KCCD Colleges Ready for our students!

We are just days away from the start of the Fall 2021 semester – where did the summer go?

Bakersfield College’s new Academic Senate President, Nick Strobel, created this pre-term message that I wanted to share with all of you as we begin our fall term:

And students, plz get your KCCD Campus Pass App today ! Here is a message from the presidents of the three colleges!

Good morning, friends…
It is August 21, 2021.
The sun shines bright over KCCD.

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

Porterville College

Students start vaccination process with on-campus pop-up event

PC Kinesiology major Deisy Emigdio was one of many students who began her journey to full vaccination on campus this week.  She took advantage of a clinic made available through a partnership between Porterville College, Sierra View Medical Center, and Imperial Ambulance.  Through this partnership, we will be offering a series of pop-up vaccination clinics on campus aimed at helping to lower barriers to students receiving the Vaccine.  Emigdio stopped in to receive her first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine within the comfort of her own campus during our first clinic. “This was easier than I thought it would be,” she says.

PC and the SVMC-Imperial Ambulance Community Vaccination Team invite PC Students and community members to stop by and receive their COVID-19 Vaccine at the next pop-up clinic scheduled for Tuesday, August 24, from 1-5 pm on campus.

PC Faculty and Staff Begin Fall Semester with a close look at “reconnecting disconnected students”

Emeritus Professor Diego Navarro works with PC Faculty and Staff during Fall Flex Day

Porterville College continues the annual Fall Flex tradition with two days of collaboration, planning, and inspiration from and for our Faculty and Staff as they prepare for the return of students to campus this Monday.

This year’s Keynote speaker, Diego Navarro, shared a fantastic presentation on reconnecting disconnected students, pointing out that a culture of dignity and inclusion in our classrooms and offices is key to student success.

Diego Navarro is Professor Emeritus at Cabrillo College. He founded the Academy for College Excellence (ACE) in 2002, which has now been studied and replicated by numerous colleges around the country. Navarro has trained faculty in affective learning approaches and developed the Five-day Experiential Learning Institute (FELI) to teach faculty and staff how to have embodied interactions and employ non-cognitive learning activities to create psychological safety in students. He received the American Association of Community College Trustees, William H. Meardy National Faculty Award in 2009.

PC Faculty and Staff participate in Navarro’s workshop via Zoom

In his workshop, Navarro asserts that our classrooms and campus form a cultural environment that students may experience differently, depending on their background.

Navarro then focused on showing our Faculty and Staff that our responsibility is to help students transition their innate strengths to our college’s programs by creating conditions of belonging and psychological safety in their areas.

This was just one of the many instructional and planning opportunities shared during Fall Flex.  Events also covered student equity issues, engagement, guided pathways, accessibility in our classrooms, and electronic equity, among other topics and brainstorming sessions.

In the words of PC President Dr. Claudia Habib, “Collaboration and Creativity will set the stage for the next century at PC! We are proud to create spaces and experiences that encourage students to survive and thrive. We can’t wait to see everyone on campus this Monday, Go Pirates!”

KCCD Chancellor Dr. Sonya Christian, KCCD Trustee John Corkins,
PC Vice President of Instruction Dr. Thad Russell, PC President Dr. Claudia Habib

Cerro Coso Community College

CC Rocks, Flex Day welcome students, staff, faculty back to campus

After a year of online classes, Zoom lectures, and empty classrooms, Cerro Coso campuses are buzzing again as students meet in person with counselors, enroll in classes, and join Welcome Back activities, many for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic pushed them all online in the spring of 2020.  Mask wearing, vaccinations, and COVID testing, are the new normal, but everyone is anxious and excited for an on-campus experience that is dynamic, safe, and ensures that the high level of both learning and development are possible. 

“It was great to see so many students and staff back on campus during CC Rocks,” said Outreach Director Katie Bachman.  The event held a Promise Student Meet and Greet, Ice Cream Social with President Hancock, Orientation, Campus Tours, Student Need to Know, and provided other vital resources available to students.  All sessions were available via Zoom for those who could not attend in-person.  “There was excitement and a little bit of caution in the air,” said Bachman.  “But the spirit of coming together again as a true learning community was beyond refreshing.”

