Tag Archives: CTE

Our community partners and CTE programs

Jess Nieto and Sonya Christian Jan 9 2016

Sonya Christian with Jess Nieto Jan 9, 2016

I got back home late on Friday (Jan 8th) night after spending almost an entire week in Sacramento at the Accreditation Commission meeting.  Was happy to wake up in my own bed and start the day slowly and quietly with a cup of coffee and a bagel and this blog post.  Headed out to my usual 9:30 a.m. exercise class on Saturday morning and when I stepped out for a drink of water, I heard someone call out to me….I turned to see Jess Nieto, one of many community members who care so much for this community.  It was wonderful hearing Mr. Nieto talk about his work in Bakersfield as well as Bakersfield College.  He spoke with enthusiasm about how he believed that the leaders in our community should be invited to mentor our students.  He also spoke very highly of John Collins, former president of Bakersfield College.  And I completely agree with him on both counts.

Michael Carley

Michael Carley with Kati Haycock April 3 2014.

Michael Carley, our Institutional Researcher from Porterville College sent me this link to the Californian’s story about the passing of a great Renegade, Red Simpson who pioneered the Bakersfield Sound http://tinyurl.com/huq56op.  Thank you Michael for sending this my way.  I did tweet the link and thought I would include it in my blog as well.  Your email caused me to youtube some old country music songs which my grandpa Arthur used to play when I was growing up.  

Today, I also came across this great poster of Amgen that our local community brought to Bakersfield. For those of you who may not be familiar with Amgen Tour of California, this is an international  professional cycling race started in California in 2006.

Jay Rosenlieb worked with a team that brought Amgen to Bakersfield in 2010 and again in 2012.  Kerry Ryan, owner of Action Sports, was part of the core group that made this event possible.  At the Board of Trustees meeting that Rosenlieb and Ryan attended, Jay described Kerry as being key to pulling off the event– “Without his knowledge of professional cycling and connections to the local cycling community, this event would not have been possible.”  The third member of the core team was Jim Cordle, a CPA, who acted as the business manager. It was a great team and during the years that they were in operation they were able to grant about $70,000 back to the community and BC was a recipient of their generosity. Jay, could BC partner with you and your team again to bring this magical moment back to Bakersfield?

Talking about the community and partnerships, what comes to mind are the Career Technical Education (CTE) programs at BC.  Each and every CTE program has an advisory committee comprised of individuals from business and industry.  Let me share with you some pieces of information that I received from Cindy Collier and Liz Rozell.

DSC00065Not long ago we were happy to welcome to campus members of the Central/Mother Lode Regional Consortium and our area Deputy Sector Navigators (DSN), both to see our Career Technical Education (CTE) coursework firsthand, as well as to talk with us about how that training can better serve the employment demands of regional industries.

The Central/Mother Lode Regional Consortium (CRC) is a collaboration of community college faculty and staff with regional workforce and economic development organizations that serve the Central and Mother Lode region. The CRC supports regional economic growth by facilitating development of college training and educational programs to meet the needs of regional businesses and industries.

Deputy Sector Navigators convene advisory groups in each of the region’s primary industry sectors; provide outreach and partnership support to the community colleges; facilitate the endorsement of new credit Career Technical Education programs; and serve as a connection between local colleges and business.

DSC00075Obviously, their input not only channels valuable communication between colleges like BC and the area’s largest job providers, but more importantly, it makes sure our CTE programs are helping students become as employable as possible the minute they graduate with their degree.

It was a large group of dedicated individuals, including Karri Hammerstrom, Regional Chair; Nora Seronello, Center of Excellence – Central Valley region; Valerie Fisher (Health); Lorinda Forrest (Small Business); Shelley Attix (Retail/Hospitality); Jeanette Benson (Global trade and logistics); Dennis Mohle (ICT/Digital Media); Gurminder Sangha (Advanced Manufacturing); Bob Hawkes (Regional SB 1070 Director); and David Teasdale (Prop. 39 Dir., Energy and Efficiency).

After introductions, our BC CTE representatives talked about their programs and courses, highlighting changes they’ve made to curriculum in response to industry needs and labor market changes, including new digital media, commercial music, automotive, public health sciences, paramedic and baccalaureate programs.  They also highlighted the collaborative work going on with the CCPT1/CCPT2 and C6 grants and the growth in Kern County’s rural communities, especially highlighted in the ongoing growth and development of BC’s welding, agriculture and health programs.

In addition, job development specialist Stephanie Baltazar and faculty shared information regarding all the varied internships, job placement programs, career connection events and “soft” skills (resume development, interview techniques, etc.) that they are providing students.

BC’s Health Care group highlighted their phenomenal employment rates of 95% or greater.

