Kern CCD – Together we can meet our many needs

Started my week joining a group from Kern CCD at the MLK Community Awards Breakfast Celebration to honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Bishop Broderick A. Huggins’ gave a powerful keynote address.

Here are a few excerpts:

“Too many needs, together we can meet.
Too many prisons that need to be emptied.
Too much poverty.
Too much sickness.
Too much violence.
Too much political gridlock.
Too much social upheaval.
Too much racism.
Too much hatred.

The problems of our humanity are too complex and convoluted not to be active in the Freedom movement.
Freedom is not an event, document, or a piece of legislation, but Freedom is a lifestyle.”

Nothing essential should be circumstantial….Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness should not rest upon chance, circumstance, color, contingency, site,


Those assembled gathered to celebrate with local community leaders and to offer support in striving for equity and justice. 

Two individuals connected to our Kern CCD community were also recognized with awards – including Dr. Jessica Grimes, and Steve Watkin‘s son, BDP Detective Aaron Watkin.

An excerpt from the program about Dr. Jessica Grimes:

“Dr. Jessica Grimes has a heart for students – guiding them to achieve their short-term or long-term goals in higher education. A dynamic mentor and gifted administrator, Jessica prioritizes collaborating with academic and corporate communities to enhance career pathways, especially among disproportionately impacted students. Jessica brings her positive leadership skills to broaden the minds and expand opportunities for collegiate students from diverse backgrounds both in her hom of Kern County and across the Central Valley/Mother Lode.”


Here are some photos from the event:

Check out Steve Watkin rocking out:

Good morning friends.
It is January 21, 2023.
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD

Porterville College

PC Welcomes Students Back to Start the Spring Semester

After our latest bout of California storms, it’s great to see students back on campus again in numbers rivaling, and even beating, pre-pandemic enrollment numbers.  It seems that students are once again eager to continue their on-campus educational journeys at Porterville College. 

Faculty, Staff, and Students celebrated the return to classes with a week of welcome events hosted by student services and several academic divisions. As part of the celebration, the center of the Quad became a “tent city” – with pop-up tents from various programs and departments featuring information, PC Swag, services, and lining the inner circle.

Here are some photos from the welcome week activities:

Men’s Basketball wins a tight one in overtime

This past Wednesday, the Porterville College men’s basketball team returned to PC for a real nail biter against the Columbia College Claim Jumpers. The game kept fans on the edge of their seats and didn’t let up until the final buzzer in overtime. At that final buzzer, the Pirates took the game 62-55.

The Pirates had a fierce back-and-forth with the Claim Jumpers during the first half with the game remaining scoreless for some time. Both teams tried to get the upper hand and the Pirates won out, scoring the first basket almost 4 minutes into the game.

Some great defensive play by the Pirates kept the Claim Jumpers to 7 until the Pirates took the lead nearly 10 minutes into the game with a rebound and full-court return by Kiya McQueen.  The teams would spend much of the game exchanging the lead until a jumper by Jake Abrams brought the game to a 14-14 tie.

The first half ended with the Pirate’s Quincy White sinking a 3-pointer and securing a nine-point lead on the Claim Jumpers going into halftime.

The second half was just as exciting as the first with impressive offensive and defensive displays from both teams.  The teams were tied multiple times throughout the half at 36-36, 40-40, and 43-43.  The teams were tied at 51 to end the half. 

Now, with five minutes left on the clock and a gym full of screaming fans, the teams played out the overtime.

The Pirates didn’t let up and seemed to tire out the Claim Jumpers as they started taking control. After ties at 53-53 and again at 55-55, the Pirates earned the upper hand thanks to Quincy White who snagged the rebound and made the layup as the buzzer blared for the final Pirate win!

Rethinking the College Experience

Faculty and staff gathered in the PC cafeteria on Friday, January 13th to reconnect and prepare for the coming semester at PC’s Spring Flex Opening Day event. 

Flex events are traditionally held before our Fall and Spring semesters as a professional development opportunity for faculty and staff on campus. We use this time to welcome the PC family back to campus and prepare for the return of students for the next semester of classes.

This year much of our time was spent focusing on how we can make the student experience better by rethinking the college experience for different student populations.

It was wonderful to be part of such creative and collegiate discussions on redesigning the student experience to increase access to educational and career opportunities for all. Witnessing discussions like these and those about improving our onboarding experience make it clear that our faculty and staff are incredibly dedicated to our student’s success.

“Guided Pathways Guru” Dr. Davis Jenkins was the keynote speaker for the day. He started the day with an address and some coaching for the group on building clear pathways to student success. PC Academic Senate President and Guided Pathways Faculty Lead Dr. Robert Simpkins then lead the group through several tabletop exercises to discuss rethinking the onboarding experience and ensuring learning for different student populations here at Porterville College.

Winning in the classroom as well as on the court

On another sports-related note, we are EXTREMELY excited to report that the 2022/2023 Basketball Team recorded its highest team GPA in the last eight years!  This is an amazing accomplishment, and proof that along with their fantastic work ethic and play on the court, these fine young men are great students as well.

Great job Pirates!

Cerro Coso Community College

Welcome Back Coyotes!

On Tuesday, January 17th, 2023, the Cerro Coso campus was full of action! With spring 2023 semester starting brings flurries of student activity back to campus.

The Outreach department, along with student ambassadors, were ready to welcome students back. They were equipped with class schedules, campus maps, and snacks to ensure students were set up for success.

