KCCD gearing up for in-service week of activities

What a week! Colleagues across the Kern Community College District have been hard at work making the final adjustments as we return to in-person learning this fall. Of course we have plenty of options for students … besides face-to-face classes we have online, hybrid, zoom online etc. We’re just about a week away from the start of Fall 2021 semester – and welcoming many of our students, faculty, and staff back after nearly 18 months away.

As we approach the finish line for these preparations, I had to share this 1-min epic video my daughter made of Bessie at the beach set to the theme of Chariots of Fire. Loved it!

And of course, here’s my own Neo, who has a new mischievous streak including hiding in the bramble.

And here is a quick tribute to Cornell. Saw his gorgeous face on Jessica Wojtysiak’s FB post.

Good morning, friends…
It is August 14, 2021.
The sun shines bright over KCCD.

This week, the Pirates, the Coyotes, and the Renegades continue to 
Dare Mighty Things

Porterville College

PC Promise Students return to campus early for In-Person Orientation

President Claudia Habib visits with new freshmen Promise Students in the cafeteria.

Porterville College welcomed its newest class of PC Promise Students to campus this week for a four-day in-person orientation event.  Dozens of students attended in-person, while many more attended the event virtually.  During the annual four-day orientation, students learned about campus and received tours, listened to motivational speakers, and attended panels that provided tips for success from our financial aid staff and several Porterville College student ambassadors. 

The Porterville College Promise Program serves first-time college students through their first year with a comprehensive plan of financial and academic support.  It is open to students who attend PC full-time, with on-time completion of 30 units per year, meeting the 15 to Finish campaign pledge.  To remain in the program, students must also declare a Pathway and establish an Education Plan.

Students get back to building their dreams of becoming firefighters

Porterville City Fire Chief Dave LaPere (right) talks with Fire Academy Students

This past weekend, President Claudia Habib Visited the Porterville College Fire Academy, which is conducted in partnership between Porterville College and the City of Porterville Fire Department, to welcome the new cohort of Firefighter-I Academy students.

The students began their semester with welcome messages from both Dr. Habib and Porterville Fire Chief Dave LaPere. Habib said of the day, “It was so inspiring to hear their stories. A common thread among them was chasing life-long dreams of becoming Fire Fighters.” 

Porterville College conducts the Academy in the Fall, along with an Interagency Basic Wildland Firefighter Academy that takes place in the Spring each year. The programs are designed to help students prepare for Entry-level firefighter job opportunities, both locally and on the state level.

The one-semester Firefighter-1 Academy runs from August through December and helps prepare graduates to apply for entry-level firefighter positions with most fire departments in the state. It is accredited by the Office of the California State Fire Marshal and provides the training students need for certification by the State Fire Marshal as a Firefighter-1.

Let’s say a small prayer for our brave California Firefighters as we move through this summer 2021 which is already a difficult fire season.

Porterville College is Growing Futures with Outreach

PC faculty and staff recently spent the day spreading the word about continuing education to local farm workers.

The “PC Growing Futures” program provides farm workers classes offered in their own communities, with access to laptops, textbooks, and access to Rosetta Stone Software to help them achieve student success.

Just this past week, several teams of Porterville College advisors, counselors and outreach staff traveled to fields and cold storage facilities in Porterville and the surrounding communities to provide direct outreach and information to hundreds of farm workers about PC Growing Futures and other PC programs.  During these very full days of outreach activities, they spent the mornings and evenings mingling with employees one-on-one and giving quick presentations to large groups.

With this program, PC continues to partner with the California Farmworker Association to offer new services to farm workers throughout the Greater Porterville Area.

PC Educational Advisor Connie Oropeza talks to warehouse workers about continuing their education.

Cerro Coso Community College

P.O.S.T. Academy recruits return to speak to incoming class

Student success! Two prior Cerro Coso P.O.S.T. Academy recruits, now officers, Sunny Hasnian (McFarland PD) and Zach Page (Tehachapi PD) joined the academy orientation for the upcoming fall in Tehachapi to give some guidance and answer questions to nervous potential recruits.  The Program’s graduation and placement rates are outstanding for the last class (97% success and 75% employed) even during the pandemic!

