Bakersfield College

ASTEP Fall 2015


What is African-American Success Through Excellence and Persistence (Umoja ASTEP)?


African-American Success Through Excellence and Persistence (ASTEP) is a program that integrates academics, support services and African-American culture. We seek to educate the whole student -- body, mind and spirit -- through an ethic of love.  African and African-American histories and voices are deliberately and intentionally acknowledged and are woven into the learning experience, and this integration is seen as empowering to students and as foundational for their academic and personal success.  Students are full participants in their learning and growth. ASTEP aims to develop students into leaders and role models in their college and larger community.

Umoja ASTEP Photos

Welcome to the UMOJA ASTEP Community Celebration

End of Spring 2016 Celebration

Umoja ASTEP is a member of the state-wide Umoja (Unity) Community Consortium


Download: Umoja ASTEP Information Brochure (PDF)

Apply to join ASTEP

Connect with us on Facebook.


  • Group study sessions
  • Simplified class schedules
  • Academic and cultural field trips
  • Academic excellence celebrations
  • College visits
  • Simplified path to CSUB
  • Support: The Umoja ASTEP counselor makes sure every student has an educational plan and stays on track to graduate and transfer. Students are matched with a community or BC faculty/staff/adminstration mentor in their field of study.


  • Complete Umoja ASTEP application
  • Meet with the Umoja ASTEP director or counselor
  • Complete FAFSA application
  • Complete assessment tests in English, reading, and math
  • Have not completed any of the required courses (English 53 or English 50, Student Dev 2 and 6)

Program Requirements

  • Enroll in Umoja ASTEP Umoja learning community classes
  • Meet with Umoja ASTEP Umoja counselor twice a semester
  • Meet with mentor at least twice a month
  • Attend at least one Village study session each wek
  • Have an interest in community, family, education, and the African-American experience

Year One

Summer 2017

  • Participate in "Welcome to the Umoja Community" week; Aug. 9-15, 10:00-4:00
  • ACDV 65 (optional, depending on assessment)
  • ACDV 61 (optional, depending on assessment)

Fall 2017

  • Enroll in the ASTEP learning community: English 53: Reading, Reasoning, and Writing (with an African-American emphasis) 4 units, taught by Dr. Paula Parks; and Student Development B2: Career Decision Making (2 units), taught by ASTEP counselor Mr. Jonathan Ward.
  • Optional courses: math (by placement)
  • Stay in contact with mentors
  • Participate in ASTEP activities
  Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday

10:30 - 12:35

English 53

Village Study Session

English 53



Spring 2018

  • Enroll in the ASTEP learning community: English 1a: Introductory Composition (with an African-American emphasis), 3 units, taught by Dr. Parks; and Student Development B6: Tools for College Success (3 units), taught by ASTEP counselor Mr. Jonathan Ward.
  • Optional courses: math (by placement)
  • Stay in contact with mentors
  • Participate in ASTEP activities


Year Two


  • See Umoja ASTEP counselor
  • Meet with mentors
  • Participate in Umoja ASTEP activities
  • Leadership - Enroll in Special Projects: Special Studies 201 class


Umoja ASTEP Team

Paula Parks

Dr. Paula Parks
UMOJA ASTEP Community Coordinator
Dr. Parks on Weebly


Paula Parks

Jonathan Ward
Umoja ASTEP Community Counselor


If you'd like to apply to join Umoja ASTEP, please fill out the Umoja ASTEP application form.  You can also download this informational brochure for more background on the program, or email Dr. Paula Parks.

Kern Community College District