Meanwhile, auto and welding faculty shared that most of their students had jobs before they completed the programs.

IMG_9372Right now, the Bakersfield College Automotive Technology program provides a wide range of training for automotive technicians with an average of 250 students each year participating in the program. Through the guidance and feedback of an active Automotive Advisory Committee, the program serves the community well by responding to the increasing needs of industries in Kern County.

The newest Automotive Technology faculty member Andrew Haney gave the visiting CRC group a guided tour of Vic Posey’s engine repair and machining, electrical, and smog testing labs. Andrew and Vic, along with their colleagues Dan Johnson and Justin Flint, showed how they provide a dynamic, hands-on learning environment preparing students for employment as automotive technicians, smog test technicians, engine repair technicians, engine machinists, transmission repair technicians, alignment specialists, suspension specialists, brake system specialists, tire service technicians, air conditioning technicians, electrical diagnostic specialists, onsite/field repair technicians, heavy duty equipment technicians, service writers and consultants, parts sales persons and more.

We’re so proud of BC’s automotive program, a true standout among such programs in the state and a shining positive example of the college’s commitment to student success.  The auto dealerships in Bakersfield have been just wonderful in supporting our program.  Thank you!

As for BC’s welding program, it’s strategically designed to easily adapt to the economic fluctuations of local industry and increased student support needs.  Student success is enhanced with online instruction, embedded remedial skills, innovative technology, and engaged faculty, who continuously seek improvement via professional development.

Welding faculty member Josh Ralls provided an excellent overview of the program to our visiting DSNs, briefly describing the stackable organization of the curriculum.  In 2014-2015, the welding program experienced a 9% growth increase to 364 students.  This was primarily due to an expansion of the program to the Delano campus, facilitated by Professor Mike Komin in partnership with the Delano Joint Union High School District.  Additional growth is expected through faculty participation in the California Career Pathways Trust grant initiative to develop a successful dual enrollment program with our local and rural high schools.


IMG_9678We also can’t forget Electronics Technology, one of the fastest growing programs in the Engineering and Industrial Technology Department.  Currently, ET is at an incredible 32% growth in headcount during the last academic year.

The Electronics Technology program at Bakersfield College provides electronics training for a wide variety of technicians, including automation, instrumentation, consumer electronics, radio/telecommunications, installation and electronic systems fabrication.  In addition, Electronics Technology is the lower division feeder program to Bakersfield College’s new Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Automation, to begin in Fall 2016.

DSN guests were given a tour of the Computer Integrated Manufacturing lab, where they learned more about BC’s innovative industrial automation program of study within the Electronics Technology program. Electronics faculty member Manny Fernandez provided an overview of this rigorous and technically challenging program and related employment opportunities within the various industry sectors utilizing industrial automation and electronics preparation.

These are just some of the highlights from the DSN visit, which also included presentations from other notable BC programs, including FACE (Leah Carter and Corny Rodriguez), Culinary (Suzanne Durst and Alex Gomez), Child Development (Danell Ward, Jo’L Jackson and Bernadette Towns), Agriculture (Lindsay Ono and Corny Rodriguez), Horticulture (Lindsay Ono), Plant Science, Performing Arts (John Gerhold and Manny Mourtzanos), Commercial Music (Josh Ottum), Digital Art (Kris Stallworth and David Koeth), Nursing/Allied Health (Jennifer Johnson) and Rad Tech (Nancy Perkins).

A big thank you to our gracious DSN’s, to the wonderful CTE faculty members who took the time to present their stellar educational work and to Cindy Collier and Liz Rozell for the exceptional information they provided to me on  a wonderful visit and invaluable day.

Check out my Nov 30, 2013 blog on Allied Health and CTE Dean Cindy Collier:


Also check out my April 29, 2014 blog on Liz Rozell, Dean, Engineering and Industrial Technology which includes our new baccalaureate program in Industrial Automation:



Summer Bridge Helps Incoming Freshmen Transition

Summer Bridge 2013Do you remember what those first weeks of college were like? Fresh out of high school, the size and scope of a college campus, along with the sheer number of students walking the halls, was daunting. Then, there’s the switching from building to building, locating classes and services, and having to do everything yourself.

Helping students transition to college life is the goal of a program here at Bakersfield College called Summer Bridge. This past August, many people on campus came together to help 35 incoming freshmen learn the ropes and ready themselves for college. Over four days, these students spent 18 hours on campus taking care of business. Many, many more wanted in, but time and space limited how many we could serve.

The students were able to complete their educational plan, visit the Library and Planetarium, take guided tours of the campus, hear from guest speakers, and enjoy a celebratory barbecue on the last day with their families.