Cerro Coso campuses open for in-person instruction and services

All Cerro Coso campuses are now OPEN offering a full complement of student and instructional services. What the staffing looks like may be different for each department as we continue our phased-in approach to our return.  Dr. Hancock welcomed staff back with donuts and coffee the first two days.  He has long anticipated the day when the Cerro Coso family could gather again in-person. 

College facilities were closed and staff working from home when Dr. Hancock took over the Office of President in September.  #CoyoteSafe. #CoyoteStrong.  

Don’t forget – the Cerro Coso Rocks Welcome Back Celebration is this Thursday, August 19, from 3-7 pm. There will be in-person and virtual events. There will also be a COVID vaccine clinic.

Find out more at https://www.cerrocoso.edu/about/outreach/cc-rocks.

Thank you to M&O Staff for HVAC work!

In the past year, Cerro Coso has poured a lot of time and money into getting its HVAC units up and running.  For the first time in a couple of years, we are above 90% of our units operating at full capacity.  All of the M&O staff are to be commended for making this happen.

Bakersfield College

Local Officials Join BC For Get Out The Vaccine Neighborhood Canvas

Earlier this year, Bakersfield College students began participating in the statewide “Get Out The Vaccine” project, utilizing canvassers to share vaccine knowledge, information, and awareness with residents living throughout the zip codes of 93307 and 93301.

On Thursday, local officials including Kern County Supervisor Leticia Perez and community partners such as Dignity Health and Kern Health Systems joined BC’s students and nursing program to offer both the Moderna or the Johnson and Johnson vaccines on the spot in neighborhoods.. 

Renegade Athletics Holds Media Day

Bakersfield College’s Athletics extended a warm welcome to join the Renegades in kicking off the 2021 fall sports season with the annual BC Athletics Media Day on Thursday, August 12th.

The event featured a full lineup of guest speakers, including:

  • Opening Remarks with Kenny Calvin
  • Remarks by Bakersfield Mayor, Karen Goh 
  • Men’s Coach, Vayron Martinez
  • Cross Country, Pam Kelley
  • Volleyball, Carl Ferreira
  • Golf Women’s coach, Wes Coble
  • Football, R.Todd Littlejohn
  • Athletic Director, Reggie Bolton

BC Student Convocation Going Virtual

From email from OSL:

In light of the newest Kern County COVID-19 updates, Bakersfield College is moving to a virtual setting for the upcoming New Student Convocation.

If you have already registered for the ceremony, you do not need to do anything. You will receive a separate email, one day before the event, with the virtual link.

If you have not yet registered to participate, please do so now at https://bcstudentlife.wufoo.com/forms/r6fynh3017yave/

Another Successful Express Enrollment Event at Bakersfield College!

Bakersfield College Outreach with support from Financial Aid, Counseling, and more, hosted a Virtual Express Enrollment Event on August 11th from 12pm to 8pm to help new and continuing students enroll and get the classes they need.

The enrollment team helped around 200 students enroll in courses for fall, while interacting with students meaningful and impactful during this fast paced event. One student shared the positive experience on the “Surviving Bakersfield College” page below.

The next virtual express enrollment event will be August 18th from 12pm to 5pm, and ongoing registration events are happening throughout August.

Visit the website for more details: https://www.bakersfieldcollege.edu/registrationrocks

Or register for the next virtual express enrollment event here: https://forms.gle/og858uCosjSU6Cao9

Health Science team hosts Peak Performance event

On Wednesday, August 11th, the Title V Health Science team hosted their first on-campus event, “Peak Performance: Health for the Whole Person.” This was an in-depth seminar on self-care, peak performance and mental health treatment modalities as it relates to Health Science Careers. Dave Seymour was our speaker and got the semester off to a great start with his expertise, compassion and guidance as students start their journeys back on campus and into their prospective programs. This is the first in a series of seminars for the Fall semester in hopes to providing successful skills and support to students pursuing health science careers.


Seminar Series

This week, we held two seminars that are part of the Chancellor’s Seminar Series.

