Bakersfield College

Umoja Community Students

Umoja Community ASTEP

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.

To Join Umoja ASTEP:

  1. If you'd like to apply to join Umoja ASTEP, complete the Umoja ASTEP application form.
  2. Attend an information/enrollment session to learn more and enroll in Umoja classes. After Dr. Parks receives your application, she will contact you.

Enrollment sessions:

For more background on the program, download the Umoja ASTEP Informational Brochure or

email Dr. Paula L. Parks.

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


Download: Umoja ASTEP Information Brochure (PDF)

African American Bridge

Wednesday, July 20 CRN 51131

Thursday, July 28 CRN 51158

Summer 2022

SAVE THE DATE FOR ORIENTATION - Aug. 9 in person, Aug.18 in person, Aug. 26 on Zoom, and Sept. 2 in person. Plan to attend one. 

Free - English 99NC for students taking English 1aL Aug. 8 - Aug. 19 online with two Zoom session (Aug. 12 and Aug. 19 at 10 a.m)

Schedule of Courses Offered

Fall 2022

  • English 1aL Expository Composition (3.5 units) taught by Dr. Paula L. Parks Monday/ Wednesday 11:10-1:35 CRN 71254
  • Lib 1 (1 unit) taught by Ms. Faith Bradham Tuesday 9:35-10:40  CRN 71574
  • Psych 5 Stats for Behavioral Sciences (4 units) taught by Mr. David Reiss Tuesday/Thursday 1:00- 3:05 pm   CRN 72027
  • Psych 40 Lifespan Development (3 units) taught by Dr. Christie Howell Thursday 11:00 Zoom   CRN 72892
  • Comm 8: Small Group Communication (3 units) taught by Ms. Mychael Phillips Tuesday/Thursday 4:20-5:45 p.m
  • Art 1: Art Appreciation (3 units) taught by Ms. Penelope Young Monday/Wednesday 6:00-8:05 p.m. Zoom  CRN 72893


  • 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

Dr. 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
  • Christie Howell
  • Michael Little
  • David Reiss
  • Jordan Rude
  • Kimberly Watkin

Umoja ASTEP Photos

2019-2020 Year in Review