Kern CCD – Transforming Lives

I am regularly awestruck by our youngsters — their brilliant minds, their creativity, their humanity and their commitment to making this world a better place. This week in particular I have marveled at their abilities.

On Thursday night, the Scripps National Spelling Bee crowned a new champion after a historic spell-off. Harini Logan, 14, won the first-ever spell-off, going head-to-head with Vikram Raju, 12. The contestants were challenged to spell as many words correctly as possible within 90 seconds. Harini spelled 21 of 26 correctly, while Vikram got 15 out of 19.

Photo by Alex Brandon/AP/Shutterstock

The spell-off was absolutely incredible – both of these youngsters should be very proud.

Check it out below:

This morning, Katya Echazarreta, 26, is the first Mexcan-born woman and the youngest American woman in space after the Blue Origins NS-21 rocket launched this morning from Van Horn, Texas. Katya is a product of the California Community Colleges system – she is an alumna of San Diego City College.

CA Community Colleges #TransformingLives.

Good morning, friends.
It is June 4, 2022.
The sun shines bright over KernCCD.

Porterville College

PC Celebrates PsychTech Graduates

A touching ceremony was held on Friday, May 27th, inside the Porterville College Gym to honor the Psychiatric Technology program’s class of 2022.  After entering the gym in a processional, the students took part in the Psychiatric Technician Pledge. 

The celebration continued with opening remarks from Kim Behrens, the Associate Dean of Health Careers for PC and a welcome from PC President Dr. Claudia Habib.  The evening’s keynote speaker was Kenneth Osborn, a registered nurse from the Porterville Developmental Center.

The crowded gym then heard from class representatives Joshua Roach and Yadira Arellano before the presentation of several awards and the pinning of each student by their families.

Congratulations to the Psych Tech Class of 2022!

PC Graduates Record Number of Transfer Students

For PC students, transfer can often be a more difficult step than degree/certificate completion – particularly given the distance we are from our nearest transfer institutions. The closest CSUs are 49 and 67 miles away and the nearest UC campuses over 120.

Each year, the KCCD Institutional Research & Reporting department updates transfer data for each school. This year shows an exciting increase in our numbers for transfer, indicating a record high of 398 students who transferred to 4-year institutions after graduation from PC. 

Below are a few tidbits from the most recent data, provided by PC Director of Institutional Research Michael Carly:

  • Total number of transfers was over 300 for the third consecutive year and 2020-21 is the highest ever with 398.
  • Our two biggest transfer institutions continue to be CSU-Fresno and CSU-Bakersfield.   We used to send more students to Fresno, then, as that university got more impacted, we were often sending more to Bakersfield.  But last year, Fresno was once again higher, 148 to 108.
  • 2020-21 was tied for the highest year ever for transfers to the UC system with 18.  Interestingly, this seems to be the first year we sent at least one student to each of the ten UC campuses, with Merced getting the most (4).

The transfer velocity report is one we don’t talk about often, but it’s one that is the closest we have to a statewide transfer rate, which is pulled from the State Chancellor’s Office Data Mart.  This uses the accepted definition of a transfer rate within six years, so ours is 34.7%.  We could go out even longer as some of our students, particularly those who work, take longer to transfer. Extending to eight years, the rate would be 41.5%, an additional 30 transfers.

PC Women’s Soccer Program will make its 2022 home debut
playing Cerro Coso

The PC Women’s Soccer Team at the Academic and Athletic Achievement Awards
on May 2, 2022

Women’s soccer comes to Porterville College as new head coach Amber Hernandez and the Pirates are getting set to compete in their first season in fall 2022. The PC Athletic Department recently released the new program’s full schedule for 2022.

Fall practice will begin in August and the Pirates will begin their season with a scrimmage at Santa Monica College on Tuesday, August 23. A little over two weeks later, Porterville officially kicks off the 17-game season schedule on Friday, September 9 with its opening contest at Sacramento City College.

Porterville will play its first two games on the road before the Pirates make their home debut on Friday, Sept. 16 against Cerro Coso College at 6 p.m.

Following that match, PC begins its 14-game Central Valley Conference schedule at Merced College on Sept. 27. That is followed by a CVC game at Reedley College before the Pirates play their first home conference contest, in an Oct. 4 match up against visiting Fresno City College at 4 p.m.

The regular-season finale is set for Nov. 11 at 3 p.m. against Taft College in Porterville.

Click here to view the complete schedule.

