvements for transfer-intent students.
To address transfer misalignment, Bakersfield College has established a Transfer Task Force, through which faculty leaders have developed a joint MOU with our primary transfer partner, CSU Bakersfield. Through in person meetings with dozens of faculty from each institution, the college has examined issues of misalignment, developed mutually agreed-upon course sequences, thus creating the data source for the Program Pathways Mapper Tool.
Last year, we:
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. BC has been recognized statewide for its innovation and leadership, particularly related to Guided Pathways and the work of the Guided Pathways Implementation Team. In May 2018, the Board of Governor's of the California community colleges recognized BC with a $2.3M Innovation Award.
As members of the Leading from the Middle team, 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 cross-functional task force convened by the college president worked with community and state leaders to establish a 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 Workgroup to Address Regional Baccalaureate Attainment (WARBA) 1) established a Memorandum of Understanding with CSUB to align our transfer maps, 2) secured funding through the CCCCO’s Promise Innovation Grant program and private philanthropic dollars to plan, organize, and disseminate the innovations such as the Pathways Program Mapper, and 3) convened local educational leaders in Education Roundtables.
Finish in Four: In spring 2018, under the leadership of Janet Fulks, Stephen Waller, Craig Hayward, Matt Garrett, Eleonora Hicks, Marisa Marquez, and Khushnur Dadabhoy, WARBA completed the mapping of 27 ADTs that will allow students to follow a four-year bachelor’s degree pathway from BC to CSU Bakersfield. Many of our deans, department chairs, and faculty engaged in this critical work and helped to resolve curricular issues related. The ADT mapped pathways under the Kern Promise FINISH IN 4 initiative are in the following areas:
Outreach and School Relations assists all potential Bakersfield College students and current Bakersfield College students by serving as the essential starting point in the on-boarding process. The department is responsible for coordinating the college-wide outreach services to improve access, introduce academic pathways, encourage Matriculated students community engagement, and raise awareness and understanding regarding the benefits of pursuing a higher education.
Improved alignment with our high school partners has led to at-scale improvements for incoming students throughout Kern County. Through an intensive approach to intersegmental alignment, Bakersfield College has grown our footprint in the high schools for matriculation, registration, and dual enrollment. Each strategy started with a pilot and has scaled to address clarity and alignment in all pathways for incoming students.
In 2017, this department provided on-site matriculation services for 49 feeder high schools. First-time Student (FTS) enrollment has increased 33.46% from 3,296 (Fall 2016) to 4,399 (Fall 2017), which is 20.25% of the total student population at Bakersfield College. Fully matriculated FTS’s before priority registration increased 14% from 2,953 (Fall 2016) to 3,368 (Fall 2017) and Outreach registered 2,386 FTS at High School Registration Rocks (2nd day early registration event), up 250% from Fall 2017.
Multiple Measures & Placement has utilized curriculum reform and a strong multiple measures approach for placing students in English and math courses which has increased the proportion of students who complete transfer-level English and math. AB705 legislation impacts the second and third pillars of Guided Pathways: Entering the Path and Staying on the Path. AB 705 impacts placement in transfer level English and math (entering the path) as well as requires us to consider how we can redesign courses, potentially through a co-requisite model, to successfully complete college-level work (staying on the path) in a shorter time than before, all the while Ensuring that Learning Happens (the fourth pillar).
AB 705 has been in the works for many years, long before Bailey et. al introduced us to the idea of guided pathways in Redesigning America’s Community Colleges in 2015. The MMAP research proved that using high school performance metrics were better indicators of success than the usual placement exam. Statewide research showed that the usual remediation course work as prerequisites that dipped as low as “four levels below college level” resulted in only a small fraction of students finally enrolling in college level English and math – a concept that researchers have termed “throughput.” Also, research showed that the great majority of students placed two or more levels below transfer level were Latinx and African-American students.
Inmate Scholars Program has scaled course offerings, ensuring students may enroll in one to three courses on a transfer pattern each semester. Inmate scholars are incredibly capable, as evidenced by higher success rates in the Golden Four courses than the average BC student. Most notably, incarcerated students of color outperform their peers in a traditional setting at exceedingly high rates. Incredibly, incarcerated African American students at BC boast a 93.3% success rate against a 57.9% rate for their peers.
Bakersfield College offers the largest face-to-face college program for inmates in California, having only recently launched an initial pilot of one course on one yard to 21 students at Kern Valley State Prison in spring 2015. Since then, BC has established the largest face-to-face inmate education program in the country. Notable accomplishments of the BC Inmate Scholars Program include:
Inmate Scholars Program offered 88 sections across ten prisons, thus serving the most prisons in the nation. The program began offering the first transfer level science course that included a lab at Corcoran State Prison and held multiple events in the prisons that allowed students to showcase their talents learned in class such as; debate, public speaking, and singing. All courses were within the Associate Degree for Transfer in Communication pathway and students were offered different courses each semester.