CC Rocks also included a FREE Vaccination Clinic for students, employees, and the public in partnership with Ridgecrest Regional Hospital.  The timing was perfect before the start of the fall 2021 semester and followed the announcement by the College that it will require all students and employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 1, 2021, and masks are to be worn at all times in its facilities.  “It is through the addition of these safety protocols that we are able to continue our much-anticipated return to face-to-face instruction and student support services,” said Dr. Hancock.

“It’s a Year of Renewal – Renewed Hope, Renewed Optimism, and Renewed Purpose,” said Dr. Hancock in his welcome message at Faculty Flex on Thursday, August 19th.  Dr. Hancock provided an overview of Cerro Coso as we close out 2020-2021.  He also gave an update on the District wide Enrollment, Student Success, and Equity efforts underway; the development of the 2022-2025 Strategic Plan; the 2019 Climate Survey Task Force, and plans to begin work on revising the Participatory Governance Model.  Flex Day is a day of professional development geared towards faculty to welcome them back on campus, update them on process and procedures, and to participate in workshops related to “faculty, student, and instructional improvement.”  

Bakersfield College

Kern Transit Offering Free Rides to BC Students During Fall Semester

Kern Transit will once again be offering free rides for all currently enrolled BC students on all Kern Transit 100-routes (e.g.: Rte 110, 120, etc.) with a valid BC Student ID. Free rides will be available during the fall semester, beginning August 21, 2021 and will continue through the end of finals week on December 11, 2021. Additionally, students may ride free on all 100-numbered routes, not just on routes to and from the college. Read more about transportation to and from campus at Bakersfield College Transportation.

Bakersfield College Opening Day with Dr. Zav Dadabhoy

BC kicked off the semester with a two-day virtual opening day. Everyone was very excited and had a lively chat. To the question “what do you look forward to most this semester?” The predominant answer was “SEEING THE STUDENTS!”

I was so touched by this tribute video the BC team made for me….. so many memories …

KHSD Early College Launch Event

I wanted to share this wonderful email from Kylie Campbell, Director of BC’s Early College Program:

Berenice and I wanted to send a huge THANK YOU to everyone who came out to help make our KHSD Early College launch event a success last night. We had an amazing turn out! 290 of the 480 students showed up last night with their parents. We were able to distribute books for the Fall term, give each student an awesome Early College backpack (provided by our sponsors), and each pathway had a great presentation from BC and KHSD administrators, sponsors, industry partners, and our fantastic faculty. We could not have done all of this without YOU!

Our event was on the front page of today’s Bakersfield Californian. Here is the great article by Emma Gallegos. It is a must read! “KHSD Students Embark on College Pathways” by Emma Gallegos — The Bakersfield Californian

You can also check out pictures from the event using this Smug Mug link. Thank you, Dylan!

Hoping that I don’t miss anyone, but we want to acknowledge everyone who made last night’s event possible…

To our presenters (Dr. Dean McGee, Ryan Coleman, Steven Watkin, Berenice Arellano, Cheryl Scott, Josie Guillen, Jackie Stoner, Tony Cordova, Thomas Wallace, Jessyka Johnson, Roy Allard, Paul Murray, and Jessica Gorman) — Thank you for the time you took to prepare and share with our students and parents. Each of you brought a special element to the program, and I know that our students and parents (and myself) left extremely encouraged and excited for this school year! 

Dean McGee
Steven Watkin

To our sponsors and industry partners (Bank of America, Phillips 66, and Centric Health) — Thank you for your continued support of this program and for attending last night to celebrate our students with us. I know that they loved their new backpacks, and we are extremely thankful for the textbooks and supplies that you helped us provide for this school year. I also want to thank our amazing BC Foundation team (Cheryl Scott and Heather Pennella) for all of work they put into finding donors to support educational programs like Early College all across Kern County.