Porterville College #TransformingLives

Cerro Coso Community College

Lead with Love: Celebrate Pride Month with Cerro Coso Community College

Photo by Markus Spiske: The rainbow is the most widely recognized LGBTQ+ symbol in the world. The first LGBT rainbow flag was designed by Gilbert Baker in 1978.  It immediately became and has continued to be the symbol of Pride

June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month, and Cerro Coso Community College is honored to celebrate it with our diverse students, staff, faculty, and community member.  Come out and join us in celebration!

Join the college in celebration by wearing any and all things rainbow on Wednesday, June 8th,or stop by the counseling desk at the Ridgecrest Campus to pick up a rainbow bracelet!

Friday, June 10th and 24th from 1-3 pm is Campus Pride Safe Space Training, a nationally recognized program that provides training and signage for institutions committed to support LGBTQ students.  A Safe Space Program is one of the measures of a supportive campus on the Campus Pride Index (  The college is offering a two-hour online version of the Safe Space Training. 

On Monday, June 20 from 1-3 pm is Stop the Hate training.  Stop the Hate is an educational initiative of Campus Pride and supports colleges and universities in preventing and combating hate on campus as well as fostering the development of community.  The national program serves as the premiere source of anti-hate education resources for higher education institutions and campus communities. 

Both training sessions are open to the community.  If you are interested in registering for either of these trainings please contact Tanner Barnett at or call 760-384-6249. 

The College will also be hosting two Movie Nights in the Sculpture Garden.  Bring your blankets and/or chairs and enjoy the movies Rent on Thursday, June 9 at 8 pm and 3 Generations will be shown on Thursday, June 23 at 8 pm.  Admission and popcorn are FREE. 

Weekend Police Academy Courses at Cerro Coso

Cerro Coso Community College is offering Police Academy courses in Tehachapi this fall, helping to fill a shortage of police and law enforcement officers statewide.

Post Reserve Officer Level III and II is a progressive series of part time academy courses.  These courses are taken in sequence, module 3, 2, 1.  Must be 18 or older to start. The modular academy provides the same certifications as a full-time academy, through extended part-time courses.  The schedule is more flexible and each module provide different job opportunities or career advancement.  People may exit and return into the program after meeting the modular certificate requirements, whereas a full-time intensive academy requires a six month full-time commitment.  The different options serve different people.    

Cerro Coso Community College’s part-time modular format Police Academy is state certified by POST and meets the requirements for hire at agencies statewide. 

With a Module III, Arrest and firearms certifications (PC 832) recruits are allowed to serve as level III reserve officers, prisoner transport, park ranger, code enforcement, animal control officer, arson investigator, or federal law enforcement working within the state of California.

Module II, Reserve officer level II certification allows recruits to work as a paid or unpaid reserve officer with police powers on duty (under PC 830.6), parole agent, probation officer, some investigators, transit, harbor, or port officer, and Native American tribal police.

Module l, recruits are eligible to become a full-time sworn police officer or deputy within the state of California.     

Fall classes begin August 22, 2022.  To enroll students must become a Cerro Coso student, register for all three courses (ADMJ C140, C142, & C143), and will receive an application packet in an email.

For more information on the weekend Police Academy at Cerro Coso contact Academy Director Peter Fulks at

Sports Camps a Big Hit for Local Youth

The Cerro Coso Athletic Boosters and Student Athletic Clubs will be offering  a variety of sports camps and clinics this summer beginning with a Basketball Summer Skills Camp June 13-17 in the Cerro Coso gymnasium.  The camp will be held Monday – Thursdays from 9 am to 3:30 pm and on Friday from 9 am to 12 noon.  The camp is open to both boys and girls ages 7 – 14 years old and costs $175.00 per child (includes a t-shirt).  Contact Coach Dugan for more information on the camp at or phone at 805-354-9911.

Be on the look out for more campus offerings over the summer to advance your campers’ athletic skills. 

These camps provide local youths an opportunity to have fun while building sportsmanship, athletic skills, and confidence under the enthusiastic guidance of experienced and dedicated Cerro Coso athletes and coaches.

The money raised by these camps generates enough to cover expenses and any profits are used to advance athletics at the college.

Cerro Coso Athletics welcomes new Coyotes

Coyote baseball would like to introduce three of our latest signees. Left to right: Cameron Breeze, Kaden Millar, and Noah Medina from Paloma Valley High School.

Cerro Coso #TransformingLives

Bakersfield College

Revolution in the Fields Student Art Contest

In 2022, the Bakersfield College Social Justice Institute initiated a student art contest inspired by the Smithsonian traveling exhibit, Dolores Huerta: Revolution in the Fields. With support from the Arts Council of Kern BIPOC grant, the Bakersfield College Social Justice Institute was able to create a call for student art submissions in conjunction with the 4th annual Jess Nieto Memorial Conference. 