On Monday, we heard from Dena Rhoades, Roger Perez, Resa Hess, Nicky Damania, Joe Grubbs and Terri Higgins as we discussed the new KCCD Campus Pass App.

Representatives from each of our colleges shared details about how the App works at their locations.

Roger Perez, Porterville College:

Resa Hess, Cerro Coso Community College:

Nicky Damania, Bakersfield College

We also had a Q&A session with Joe Grubbs and Terri Higgins – Terri is from ReadyEd, the company that made the app:

On Tuesday, we had a chance to get a student perspective. Student trustee Gian Gayatao hosted a panel with Edith Mata (BC), Yvette Carranza (PC) and Mia Guzman (CC). The student panel asked a series of questions to nursing faculty and COVID Response team leaders for the three campuses. Thank you to our students and to our panelists: Alisha Loken, Kim Behrens, Matthew Wanta, Nicky Damania, Roger Perez, and Kevin King.

Here’s the Q&A Panel from that discussion:

You can see all the videos from the Chancellor’s Seminar Series at https://www.kccd.edu/chancellors-office/chancellors-seminar-series.

Poetry Corner

Photo of Rockport

Last week, I shared the second part of Jack Hernandez‘s poetry series “Rockport in June.”

Please enjoy Part 3:

The ocean cannot
be seen
through the morning fog,
the sun that lays
a lighted path
Is hidden
as are our days     
that sometimes begin
with only large rocks
before our eyes,
and we wonder
if we will see
the vast sea
that promises
a day of joyful

In the News

Cerro Coso to hold virtual admissions workshop

The Tehachapi News shared this information about the upcoming Virtual College Admissions Workshop at Cerro Coso, scheduled for this upcoming Wednesday. A financial aid technician will review the Cerro Coso Promise scholarship, Foundation scholarships, outside scholarships, and more!

BC partnering with auto industry to bring training center to Bakersfield

I saw that both the Bakersfield Californian and KGET shared the news that BC will partner with the Greater Bakersfield New Car Dealer Association and other auto industry experts to bring a new auto facility to Bakersfield.

“Through many ideas and conversations, we developed this partnership as a way for Bakersfield College students to train on the vehicles that otherwise might not be profitable due to normal technician labor costs, giving new access for the students to work on current and relevant technologies,” said Automotive Instructor Andrew Haney.

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

Porterville College shared their next Community Vaccination Clinic, which will be held on Thursday, August 19, from 11 am to 2 pm in the Porterville College Cafeteria. Anyone age 12 and older is welcome to receive their first Pfizer dose.

Thank you to Laurel Mourtzanos for the STEM Academy photos.

I’d also like to thank those that took part:

  • Kathleen Rush, Dept. Chair Math
  • Jon Brown, Math Faculty
  • Jesse Oropeza, STEM Counselor and Rural Initiatives
  • Laurel Mourtzanos, STEM Counselor
  • James McGarrah, Associate Dean, STEM
  • David Riess, Faculty Psychology (Presentation on Imposture Syndrome)
  • Karen Gomez, Faculty Psychology (Presentation on Imposture Syndrome)
  • Connie Gonzalez, Director MESA
  • Rebecca Bumpous, Financial Aid

And student interns:

  • Gabriel Diaz
  • Jose Lopez
  • Praise Oo
  • Brandon Mondragon
  • Brandon Peffer


Here are some photos from the Bakersfield College EAC/SALT/OIE Enrollment Management Workday on Tuesday morning.

Snapped with photo after the Board meeting.

Zav Dadabhoy, Sonya Christian, Kay Meek, Claudia Habib, Dena Rhoades, Sean Hancock



That’s a wrap for now.
See you next Saturday!

The future is bright at KCCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor

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2 thoughts on “KCCD gearing up for in-service week of activities

  1. Nick Strobel August 14, 2021 at 2:32 pm Reply

    Good to see that Bessie has overcome her valley fever to run at Olympic speeds.

    • SonyaChristian August 14, 2021 at 3:56 pm Reply

      lol…. so happy to see your comment. yes, Bessie was so sick. And now she has soooo much energy.

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