In 2018-19, the Inmate Scholars Program will further expand course offerings across all ten prisons. Students in the earliest cohorts will graduate with Associate Degree for Transfer in Communication. The program will further integrate students support services and upon graduation, students will transfer to bachelor degree programs.
|Spring 2015||Fall 2017||Projected Fall 2018|
1 transferable course
12 transferable courses
10 CTE or Basic Skills Courses
20 Transferable Courses
15 CTE or Basic Skills Courses
1 Course Section
32 Course sections
50 Course Sections
Dual Enrollment at Bakersfield College began in fall of 2013 in order to provide Wonderful Academy students the opportunity to complete an Associate of Science in Ag Business by the time the student completed their high school education. Since that time the College has developed partnerships with all of our local high school districts. The program currently serves 24 high schools. An important component of BC’s guided pathways work is to expand program pathways into high school through dual enrollment. The recent addition of the STDV B3 course (“Career Choices: Get Focused…Stay Focused!” curriculum) exemplifies the guided pathways principle of beginning with the end in mind by supporting career exploration for freshmen students. The students enrolled in the program continue to be quite successful with retention rates of 96% and success rates of 90.3%. Demographics of our students indicate that 81% are Hispanic/Latino, 8% White, 3% African American, 3% Filipino, 3% Other, and 2% Asian.
In fall 2017, the college offered 149 sections and Dual Enrollment course offerings have saved students over $2,100,000. The collaborative process among academic departments and high school partners resulted in the expansion of course offerings, including Child Development (our first in the Education pathway), Welding and Electronics. Most recently, we celebrated the first graduation of our Wonderful Academy graduates in May 2018 where this cohort of students recieved their Associates degree before their high school graduation.
Bakersfield College SouthWest grew exponentially over the past year. In January, our BC SouthWest campus offered a very robust late-start semester, thanks to the support of deans, faculty chairs, and instructional faculty. In just two weeks of registering students, the BC SouthWest served over 1,100 students through 50 sections, generating 135 FTES. A booming summer semester also ensued. Through a unique scheduling pattern to maximize classroom utilization, 1,200 students enrolled in 61 sections generating 128 FTES. This fall, BC SouthWest is poised to serve over 2,299 enrolled students.
As the Southwest continues to meet the growing needs of students, the Fall 2018 semester will offer more than 80 sections, 73 (89%) of which are already full with waitlists. The Southwest staff continues to add more sections that will accommodate additional students, and especially those who are waitlisted. With the help and support of faculty chairs and faculty, we are making a difference by bringing ‘college closer to home.’
In collaboration with the Kern High School District, our Southwest Campus will work closely with 6 local high schools to expand dual enrollment courses, as well as to provide concurrent enrollment offerings for high school students. With your support, it is realistic to exceed 600, if not 700, FTES in the 2018-2019 academic year.
Rural Initiatives are intentionally targeting surrounding communities within our service area to equip more residents with the workforce skills they need. These are the certificates and degrees which lead to wage increases, family sustaining careers, and generations of positive change through educational mobility. The North Kern area, which includes the cities of Delano, McFarland, Shafter and Wasco, has seen a student headcount growth of 79%.
Delano FTES increased from 1,092 in 2015-2016 to 1,310 2016-2017; a 20% increase in just one year. The expansion in courses on campus, as well as growth in dual enrollment and inmate education helped enhance our ability to provide more opportunities for students. Growth was also noticeable in Arvin, McFarland, Shafter, and Wasco, where FTES jumped from 148.9 to 261 (a 75% increase) as a result of an increase in the number of sections offered from 59 to 106.
BC also recently launched the Rural Initiative Distance Education (R.I.D.E) Project, which will establish distance education classrooms at Arvin High School, Delano High School, and Cesar E. Chavez High School. These interactive technology classrooms will be used to stream college courses from Bakersfield College to the high school sites, and high school site to high school site.
This past year:
In July, Assemblyman Rudy Salas announced that by advocating for the Central Valley in the new California budget, the Governor allocated $1 million to invest in targeted career pathways for the rural communities (Arvin, Delano, Hanford, Shafter, McFarland, Wasco) surrounding the Bakersfield College area. This funding will support and help to expand the following programs:
Online Education at Bakersfield College has experienced significant growth in online enrollment over the last year. In Fall 2016, BC reported a census day enrollment of 6,358. In Fall 2017, the census day enrollment was 7,309, which was an increase of almost 15% making online offerings one of the most significant areas of growth at Bakersfield College. During that same period of time, our fill rate rose from 66% to 69%, resulting in a positive impact of productivity.