Below you may view the student winning submission and two honorable mentions.

BC Chamber Singers Present a Fundraising Event

On June 10 and 11 the Bakersfield College Chamber Singers will present 2 unforgettable evenings at the Stars Theatre in downtown Bakersfield. ‘’Something’s Coming: An Evening with the BC Chamber Singers & Friends” will feature current and past BC Chamber Singers along with incredible community members. Musical selections will include Les Miserables, Guys & Dolls, Jersey Boys, Phantom of the Opera, The Color Purple, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Little Women, Hadestown, West Side Story, and more. There will also be a live band throughout the evening. June 10 will include the full show and dessert. June 11 will include the full show with dinner, dessert, raffle, and live and silent auctions. Hurry and get your tickets! The proceeds of both nights will help make it possible for the BC Chamber Singers to represent BC and our community in Vienna, Prague, and Berlin in June of 2023. They cannot do it without your support. Consider buying one of the sponsor tables available on June 11! Tickets can be purchased from the BC Foundation’s Registration Page.  This will be an incredible night you don’t want to miss!

Umoja Community’s End-of-the-year Celebration 

Umoja Community held a celebration to acknowledge student persistence as well as those who graduated. Students shared their favorite Umoja activities and events as well as how Umoja faculty and fellow students helped them keep going. More than five Umoja students graduated from BC plus another from the Nursing program. Several are transferring to CSUB. Faculty and staff who attended had words of support for the students and praise for the program.

BC Agriculture Department Is Growing

Check out this story from the BC Foundation’s Panorama newsletter:

Bakersfield College is ramping up its Agriculture Department, and the reason for it is simple. Kern County is the No. 2 agriculture producing county in the state, and the Central Valley produces 25% of the nation’s food!  BC is committed to training the future (and current!) ag workforce in order to meet the needs of local employers – and a hungry nation.

Transformations are taking place to best serve BC students, so they can then go on to serve our ag employers. The Edible Education Garden is almost complete, and to go alongside it, there will be new Edible Education Garden non-credit courses offered this Fall. The Delano Campus is about to break ground on a Regenerative Farm which will be used to teach students about paper plot planting systems, commercial and home hydroponics, and traditional row crop seasonal crops. The Ag Department was recently awarded a grant for commercial and home hydroponic systems as well. Topping it all off, the BC Agriculture building and Horticulture laboratory will be demolished and replaced with brand new construction beginning this summer. Construction is planned to be complete in the fall of 2024.

Bakersfield College #TransformingLives

In the News

OPINION: Why community colleges are the perfect partner for green jobs — and good jobs

I wanted to share an opinion piece I wrote for The Hechinger Report.

“Kern County, in California’s Central Valley, is creating a prosperous future with environmentally supportive practices; and the Kern Community College District (Kern CCD) has become a perfect partner for businesses, industries and county government in creating an abundance of green jobs that are also good jobs, an important step toward establishing a strong, local economy.”

It’s the ‘Right’ time for residents to compete

I thought this article from Stefani Dias in The Bakersfield Californian was so fun – several Bakersfield residents have recently been involved in The Price is Right. BC Professor Heather Silvis won her showcase on an episode that aired March 25. BC Student Jacquelin Bugarin and Bakersfield Hospice nurse Sheila Fryer have also recently vied for spots on the show.

Heather Silvis

Local student graduates Bakersfield College, Ridgeview High at 17

KGET ran this piece about Kirsten Jiminez-Gray, who grated from Ridgeview High and Bakersfield College this spring at the age of 17. She started taking dual enrollment classes in middle school!

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

On Tuesday, Congressman Kevin McCarthy visited Bakersfield College. Kern CCD Trustees Romeo Agbalog and Kay Meek, BC Foundation Executive Director Cheryl Scott, and others from Bakersfield College were on hand to meet with him:

PC President Dr. Claudia Habib shared this post from last weekend’s PC Foundation Swap Meet:

Love visiting our @Foundation_PC Swap Meet. Our staff and student workers are the engine that makes it all happen every Saturday. Es lindo ver las familias disfrutando su día aquí #FamilyActivity and I always find a good deal! #SabadosDeRemate#ScholarshipsFunds @PCollegePirates

Isabel Castaneda shared this snap from her son’s graduation:

Today another chapter closes, from a @students_FHS#trojan to @BAKcollege#Renegade, beyond proud to see my 2nd born join the BC Family and be part of @bc_bridge this summer #WeAreBC#WeAreTrojans


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

The future is bright at KernCCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


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