Tag Archives: Eloy Oakley

KCCD Colleges faculty and staff are ready for you. Enroll today at BC, PC, CCC!

My first full week as KCCD Chancellor has been a busy one.

On Wednesday, I was honored to speak at the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office webinar in my role as ACCJC chair. Enjoyed hanging out with some of my faves — Chancellor Eloy Oakley, Deputy Chancellor Daisy Gonzales, Stephanie Droker, Anne Marie Gable, Willy Duncan, Lizette Navarette, John Hetts.

On Thursday, KCCD held its monthly Board of Trustees meeting – my first as Chancellor. Starting this month, our meetings are back to being in-person, and it was wonderful to be able to meet face to face again. I’m grateful to everyone who was able to attend, and to everyone who made the technology possible so those unable to attend in person could stay informed as well.

I have been loving seeing all our physical campuses come alive again, as we welcome back our faculty, staff, and students to our in-person spaces full time. While all three colleges will continue to offer flexible choices for those that cannot yet return to full-time in-person learning, I’m grateful to see the vibrant holistic student life on campus at the colleges coming back.

Good morning, friends…
It is July 10, 2021.
The sun shines bright over KCCD.

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

Sonya Christian with President Dadabhoy, President Habib, President Hancock

Cerro Coso Community College

Cerro Coso Library to reopen this week

Two years ago, on July 4th and 5th, 2019, Ridgecrest was shaken by major 6.4 and 7.1 earthquakes. This caused some damage to the Cerro Coso LRC at the IWV campus, which remained under construction for nearly a year.

During that time, library services moved to the East Wing and we waited with anticipation for the LRC’s scheduled reopening in April 2020. Those plans were, of course, quickly derailed by the pandemic, and our services were moved once again – this time fully online. We have been primarily working from home for the past year, with the exception of our curbside pickup service

Now that vaccinations are on the rise, we are looking forward to being able to reopen the library at long last. (Knock on wood!) To start with we will be open for limited hours during the summer: Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon to 3pm, starting on July 15th, 2021

We’ve missed you, and we look forward to seeing you back in the physical library!

Alumni Spotlight: Letia Bogan

A real cool Alumni Spotlight from the Cerro Coso Community College Foundation:

Meet Letia Bogan, a Cerro Coso graduate in both 2019 AND 2020. Letia received her Associate Degree in Liberal Arts and Humanities in 2019, and then went on to complete a certificate in Information Technology in 2020. After graduation plans last year got disrupted due to COVID restrictions, Letia was finally able to walk across the stage at Cerro Coso’s May 2021 graduation ceremony!

Letia has been a proud member of the UMOJA Club at Cerro Coso, a community dedicated to enhancing the cultural and educational experiences of African American and other students. She has met so many new people and learned a great deal about the significance of HBCU’s (historically black colleges & universities). These experiences have greatly enriched her academic journey. She is also grateful for Cerro Coso employees Penny Talley and Heather Ostash, both of whom have supported Letia in her endeavors over the past few years.

Remarking on her academic journey so far, Letia says, “It’s been a joy going to this college because I have learned so much. The counselors are great with helping me whenever I need it. UMOJA is such a good way to learn new things about HBCU’s. I got my first Degree in Liberal Arts and Humanities. I did get my certificate in IT and am about to get my degree as well!”

CC to host admissions workshop

On Wednesday, from 4-6 pm, Cerro Coso will hold a Zoom workshop on admissions with a step-by-step demonstration on how to apply to Cerro Coso Community College. An Admissions & Records Technician will be available to answer questions, provide guidance, and share best practices.

A Financial Aid Technician will review the Cerro Coso Promise scholarships, outside scholarships, and more! The Cerro Coso Promise is a scholarship intended for dedicated students focused on getting an education, regardless of financial or personal status. Students meeting basic criteria may qualify for up to $1,000 per semester for 2 years to help with tuition, books, and fees.

You can register for this Zoom workshop or find more information at https://www.cerrocoso.edu/event/college-admissions-workshop-july-14.

Porterville College

PC helps to “Grow Futures” in the farm community with new partnership program

In a new effort to reach out to the many farm communities within the Porterville College service area, PC is partnering with the California Farmworker Foundation to offer new services to farm workers throughout the Greater Porterville Area.  The program offers free classes and multiple benefits to local farm workers in an effort to increase their access to educational attainment and advancement within their respective organizations. “PC Growing Futures”, as the program is called, offers free access to classes, laptops, free textbooks, and free access to Rosetta Stone Software to help them achieve student success.

Meet Jasmin Quiñones

Porterville College has hired its first Student Life & Leadership Program Manager with the goal of strengthening the student life experience. 