In the 2016 to 2017 academic year, the college continued its healthy growth across all types of distance education, including hybrid and interactive television courses. This academic year, the number of distance education courses reached 74, for a 3-year growth rate of 25.4%.
Despite the rapid growth, Bakersfield College has also improved metrics related to student success across distance education modalities. Student retention and student success both increased significantly, while closing the gap between distance education and traditional classes from 7.9% to 5.7% for retention, and 15.6% to 14.6% for success.
Over the past few years, the college has experienced tremendous growth in a multitude of areas. We just keep growing, from the number of faculty to the number of students, graduates, programs, community support, and more. Together, we share a commitment to improve the maintenance of all facilities, technology, and infrastructure and implement Measure J funding to build a better BC.
The state of Human Resources at Bakersfield College is strong.
Bakersfield College is committed to employing the most qualified faculty, classified, and administrative staff to educate and support our students who come from diverse economic, cultural, and educational backgrounds. The Human Resources Department administers all HR functions, with campus-based management support at each college in the district.
BC’s annual Full-Time Equivalent Students (FTES) has increased over the past five years, so, too, has the annual Full-Time Equivalent Faculty (FTEF), thanks to large increases in the hiring of contract faculty in the past five years.
Public Safety has a total department staffing of 52 including student programs and officers at (5) separate locations and with responsibilities to an additional (7) locations across Kern County in the cities of Arvin, Bakersfield, Delano, McFarland, Shafter, and Wasco in the event our services are needed.
All Bakersfield College campuses are an integral part of our public community and BC’s Public Safety Department is committed to making everyone on our campus safe through education and prevention.
This year, we have ramped up foot patrols in all buildings and in all areas of campus. We have increased our number of officers and cadets and are in the process of replacing our patrol vehicle fleet. We continue to offer various trainings free to students and the community such as Defense Trainings and Active Shooter Response Trainings and are exploring various enhanced safety features such as apps for quick and easy reporting. The department houses 4 different student employment programs including cadets, parking enforcement, DSPS mobility cart services, and office assistance.
As mentioned earlier, the department has recently began replacing the patrol vehicle fleet as the vehicles being used were older and costly on maintenance. The department has replaced four vehicles by introducing Ford Explorer SUV patrol vehicles to campus which enables officers to respond to emergency calls much easier as the SUV’s are better suited to jump curbs, cutting down response time across campus.
The state of Facilities at Bakersfield College is strong.
In 2016, the community voted in support of the KCCD Special Facilities Improvement District No. 1 (SFID) for $502.8 million for the construction and rehabilitation of facilities. For FY18-19 Tentative Budget, Measure J projects total a budget of $48 million. This year, one of BC’s largest goals is to ensure construction timelines are kept on schedule and to make sure that these projects are properly communicated to our campus and regional community. As the timelines stays on track, we look to begin construction on the Campus Center/ABC building in January 2019 and complete the construction at VRC by Fall 2019.
Another upcoming project is the Science and Engineering building, which we hope to select an architect and contractor for this fall. With that goal in mind, our campus should have working drawings completed by June 2019 and begin construction in late Fall 2019. Lastly, the college has been working diligently with the Athletics department on their vision for the Gym and athletics facilities to begin working drawings by January 2019.
The state of Technology at Bakersfield College is strong.
Last year, BC spent approximately $2.3 million dollars on improving technology, of which over one million was sourced from non-General Fund sources. Projects include upgrading several computer labs, replacing many staff and faculty machines, upgraded technology in the Renegade Room, Renegade Rip area, Delano classrooms, Planetarium, and upgrades to the campus Wi-Fi infrastructure.
There are many enterprise systems that have been upgraded as well, such as Banner and Exchange for email. eLumen and Starfish implementations were also a big undertaking successfully accomplished throughout the past year.
In 2018-19 there will be a continued focus on technology with the largest focus being on projects related to the Measure J construction, updates to the Delano campus related to the HVAC program, and getting the appropriate technology installed and setup at the BC SouthWest campus. Both the Wi-Fi and planetarium projects were started in the last fiscal year, but the final work will be completed this year. There will still be updates to instructional labs and employee machines, but the bigger projects will be related to construction and our other sites.
The state of Budget at Bakersfield College is strong.
