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Bakersfield College

Umoja Community Students


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

Umoja (A Kiswahili word meaning unity) 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. Umoja ASTEP aims to develop students into leaders and role models in their college and larger community.

Apply to Join Umoja ASTEP

If you'd like to apply to join Umoja ASTEP, complete the Umoja ASTEP application form.

For more background on the program, download the Umoja ASTEP Informational Brochure or email Dr. Paula Parks.

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


Download: Umoja ASTEP Information Brochure (PDF)

Schedule of Courses Offered 

Spring 2022

  • English 1aL Expository Composition (3.5 units) taught by Dr. Paula L. Parks Monday/ Wednesday 11:10-1:35 and Lib 1 (1 unit) taught by Ms. Faith Bradham Wed. 9:35-10:40 CRN 33286
  • English 1b Intro to Lit (3 units) taught by Dr. Paula L. Parks Tuesday/Thursday 11:10-12:35 and StDv 2 (2 units) Thursday 1:00-3:05 taught by Dr. Jonathan Schultz CRN 33371
  • Psych 5  Stats for Behavioral Sciences (4 units) taught by Mr. Jordan Rude Monday/Wednesday 1:00- 3:05 pm CRN 33896
  • Psych 1a Intro to Psych (3 units) taught by Mrs. Kimberly WatkinTuesday/Thursday 6:00-7:25 Zoom CRN 33627
  • Comm 1: Public Speaking (3 units) taught by Ms. Mychael Phillips Tuesday/Thursday 4:20-5:45 p.m CRN 33360
  • Math 22 Statistics (4 units) taught by Mr. Michael Little Monday/Wednesday 6:00-8:05 p.m.CRN 33306 


  • Courses with a focus on African-American culture
  • Group study sessions
  • Simplified class schedules
  • Academic and cultural trips
  • Historically Black College and University tours
  • Book loans
  • Academic excellence celebrations
  • College visits
  • Support: The Umoja ASTEP counselor makes sure every student has an educational plan and stays on track to graduate and transfer.
  • Mentorship: Students, who request, are matched with a community or BC faculty/staff/adminstration mentor in their field of study.

Umoja ASTEP Team

Paula Parks

Dr. Paula L. Parks
Umoja Community ASTEP Coordinator
Dr. Parks on Weebly


Dr. Jonathan Schultz (L) and Mr. Steve Agard (R) UMOJA Counselors


Mychael Phillips
Umoja Communication Professor


Umoja Team

  • Gilbert Ayuk
  • Faith Bradham
  • Michael Little
  • Jordan Rude
  • Kimberly Watkin

Umoja ASTEP Photos

2019-2020 Year in Review