Jasmin Quiñones grew up in Exeter, CA, and comes to PC from the University of the Pacific where she served as the Orientation Coordinator and Intercultural Student Success Coordinator. She holds both a Bachelors and Masters Degrees in Education from University of the Pacific.

Ms. Quiñones has a passion for “working with students and helping them reach for their highest dreams,” and is excited to be returning to the area to give back to her community. 

We look forward to all she will do to strengthen the Porterville College student experience through activities, events and programs. 

Welcome Jasmin!

PC to Hold next “Pirate in a Day” Event on July 15th

On July 15th, PC will be hosting its next “Pirate in a Day” event, designed to improve student access and provide one-on-one help to students and potential students as they become a Pirate.

“Pirate in a Day” is held to increase access and ease of registration. During each event, new, returning and transfer students can complete the enrollment process in just one day.

PC staff will be on hand to help students complete a FAFSA, develop a student education plan, register for classes, and apply for other support services on campus.  

To sign up for an in-person appointment on campus, visit https://pcpio.wufoo.com/forms/r7lyzuo1tg0yct/

Bakersfield College

BC receives donations from Phillips 66

The BC and BC Foundation team hosted representatives from Phillips 66 this week, and the college was the grateful recipient of two large donations. One contribution is funding this summer’s Early College Industrial Automation Academy for high school students. Our guests had the chance to watch an Academy class in action before answering students’ questions about working in the energy industry. The other donation is providing continued funding for BC’s scholarship program. Thank you, Phillips 66, for your constant support!

Earl Parsons marries Rachel Pori

I have worked with Earl Parsons for many years at BC and he is often the person behind the photos that you see or the mind behind the writing on Measure J and COVID briefings. I was delighted to receive an email from another one of my favorite people, Kim Arbolante, who is Earl’s friend. Enjoy a glimpse of his wedding day … a few excerpts from kim’s email.

By Kim Arbolante, Writing Center Lead, Bakersfield College
Photos credit Anston Crane Photography

I am filled with joy for my dear friends who recently afforded me the privilege of being the maid of honor in their wedding, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Fourth of July weekend 2020, Earl Parsons along with his girlfriend Rachel Pori, myself, and another close friend, all headed to a cabin in the hills above San Bernardino to watch the cityscape erupt in a glow of fireworks—while maintaining social distance of course. Inspired by the moment, Earl popped the question to Rachel!

One year later, we came together at The Gardens at Mill Creek, surrounded by their loved ones and friends—maskless, vaccinated and smiling—to witness Earl and Rachel’s marriage. It was truly the most beautiful event! Their wedding colors were lilac and black. Rachel’s dress was custom made, and I have never seen Earl more excited than when he gazed upon her beauty as she walked down the aisle towards him.

Rachel Pori & Earl Parsons exchanging vows with guidance from officiant and friend Jay Varvel


The happy couple & their wedding party. What wedding is complete without a Writing Center Lead?

It is no secret that Earl is a great writer, and there was not a dry eye to be found as he read his marriage vows to Rachel. Always a Renegade, I think I even caught a bit of our BC spirit in those vows as he proclaimed, “we’ve accomplished so much together, and I know that we have so much more to do. Tonight, we are planting the seeds of a tree whose fruits will be determined by our actions and the way we treat each other going forward.” To which part of Rachel’s vows replied, “your cup will never be empty for I will be your wine. I will spark the fire when it dulls. We will be abundantly blessed.” Having known these two friends for years, I have no doubts that they will keep the promises they made to each other that day.

Poetry Corner

Please enjoy this poem from Jack Hernandez:

A Fragile Spring Day

When anger threw him
to the floor,
shattered the window
he held sacred,
looked through
for light and love,
he wondered how
to put its pieces
together again
in a pattern
strong enough
to remove anger’s
pressing arms,
so he could stand
fragile as a spring day,
storms pushed away,
roses brightly waving
at unimagined possibility.

In the News

The Sun-Gazette published this feature about Richard Torrez, Jr., who will represent the United States at the upcoming 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo in boxing. The 2017 graduate of Mission Oak High School in Tulare is the son of Kimberly Torrez, an adjunct faculty member in the ESL department at Porterville College.

Spotted on Social Media

Kim McAbee shared this photo of KCCD Trustee Kyle Carter at the Westchester 4th of July Parade:

Bakersfield Mayor Karen Goh shared a few pictures of the Golden Empire Drum & Bugle Corps and their director, Tim Heasley, from the Westchester parade. Members get college credit at BC for marching:

I loved this post from Cerro Coso – I hope you’re keeping cool this weekend!

Kern Country Farm Bureau shared that bureau president John Moore was interviewed on America’s Newsroom to discuss the impacts of the California drought:

==========

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

The future remains bright at KCCD.