Ivan Ibarra, a program mentor in the Outreach department, remarked, “Seeing the students fill up the campus once again was amazing to see! From new students stepping foot on campus for the first time, to former students returning to campus and walking the halls once again, to lifelong learners exploring new skills, everyone had a place here at Cerro Coso. The college was running like a well-oiled machine with the commitment of staff, faculty, and admin who all rejoiced in seeing students back on campus. Let the Spring Semester begin!”

We are so excited to see what Spring 2023 holds in store for Cerro Coso Coyotes! Good luck to all!

Student Spotlight: Jocelyn

Meet an enthusiastic and friendly member of the Cerro Coso Tehachapi campus: Jocelyn! She will graduate in the Spring of 2023 with three degrees: an AA-T in Psychology, an AA in Liberal Arts: Arts and Humanities, and an AA in Liberal Arts: Social and Behavioral Sciences. She recently applied to a few colleges and hopes to transfer to her #1 choice: California State University, Monterey Bay as a Psychology Major! Jocelyn earns money as a student worker at Cerro Coso, and also volunteers in the Promise Program, a scholarship program at Cerro Coso. Jocelyn has this to say about her Cerro Coso experience:

“Cerro Coso allowed me to explore my career options without financial pressure or racking up debt. At first, I wanted to do Early Childhood Education, but after taking some classes, I realized it wasn’t for me. I went on and tried different subjects, but when I took my first Psychology class, it really clicked for me! I realized I still wanted to be in a school environment, but not necessarily teaching.”

“I’d like to give a shout-out to Karee Hamilton, my counselor, and Heather Bopp for helping me get into the Promise Program. They’ve been very helpful to me and my classmates. I’d also like to show appreciation to my Mom! She’s very understanding and supportive of my education. I’m really hard on myself, and she always assures me that I’m doing the best I can.”

Full-time Faculty Hiring Seminar Set

Cerro Coso Community College’s Human Resources department is holding a Full-Time Faculty Hiring Seminar on Tuesday, January 24, from 6-8 pm. During the webinar, faculty will share information about preparing your resume, writing your philosophy of education, creating your teaching demo and of course – nailing the interview.

Faculty will also be available to answer questions and meet and breakout rooms.

Register for the virtual webinar at

Bakersfield College

Opening Day at Bakersfield College was a success! Staff and faculty came together to celebrate the start of the spring semester and unite around our collective goal to support and encourage our students.

Vice President of Instruction Billie Jo Rice gave an inspirational presentation about how connected we all are at BC, and many other staff and faculty offered invaluable information to help meet the students’ needs. What a great way to kick off the semester! 

Miracle Mutts at BC

BC was fortunate enough to host four of Marley’s Mutts therapy dogs on Thursday the 19th! Students and staff spent time in the Library lobby petting and visiting with the dogs. Therapy dogs are trained to help lift spirits and alleviate stress in many different settings, including higher ed! 

First Day of Spring Semester

BC students are back on campus, ready to dive into their classes! Student Life and other campus organizations set up tents around campus to welcome students with hot coffee and muffins on their first day. After a long break and gloomy weather, it was wonderful to see the campus come alive again with students socializing and the BC team ready to support them.

Kern CCD at Chamber of Commerce

On Thursday, Jan. 19 the Kern CCD and Bakersfield College teams joined the Greater Bakersfield Chamber of Commerce for the Annual Board Installation & Awards Luncheon.  The luncheon was a celebration of accomplishments made in 2022 and an opportunity to honor the volunteers who helped make the Chamber successful.  The luncheon highlighted the tremendous success of the California Forward Summit. Congratulations to the 2023 Chairman of the Board of Directors Ken Keller, President/CEO of Bakersfield Memorial Hospital – Dignity Health.

Kern CCD TALE Blog

Check out this week’s post in the Teaching-and-Learning-Exchange Blog (

Oliver Rosales wrote about “Culturally Responsive Teaching, Innovation, and Public Humanities” and shared his experience with the Digital Delano archive, and how it led to other opportunities.

I find my own learning is continuously advanced by embracing culturally responsive teaching in Delano.  I’ve become fascinated by the use of ArcGIS and geospatial technologies and its capacity not only to create new forms of digital archives, but also how technology can be used to visually map communities in new ways.  The intersection of the work I’ve done in Delano and ArcGIS technologies informs my approach to the Whiting Foundation’s Public Engagement fellowship.  

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

I enjoyed receiving this photo of the Chemistry faculty at BC celebrating the new department chair. It is so wonderful to see all the smiling faces.

Lotus Communications and the Spanish Radio Group held the 1st Annual Tu Voz Tu Héroe dinner Thursday night – 25 community leaders received the Hispanic Hero Award, many of them friends of Kern CCD and Bakersfield College.  Our own Norma Rojas-Mora was one of the individuals honored. 

Bill Moseley shared this image of Memorial Stadium:

Beautiful morning at the home of the Renegades. #WeAreBC

PC President Claudia Habib shared this post about Dual Enrollment students from Granite High

Today we welcomed Junior students from @granite_high @PortervilleUSD for a tour of the campus and library. They were proud to receive their PC student I.D. #DualEnrollment students are #CollegeStudents @PCollegePirates #Onboarding #FacultyChampion #HistoryClass #StudentSuccess

And check out this great video promoting Cerro Coso Community College:


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

The future is bright at Kern CCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor


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