Bakersfield College

African American Initiatives

African American Initiatives

African American Initiatives are planned interventions and strategies to address the underrepresentation of African American students at Bakersfield College. These initiatives address the student retention, persistence, and success rates. Coordination of these strategies involves the intentional establishment of collaborative partnerships among departments, programs, and in the hiring of faculty and staff committed to this work.

African American Initiatives work is funded in part by the California Community College Chancellor’s Office Student Equity Plan funding.  Learn more about the college’s strategic equity planning.

Student Recruitment

  • Lead: Steven Watkin, Director of Outreach and School Relations
  • Targeted outreach and recruitment at selected high schools
  • Community-based outreach programs

Completion Coaching Community

We’d like to introduce you to YOUR Completion Coaching Community specifically designed to work with you, BC African American Students.

Name Position Email Voice Phone Location
Paula Parks Professor, English; Coordinator, Umoja ASTEP Community (661) 395-4767
Humanities 43
Financial Aid
Name Position Email Voice Phone Location
Jennifer Achan Executive Director, Financial Aid & Scholarships (661) 395-4428

Academic Communities, Classes, and Clubs

  • Lead: Paula Parks, Faculty, English
    Coordinator, Umoja Community African-American Success Through Excellence and Persistence (ASTEP)
    • Core English and Student Development Courses
    • Umoja-supported courses, such as Math and Astronomy
    • BC and Community Mentors
    • Study Sessions
    • Academic and Cultural Trips
    • College Trips and Transfer Activities 
  • Advisor, Umoja Community Club
    • Speakers
    • Study Sessions
    • Porch Talk
    • Black History Month Conference

Support Groups and Activities

Community Partnership