Summer Bridge 2013Many people at Bakersfield College came together to make Summer Bridge possible, and it is that teamwork and assistance which keeps Bakersfield College strong and viable 100 years after its founding! I’d like to thank Sarah Villasenor, Dawn Dobie, Bonnie Suderman, Tina Johnson, Angela Craft, Tina Chamberlain, the Admissions and Records team, the EOP&S team, the MESA team, the Financial Aid team, the Counseling team, Nick Strobel, Brent Damron, the SGA officers, the Public Safety officers, the entire Food Services staff, the Career and Technical Education team, the Bookstore, the Graphics Department, and Institutional Research. You see, it really does take a village. All these folks came together to help 35 freshmen!

Best of all are the comments from students shared with me by Summer Bridge organizer Dr. Kimberly Van Horne.

Summer Bridge 2013The scavenger hunt was a fun activity because it helped me figure out things on campus I didn’t know about. K.L.

The most interesting thing I found at BC was the garden spot where Agriculture hosts its sales and projects. Another was the Renegade Pantry because it prevents students in need to starve or get malnutrition. P.S.

The most interesting thing that we saw was the DUNGEON!!! R.P.

The most useful advice I would give to a student at BC is to never give up and do your best and if you need help all you have to do is ask. H.S.

The most fun activity was going to the Planetarium and discovering the mysteries of the universe like some Zodiac shapes, important stars, and dates it remodeled and reopened. P.S.

Industrial Tech at BC

Last Tuesday, March 5th, Liz Rozell, Dean of STEM, Cindy Collier, Dean of Allied Health, and I had the good fortune of spending time with Sean Caras, Department Chair of Engineering and Industrial Technology, and Manny Fernandez, faculty in Industrial Technology, as they gave me a tour of the Industrial Technology facilities. I learned a lot about modern day machining and the interrelated nature of the different disciplines, and came to appreciate that there are some fundamentals that cross all disciplines whether we are talking about automotive technology, agriculture mechanics, aviation, etc.  Manufacturing as we once knew it is obsolete, replaced by very high level automation technologies.

The 18th century saw the evolution from manmade to machine made in what we refer to as the industrial revolution. This resulted in the emergence of a different kind of skilled workforce, technicians who knew how to run production facilities.  Now, in the 21st century, with the integration of computers, digital control technology and machine tools, the skill set needed by technicians has vastly shifted, as entire manufacturing plans can be controlled by engineers at a keyboard.

Machining Laboratory. March 5, 2013.Manny Fernandez demonstrating the workings of a manufacturing plant.

Machining Laboratory. March 5, 2013.
Manny Fernandez demonstrating the workings of a manufacturing plant.

We toured a simulation of such a manufacturing plant in the lab, and were introduced to the Programmable Logic Controller (PLC), a ubiquitous piece of digital equipment used to control machine operations.  Our students learn how to assemble such PLCs and program to implement various manufacturing processes.

We were also introduced to the electronics lab where students learn the fundamentals of electricity and electronics – we saw electric circuit boards and the intricate work that goes into their construction, and we saw how these devices are used, e.g. creating thermal sensors that detect anomalies outside an appropriate range and then triggers a response to reject a certain product or “cut off” the flow.

Electronic Circuits. March 5, 2013.

Electronic Circuits. March 5, 2013.

We ended our tour in the engineering lab where we were introduced by Liz to a machine that manufactures 3D objects, made from a computerized graphic.  How about using this equipment to have the BC Centennial logo made into key chains for all the 717 employees?  This key chain will symbolize 100 years of tradition in excellence manufactured with a state-of-the art technology .

The amazing work that our deans and faculty  are doing at Bakersfield Colleges supports the direction that Obama articulated in his State of the Union address.  You can find my reflections on Obama’s speech at http://tinyurl.com/bd2yh8j.

Besides gaining an understanding of current manufacturing and machining processes I was struck by the complete dedication of our faculty to keeping the curriculum current, the time spent on customizing and building the equipment for the laboratories, and the absolute pride in having a program that is of the highest quality.  Both Liz and Cindy were absolutely immersed with the Sean and Manny in the discussions of learning and the absolute importance of Career Technical Education in our society.  Here is an excerpt from an email that Cindy sent me on this topic:

“…. I believe we should showcase what CTE folks do….. we need to recognize the work that CTE faculty do and the hours of prep that goes into our classes ….. CTE programs support our community, improve workforce, improve economy, meet industry needs by staying current …..”

So let’s toast the wonderful work our CTE colleagues (faculty, staff, administrators) do each day to create great learning environments for students.  And I say this with great Renegade pride.

Electronics Lab. March 5 2013Cindy Collier, Liz Rozell, Sean Caras, Manny Fernandez

Electronics Lab. March 5 2013
Cindy Collier, Liz Rozell, Sean Caras, Manny Fernandez