A Promise…..College Futures Foundation, Kern Education Leaders Talk Student Success, Community Partnership


Hello from San Antonio…..It is February 5, 2016.  A good day to be a Renegade.

BC Team 3 Pathways Institute 1 Feb 5 2016 cropped

Zav Dadabhoy, Lesley Bonds, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Kimberly Bligh, Sonya Christian


Bakersfield College is one of the 30 colleges nation-wide selected to be part of the three-year AACC Guided Pathways Initiative.  Long days at the Pathways Institute ….. visionary and detailed work all at once.  There are two other colleges from California as part of the Pathways initiative — Mt SAC and Irvine Valley.  The goal of this initiative is to get students from High School to degree completion in the shortest amount of time while improving the quality of the learning.

The pathways work with AACC is very much aligned with what is happening in Kern County under the leadership of Kristen Barnes, CEO of the Kern Community Foundation (KCF).  With the support of the KCF, BC faculty and staff have been working with other educational leaders in Kern County on the Kern County Access Initiative, to explore issues of college access countywide.  Together, we’ve had ongoing meetings with representatives from virtually every level of education in the county, all aimed at finding opportunities to boost degree completion. Smaller work groups have continued looking for even more avenues for alignment and collaboration as well as ways to bridge cultural disconnects and engage businesses in the educational process.

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With those goals in mind, Bakersfield College hosted a KCF event on campus to introduce College Futures Foundation to the key Kern County educational partners.

College Futures Vice President of Programs Jackie Khor and Senior Program Officer Shawn Whalen kicked off the morning’s activities by sharing what has impressed them most about Kern County.  Jackie called Kern County “a beacon of innovation and entrepreneurial spirit,” while Shawn noted Kern’s “collaborative commitment to our students”.

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Alyse Braaten, Lesley Bonds

We were happy to have KHSD Superintendent Bryon Schaefer, KCSOS leadership Rob Arias, Taft College President Brock McMuray and CSUB Vice President for Enrollment Management Jacqueline Mimms at BC for this event.  All great leaders.  All great partners.

And I always enjoy having the fabulous Vickie Spanos, Director of Instruction for the Kern High School District with us.  Vickie tirelessly moves the student success agenda in Kern County.  She does not shy away from difficult conversation; particularly those that highlight the dismal educational attainment rates in Kern county.  Rather, she uses this information to spur the community to work together and find ways to get students to be college and career ready. Thank you Vickie!

Dr. Jacqueline Mimms offered some encouraging news, sharing that CSUB has seen an increase in transfers from around 650 to over 900 in the past two years, with the vast majority coming from BC.  That’s a promising sign for the bachelor degree attainment rate in Kern County.


Jackie Khor, Odella Johnson

College Futures expressed appreciation for the work happening here in Kern County, and the level of credibility, trust, and courage among the partners. Indeed, it’s a great time to be at BC! and a great time to be in Kern County.

Thanks so much to Janet Fulks, Lesley Bonds, Steve Watkin, Odella Johnson, Paul Beckworth, Richard McCrow, Gustavo Enriquez, Liz Rozell, Cindy Collier, Henry Covarrubias, Karla Young, and others for your diligence in advancing this important work as a part of the Kern County College Access Team.

We are…..BC!

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3 thoughts on “A Promise…..College Futures Foundation, Kern Education Leaders Talk Student Success, Community Partnership

  1. Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg February 6, 2016 at 3:06 pm Reply

    BC has been focused on increasing the number of our students who successfully reach their educational goals. It is all about completion, transferring, moving directly into the workforce and earning a sustainable wage. It is encouraging and motivating to see how our efforts are coming together with existing and new partners.

  2. […] wrote my February 5, 2016, blog from San Antonio, where I was attending the AACC Guided Pathways Institute with several BC […]

  3. Gary July 2, 2022 at 12:23 pm Reply

    Loved readiing this thank you

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