Kern CCD everywhere

This past week was a crazy week of travel….. First to ACCT (Association of Community College Trustees), then one day in Bakersfield and off again to a presentation at the Spencer Foundation.

At the institute, Catherine Webb and I presented two sessions on accreditation.

Here I am at the Spencer Foundation conference.

With flight delays on both trips, I finally got back home yesterday …. here I am Sunday early morning trying to get my blog post published.

Good morning, friends.
It is June 26, 2022.
The sun shines bright over KernCCD.

Porterville College

PC receives important distinction from California Virtual Campus

Porterville College has been certified as a Local Peer Online Course Review College (POCR) through the California Virtual Campus (CVC).

This accomplishment is due in large part to the leadership of faculty member Karen Bishop, and the dedicated Porterville College team of faculty who reached this major milestone. The POCR process was designed to ensure that students across the California Community College system have access to high-quality online courses designed to support student learning and success.
Due to this certification, each Porterville College POCR-reviewed course will receive a Quality Reviewed badge in the CVC Exchange and, as such, will appear at the top of the search results when students look for classes at

Thank you to PC’s amazing Faculty Team for helping Porterville College become one of the growing number of colleges that are leading the way in online education in California.

Celebration of Juneteenth

Students, Administrators and Staff gather
in the PC Quad
Student Life and Leadership Program Manager
Jasmin Quinones and PC Counselor Katherine
Figueroa prep the Juneteenth event booth in the PC Quad

This year, Porterville College joined with KernCCD to celebrate Juneteenth. 

Today, people across the country celebrate Juneteenth in honor of African American freedom and achievement. We take time during this day to educate, advocate, and celebrate the holiday. It is a day to recognize the past and strive toward a more inclusive and equitable future.

PC also celebrated with a display in the Learning Resource Center Lobby and several online resources that you can refer to below:

Cerro Coso Community College

Cerro Coso Recruiting Student Peer Mentors

Want to become a paid Peer Mentor for ACCESS Programs?  Attend the information session being held on July 12 from 10 am to 1 pm at the Ridgecrest campus community room or via Zoom, to learn more about the qualifications and the mentors role.

The purpose of the Peer Mentor Program is to aid new students in their transition to the academic, extracurricular and social aspects of the college by connecting them with students who serve as role models, mentors, and resources. Peer mentor relationships are critical to both cognitive and affective learning. We also know that early intervention positively affects retention and contributes to the success of first-year students.

Peer mentors are positive role models who offer guidance, encouragement, and a supportive network that contributes to their peers overall college success.  Mentors build connections with students through regular meetings, promote student engagement, and assist with program activities and college events.

Please direct all questions to Rachel Barksdale at

Harmon Recipient of CISOA Scholarship

Cerro Coso student Alexander Harmon is the 2022 recipient of a scholarship from the California Community College Chief Information Systems Officer’s Association (CISOA), a non-profit organization supporting technology leadership in the California Community College System.   

Living in Boron, California, Harmon is an online student, but would study from time to time and take his proctored exams at the main campus in Ridgecrest.  A triple major in Web Professional, Information Technology, and Cyber Security, Harmon graduated from Cerro Coso this May and is currently finishing the last class he needs to earn his Web Professional degree.    

Harmon credits the support and kindness of the Cerro Coso Library and Learning Resource Center (LRC) for drawing him to Cerro Coso.  “When I first moved from North Carolina to California, I was in the middle of my semester from my previous college. At the time, I didn’t have a laptop and I needed to use my desktop for 3d modeling programs to complete my assignments. The Library/LRC staff at Cerro Coso let me bring my desktop, monitor, and peripherals to one of the study rooms so that I could successfully finish my semester from a different online college.  After a year and being qualified for in-state tuition, I knew that I wanted to attend Cerro Coso. Because if the staff would help me, a student from outside of the school, to succeed in my education. They will absolutely help me when I am a student at Cerro Coso,” he said.  “College can be daunting at first, but there is always someone that will help students to overcome the challenges that they face at Cerro Coso.”

