I visited the Bakersfield College Delano Campus on March 5th and spent almost half a day meeting faculty, staff, students and community members. My day started early with a 7:30 breakfast meeting with the Delano Community Alliance which includes community leaders from a myriad of organizations that collaborate on issues impacting Northern Kern County. They have a focused interest in Bakersfield College and our partnerships with local schools and districts.
The alliance includes all school leaders (high school and elementary school districts; Bard College and Paramount Bard Academy); city officials (City Council members; Mayor; City Manager and other staff); Kern County officials (Fire Chief; Career Development; Protective Services; CALWORKS and others); local prison leadership; local service organizations (Kiwanis, Rotary, Kern Homeless Collaboration and others) and local business leaders. The meeting was vibrant and the energy and commitment of the leaders gathered was evident; it appeared to me that anything was possible in Delano because this group would just make the impossible happen.
The Delano College Center Foundation (a BC Foundation Auxiliary) received a $25,000.00 grant from Southern California Edison. The money will fund student scholarships and help promote efforts to prepare students for college level work.
Community members were very complementary of the work Richard McCrow had done in Delano and described him as building partnerships and community.
Following the Community Alliance meeting, I met with Superintendent Rivera, Dr. Nuckols and other Delano High School district leadership to discuss early-college program partnerships with Bakersfield College. The discussions included an agreement to jump start the process by selecting pilot courses to begin in Fall 2013.
The day included a chance to tour the Delano Campus Learning Center, which provides students with a variety of learning support services to include peer tutoring; CAS workshops; computer based support and other resource materials. Peer tutors service approximately 300 students each semester and provide over 600 direct tutoring hours.
Juan Torres, it was great seeing you after 10 years. And Raquel, u rock!