The College is financially healthy, and stronger than has been in previous years. The last five years have seen an increase in General Fund allocations as well as in reserves. Categorical and Restricted Funding has grown 23.8% since 2017-2018 and the total budget has grown each year from 78.2 Million in 2013 to over 127 Million in 2017-2018.
|TOTAL BUDGET (Published Adopted)||78,207,962||85,243,667||96,537,761||109,855,259||127,984,822|
|Total GU Budget (Published Adopted)||68,122,615||74,983,068||83,600,477||92,452,895||102,220,602|
|Adopted Reserve (7910 & 7925) GU||1,957,271||4,108,342||5,849,905||8,442,523||9,226,962|
The 2018-19 budget package includes $175 million ongoing and $35 million one-time to transition to the new formula. The formula includes three main components, described below. In future years, a COLA is to be applied to the funding rates underlying each of the following three components:
This past summer, key members of the budget committee came together for weeks and tackled the new funding formula to understand the intricacies to help BC understand how the new funding formula impacts the practices of the college. Their work helped us realize how very well positioned BC is with all the work we have done in the various categories identified by the funding formula for targeted allocation.
Our community which cheers us on in the bleachers of Memorial Stadium and celebrates each and every degree awarded at commencement…
Our community which secures funding and supports the opportunity for growth and expansions…
Our community which knows a college degree has never been more critical for success and provides employment for our graduates.
Throughout each year, there are countless stories of how our work is transforming individual lives and improving our community. Over the past five years as President, I have been amazed by the leadership and engagement of our faculty and staff, encouraged by their innovative spirit, and grateful for their commitment to our students.
In reviewing my blog, the many photos of smiling students, graduates, alumni, supporters, faculty, and staff renewed my appreciation, excitement, and humble spirit for beginning another year at the Home of the Renegades.
Last August, we had students intern with Congressman Kevin McCarthy in Washington, DC and Bakersfield College was selected to receive $100,000 from the National Endowment for the Humanities for “Energizing Humanities in California’s San Joaquin Valley” thanks to the work of BC Faculty including Oliver Rosales, Andrew Bond, and Josh Ottum.
In September, we celebrated the grand opening of the Job Spot, where BC intentionally supports adult learners to further their education and careers. We participated in the Arvin Hispanic Festival, unveiling BC in Arvin with a huge balloon and support from local city officials and political leaders.
We also held the DACA Forum and AB540 informational event with support from local attorneys so that our students and their families could get the answers they need, find the support they need, and continue their education at BC.
In November, we celebrated Veterans… hosting the special veterans breakfast highlighting support for our vets from individuals like Supervisor Leticia Perez, unveiling the Veterans Resource Center, drop off zone for care packages, and VetFest with Assemblyman Rudy Salas. And BC held Express Enrollment in Shafter, serving students close to home at Shafter Learning Center.
In January, BC was in full force at the local Women’s march with current SGA President, Dezi Von Manos who spoke and the BC Adult Education Team hosting a booth, to the number of faculty and staff who came out to the event just to support. We also increased class offerings at BC SouthWest to better serve all of Bakersfield… because after all, we are Bakersfield’s college.
In February and March, we celebrated Black History Month with gospel singers, influential speakers, and special events such as “Bridging the Divide” with local law enforcement. We hosted incredible events for Women’s history month, such as Anita Hill and Dolores Huerta. The following month, I had the honor of speaking at the Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference where I was able to highlight the powerful women in our community and their contributions to our future.
In May, we celebrated our Commencement of firsts with the largest class of eligible graduates ever, the first baccalaureate graduates in Industrial Automation, the first graduates of the Early College Wonderful Ag Prep program, the first cohort to finish The Kern Promise, and the first graduate in Public Health. Our graduates were showered with congratulations from the community and we had Memorial Stadium packed to the brim.
This summer, we had something to be proud of each and every week. From the $1Million award made possible by Assembly member Rudy Salas to expand rural education and programs, to supporting students facing barriers, and breaking ground on parking lots and Measure J activities.
It’s an exciting time to be at BC. And we have gained support from all angles because “WeAreBC” and our mission is strong.
The integrated work that we do has never been more important, nor have we ever been better positioned to succeed. Over the past few years, Bakersfield College has made significant progress in closing the loop on retention and increasing completion for all of our students by offering intentional support with a strong foundation to help them develop the skills needed for success in a rapidly changing world.
Along with our strategic directions and unified vision, we will continue the remarkable work of our founding men and women. I look forward to the year ahead as we expand our reach, transform lives, foster student learning, support progression and completion, and improve our facilities and technology because of your leadership and engagement.
Let’s drive the next chapter of Bakersfield College’s story. Not only can we be a vital character in our institutions history, we can shape the future of it.
The state of Bakersfield College is strong and the future of Bakersfield College is bright.
We are BC.