Without much experience in applying for scholarships, Harmon wants to thank his Instructor Chris Harper for telling him about the CISOA scholarship and encouraging him to apply.  “I was not really expecting to get the scholarship,” he said.  “It really surprised me when I was told that I got the scholarship. My advice to others students is to simply try it, you might be surprised too!” 

“One of the reasons I decided to attend Cerro Coso and enjoy it was because the staff and teachers at the college are very supportive. Even to non-Cerro Coso students”. He concluded.  “Compared to other colleges that I have attended, I think that Cerro Coso has the best online courses that I have ever seen. Cerro Coso’s online resources are excellent.”

Dr. Chad Houck named VP Finance & Administrative Services

Chad Houck

Dr. Chad Houck has been approved by the Kern Community College District Board of Trustees at their June board meeting to serve as the new Vice President of Finance and Administrative Services, effective July 1, 2022.  He replaces VP Lisa Couch, who has done tremendous work supporting Cerro Coso as well as Kern CCD as a whole.   

Lisa Couch

Dr. Houck joined the Cerro Coso Community College administration as the Dean of Instruction – Liberal Arts and Sciences in July of 2017, demonstrating integrity and a commitment to our college community throughout his five years of service.

In his new position, Dr. Houck will be directly responsible for providing fiscal and financial analysis, prepare the college budget, oversee maintenance and operations, college facilities planning, public safety,food services, the mailroom, and liaison with various vendor contractors. 

Dr. Houck’s other duties will include participating in policy development in matters of fiscal management and business operations; coordinate the planning, development, and implementation of innovative approaches to fiscal management; oversee the purchase, maintenance, and repair of equipment and facilities; serve as auxiliary liaison with auxiliary service contractors; liaison with District Facilities Planning and Construction, as well as contractors; monitor budgets in areas of responsibility; and serve as the Cerro Coso Community College Foundation Secretary/Treasurer. 

Dr. Houck came to CCCC from the K-12 system, where he spent three years as the principal of South Lake Tahoe High School.  No stranger to the remote setting, he has worked closely with the community, industry, and education partners in Lake Tahoe to develop dual enrollment offerings and collaborate in innovative ways to improve access and close achievement gaps.  Prior to his time at South Lake Tahoe, he spent a year as the principal of Mesquite High School in Ridgecrest, and before that, eight years at Burroughs High School in Ridgecrest as assistant principal of curriculum and instruction.

Bakersfield College

Bakersfield College Choral Program Fireworks Booth

Get ready to celebrate the Fourth of July and support a worthy cause by purchasing your fireworks from the Bakersfield Choirs Fireworks Booth at 35184 Merle Haggard Drive! The booth opens on July 1st at Noon and will continue to open each morning at 8:00 a.m. and close at 11:00 p.m. through the Fourth of July.  Your purchases will support the BC’s Chamber Singers and their opportunity to represent our community in Vienna, Prague and Berlin in June 2023. They still need to raise over $70,000 and your purchases can go a long way to reach that goal! Thank you for all your support:

35814 Merle Haggard Drive
Hours of operation:

  • July 1: 12:00 pm -11:00 pm
  • July 2: 8 am – 11 pm
  • July 3: 8 am – 11 pm
  • July 4: 8 am – 12:00 am

Bakersfield College Performing Arts Presents “Seussical The Musical”

Bakersfield College’s Performing Arts Department is proud to present “Seussical The Musical”, the beloved musical from the writers of Anastasia and Ragtime. The play features several of Dr. Seuss’ most beloved characters, including Horton the Elephant, Jojo, the Who’s and The Cat in the Hat. This whimsical production will be a great event for fans of all ages.

