Porterville College: Pirates and Renegades Together

Porterville College logo

Since I am starting this blog on September 11th, I would like us to take a moment to pause and reflect on September 11, 2001.

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to spend part of the day at Porterville College to attend the Board meeting.  As we arrived on campus, Nan and I talked about the spirit of community that PC promotes and the richness of life on campus.  We proceeded to have a great lunch cooked by none other than Chef Coyle and had a wonderful conversation with PC faculty and Public Safety Officers who joined us.  The topics ranged widely including how it was important to “feed our souls” ….. what can i say, healthy body, mind and soul to give the best to our students.

I woke up early this morning after a restless night and thought I would start a blog and share with you some of what I really enjoy about our sister campus.

Back in 1927, something wonderful happened in the quiet Tulare County community of Porterville.  Back then, it had only been 25 years since the town’s inception at the foot of the Sierras, but progressive Portervillians quickly realized there was already an insatiable need for higher learning to service their growing population.

And in 1927, Porterville College launched its first classes on the campus of the already established Porterville High School, serving 97 eager students.  A thriving new institution was up and running.

Porterville College

Courtesy Porterville College

For the better part of the past century, PC has maintained a keen focus on servicing its most important asset – the Porterville community itself.  And that’s not just lip service.  When I think of community, I think of people who aggressively identify their needs (as well as those of their neighbors), then move to take care of those needs. They see an area of deficiency — and they move to solve it.

Communities aren’t defined by an insular silo approach to problem-solving.  They’re defined by individuals moving to take care of those problems.  And for decades, Porterville College has taken a proactive, can-do approach to tackling issues with studied persuasion and plenty of old-fashioned heart.

Porterville College CHAPAmong its many virtues, perhaps the aspect of PC that I’ve always treasured the most is the sense of intellectual curiosity exhibited by PC’s faculty and staff.  Nowhere is that thirst for new and exciting pursuits more in evidence than in Porterville’s exceptional CHAP program.

For the uninitiated, the Cultural and Historical Awareness Program (CHAP) was started at PC in 2002, dedicated to shining a light on often overlooked aspects of our society.  Each year, PC’s CHAP members identify a theme, then work with faculty to integrate that theme into coursework campus-wide.

This year’s theme is “The Life of Books: Written Language Past and Present” — and just last night, they hosted a presentation on comics and the art of visual communications with famed comic book creator and historian Scott McCloud. CHAP consistently features inspired topics, hosts inspired guests and generally inspires both PC and the entire Porterville community to think differently.

In fact, Prof. Oliver Rosales from BC shaped the BC-CHAP program after PC’s.  Here is an excerpt from the website where Oliver pays homage to Prof. Richard Osborne:

The project is a direct result of the mentorship of Professor Emeritus Richard Osborne of Porterville College. Over a decade ago, Professor Osborne launched Porterville College’s CHAP initiative to much success, bringing in hundreds of speakers over the years. He has been generous with his time, sharing with Professors Hart and Rosales strategies for implementing a successful CHAP series in Delano.

Well, programs like CHAP preserve that spirit and certainly replenish our soul.

The ties between BC and PC, not to mention the deep tradition of collaboration between the two campuses, are strong and long-standing.  The connection has stood the test of time for nearly 100 years at both Porterville and Bakersfield and will undoubtedly continue long after present staff, students and faculty at both institutions are gone.  It’s so incredibly heartening to experience the richness of our sister campus and I’m confident that the BC-PC partnership will continue to strengthen and flourish for the next generations to come.

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3 thoughts on “Porterville College: Pirates and Renegades Together

  1. Michael Carley September 11, 2015 at 5:57 pm Reply

    The CHAP programs are invaluable to our students. Thank you for highlighting this service.

  2. becki whitson September 11, 2015 at 10:26 pm Reply

    Your positivity and clear vision for BC and the community never cease to amaze me! You are truly a gift and a treasure we cannot afford to lose. Thank you as always for your inspiring and uplifting words. May we be a beacon for you as well. We are BC!

  3. Janet Fulks September 12, 2015 at 9:15 am Reply

    This signifies the unique and wonderful nature of Community Colleges; we need to have the flexibility to REALLY serve our community. Those communities are very different and work best when decisions are made closest to the students and community we serve. Porterville has done an excellent job making decisions for their students and community and it shows in their data, The student success metrics are impressive and these outstanding metrics are dependent on the intelligent and local decisions the college has made.

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