Cheryl Scott
Michael Bowers

To our faculty (Rebecka Zepeda, TJ Wallace, Stephen Mears, Richard McGuirre, Crystal Rodriguez, Jessyka Johnson, Jessica Gorman, Carolyn Brandenburg, Amy Vasconcellos, and Walter Meyer) — It was so great to see most of you last night and for the students and parents to have the chance to meet you before the term begins. We have 22 sections of BC courses scheduled at CTEC this Fall for these pathways, and that is all thanks to you being willing to teach these amazing students and support this opportunity. Thank you!

To the KHSD / CTEC teams (David Carter, Ryan Coleman, Erin Briscoe, Lindsay Mallard, Crystal Cavazos, Staci Haggerty, Todd Bentley and the fabulous CTEC Maintenance crew) — The CTEC facility is beautiful, and I am so glad that we were able to have this event there last night. It was so energizing to see the students and parents, and we could not have pulled off this event with the CTEC maintenance team helping us move a ton of boxes around campus and set up all the tables and chairs. Todd was even able to work magic and get the projectors working right in time for the event. Everything was perfect and the whole crew was so helpful! Thanks to ladies working the textbook checkout (Lindsay, Crystal, and Staci), we got our students through the check in lines quickly and we kept everything moving ahead of schedule. Fantastic work! Special shout to KHSD’s Erin Briscoe for getting the press release out and ordering the awesome balloons and backdrop. Everything looked perfect!

To our hard-working BC volunteers (Ashlea Ward, Kara McDonald, Monika Scott, Dylan Yuan Wang, Cecilia Gabaldon, Nikki Castruita, Jackie Stoner, Josie Guillen, Maria Herrera, Vanessa Beltran, and Kaylee Stafford) — WOW! What would we have done without you? Thank you for all of your help setting up, getting textbooks to students, and cleaning up after the long night. Special shout out to Maria for helping students with last-minute registrations to make sure they are all set for next week. You are all awesome!

And last, but certainly not least — Thank you to our BC Maintenance & Operations team for driving 40 boxes of backpacks across down for our event and unloading them for us. We are so grateful for all of the work that your team does to support our campus and our programs. Thank you!

WOW! We could not have done this with you. Thank you again, and I hope you all have an amazing Friday and a great weekend!

Thank you,
Kylie Campbell
Interim Director, Early College

Kylie Campbell

Chancellor’s Seminar Series

This week, I continued my Chancellor’s Seminar Series. On Tuesday, I invited the Vice Presidents of Instruction and Academic Senate Presidents from our three colleges to discuss “Fall 2021 – Teaching & Learning with VPIs and Senate Presidents.”

Our speakers:

From Porterville College – Bob Simpkins, Academic Senate President; and Thad Russell, Vice President of Instruction.

From Cerro Coso Community College – Yvonne Mills, Academic Senate President; and Corey Marvin, Vice President of Instruction.

From Bakersfield College – Nick Strobel, Academic Senate President; and Billie Jo Rice, Vice President of Instruction.

Thank you to Todd Coston for working with me on the seminar series.

You can find videos from the Seminar Series at https://www.kccd.edu/chancellors-office/chancellors-seminar-series.

Poetry Corner

Photo of Rockport

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

Please enjoy Part 4:

Only the birds fly
in this tight fog,
only they are free
to be themselves
skimming through
the blank sky,
stopping on rocks
that end the world,
I envy their freedom
to live so
quickly and smoothly
this morning
when I know only
that I do not know.

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

Cerro Coso shared this fun campus tour from their CC Rocks event:

Primavera Arvizu shared a few photos from Porterville College’s Guided Pathways Academy:

BC’s Adult Education shared some photos from the Job Spot as they enrolled students for this upcoming semester:

I love this photo of Tarina Perry with Rudy Salas:

And I was thrilled that KCCD Board of Trustees President Romeo Agbalog joined me for Bakersfield College Athletics Media Day:


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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