Performances will take place July 15th-23rd at BC’s Edward Simonsen Indoor Theater. Tickets start at $10 and are available through the BC Performing Arts Eventbrite page. We hope to see you there!

Uvalde Remembrance

On Tuesday morning, the KernCCD came together in remembrance of the lives lost last month in the Uvalde school massacre. At each of our campuses, we joined for discussion and reflection, and we watched a video where our campus community shared details about the lives lost in that tragedy.

Gian Gayatao, KernCCD student trustee, led the effort to develop the program. The touching student-created video honored each victim of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas on May 24, 2022.  The video also highlighted many other similar tragedies that have happened around the nation over the past several years.  

At Porterville College, Vice President of Student Services Primavera Arvizu led a thoughtful and meaningful discussion about campus safety with the PC Team. They discussed the prevalent feelings in the room after watching the video and went over some of the things we can do to ensure the safest environment possible for ourselves and our students in the future.

Campus Safety Manager Cameron Anderson closed out this important gathering with an overview of some of the hard work being done behind the scenes to keep our campus as safe as possible.

At Cerro Coso, Vice President of Student Services Heather Ostash facilitated the discussion.

At Bakersfield College,  Dean of Students Nicky Damania gave an emotional address about the impact of this nationwide crisis, sharing about his first experience with school shootings when the Columbine attack happened a few miles from where he was living in Colorado at the time. 

BC’s Delano Campus also held a remembrance event and discussion.

In the afternoon, a special Chancellor’s Seminar Series focused on Keeping Our School Safe. Joe Grubbs, KernCCD Executive Director of Risk Assessment & Management, led a discussion with local police and our campus safety leaders.

Thank you to Bakersfield Police Department Assistant Chief Brent Stratton, Porterville Police Department Captain Dominic Barteau, Ridgecrest Police Department Captain Justin Dampier, BC Interim Executive Director of College Safety Todd Dearmore, PC Safety and Security Manager Cameron Anderson, and CCCC Safety and Security Manager Kevin King.

Videos from this webinar will be available later this week on the KernCCD website at

In the meantime, I’d like to share my remarks from the seminar:

In the News

Community Voices: New pathways for advancement open in Arvin

Cheryl Scott and Mindy Wilmot penned this piece in The Bakersfield Californian about the groundbreaking of BC’s Arvin Campus.

BC’s expanding presence in Arvin is not just a convenience but a necessity to address educational disparities that have wide-ranging impacts in today’s world. While the main Bakersfield College campus is about 20 miles from the houses we grew up in, it may as well be hundreds for some students who lack transportation, face high gas prices, or have work or caregiver obligations.

Fun Photos and Spotted on Social Media

Last week, BC Athletic Director Reggie Bolton spoke at the Bakersfield Breakfast Rotary Club. He talked about the importance of athletes focusing on education and community service, on top of their athletic endeavors. Here he is with BC Foundation Executive Director Cheryl Scott and BC Associate Dean of Instruction Mindy Wilmot!

Check out the BC team at the NAACP 7th Annual Juneteenth Celebration on June 18th at Yokuts Park in Bakersfield:

Cerro Coso Community College shared this campus view:

Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh shared this post on Facebook:
Congratulations to the graduates of the KC-Hispanic Chamber Commerce Business Academy. During the 8-week course, entrepreneurs learned strategies to successfully grow their businesses. Special thanks to President/CEO Jay Tamsi, board of directors, and Academy facilitators Norma Rojas-Mora and David Alanis. Many thanks to sponsor Tri Counties Bank. Joyous celebration at La Costa Mariscos Bakersfield.”


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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2 thoughts on “Kern CCD everywhere

  1. Nick Strobel June 26, 2022 at 2:44 pm Reply

    The sun shines bright and HOT over KCCD. Welcome home and give thanks for air conditioning!

  2. […] June 2022 I wrapped up a busy week of travel – Kern CCD everywhere – and shared some photos from Juneteenth celebrations at Porterville […]

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