-sonya
a joyful and grateful Chancellor

Closing the chapter of 2019

January 2016 2:35-minute video by Manny de Los Santos

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, December 28, 2019…My last blog entry for 2019. A great day to be a Renegade.

Take a look at the highlights from 2019. Each header is a link to a featured blog post from that month. So don’t forget to click on the header.

Sonya Christian
The Luckiest and Happiest College President

Happy New Year

Happy New Decade

January: Welcome to Spring ‘19

BC hit the ground running in the first month of 2019 with the groundbreaking ceremony for the new Campus Center and the first announcement about Early College. Food Services moved their operation over to the Gym Huddle area, and BC students opened a time capsule from 1955. We also launched an ITV pilot program for our Music B2 class at North High school, and our three Vice Presidents spoke with students at the first BCSGA Power Lunch of the year.

Some photos from January.

February: The Dawn of a New Era in Education

In February BC showed our love for students in rural Kern County with the historic launch of the Early College program in McFarland.

Congressman TJ Cox visited BC as part of his first trip home from Capitol Hill, and Paula Parks participated in a Black History Month panel hosted by the Chevron Black Employees Association. Legendary agricultural scientist and autism advocate Temple Grandin was our Distinguished Speaker for the month, and the Adult Education team brought a new learning center to Wasco.

Photos from February

March: Women Who Create Ripples In Our Community

We celebrated International Women’s Day with Senator Jean Fuller moderating a panel of women leaders throughout Kern County, which included Shannon Grove, Blanca Carvazos, Rosalina Rivera, and Cynthia Giumarra.

Women in Leadership with Trustees
Women in Leadership with Trustees

The Wonderful Ag Prep Renegades were the first Early College graduates in BC history, and KCCD Trustee Jack Connell toured our robotics and nursing facilities. The students in our LUPE and Project Conexiones groups reached out to students at BHS, and the CTE Team represented our campus at the Kern County Career Expo.

Tom Gelder, Christina Sistrunk of Aera Energy, and Sonya Christian
Tom Gelder, Christina Sistrunk of Aera Energy, and Sonya Christian

April: Spring is Heating Up at BC

BC’s award winning Drumline Crew

In April, I introduced Shannon Doherty at the Bakersfield Women’s Business Conference, which was chaired by BC’s Director of Community Relations, Norma Rojas-Mora. For the first time, dual enrollment students were included in our annual SGA Student Leadership Dinner, and the MEChA club hosted the second annual Jess Nieto Memorial Conference in honor of the late Chicano Studies pioneer. We also hosted the Business Pathway Career Expo in front of the library and celebrated our drumline winning a gold medal in the WGI World Championships.

Some photos from April

May: BC’s 105th Commencement

Everything we do at the home of the Renegades is for our students, and we celebrated a record-breaking graduation at Rabobank Arena. Before the main ceremony, we also had pre-Commencement celebrations for Delano Campus graduates, veterans, Early College, African-American students, LGBTQ, and the second graduating class of the Baccalaureate in Industrial Automation program.

More photos from my May blog posts

June: Summer Has Arrived!

Summer is supposed to be a time when the campus slows down, but that wasn’t the case for 2019, as our Dual Enrollment team led by Steve Watkin celebrated its Beautiful Bakersfield Award in Education. Pedro Ramirez presented on AB 40 at the Board of Governors meeting, Steve Flores recruited me for the Media Music Jam, and two of our students were selected as Student Wellness Ambassadors for the California Community College system’s Health and Wellness/Each Mind Matters program.

July: Recognition and Gratitude

Assemblyman Rudy Salas presented BC with a $1 million check for the second year in a row, making for $2 million brought in for BC students. BC was honored to receive the Student Success Award for our Guided Pathways at the John W. Rice Diversity and Equity Award ceremony hosted by the Board of Governors. Our team joined community leaders at the State of the City Luncheon, and the Golden Empire Drum and Bugle Corps rehearsed all over campus.

Photos from July

August: BC Building Bridges

BC’s first group of Inmate Scholars graduates

We kicked off the 2019-20 academic year with an inspiring set of Opening Day and New Student Convocation events that featured a performance of “Bridge Over Troubled Water” by the BC Chamber Singers.

Tom Rush and Michael Larson worked diligently to bring Industrial Automation classes to the Delano Campus, and BC hosted the Project Next Step Conference for new and continuing high school students. Later in the month, BC hosted a graduation ceremony for the first group of Inmate Scholars graduates.

More photos from my August blog posts

September: BC: Creating Partnerships to Better Kern

In September, we unveiled the BC Launch Pad located at the Weill Institute to support local entrepreneurs, small business owners, and inspired students. The center is a free hub of resources and support for all kinds of practical small businesses needed in Kern County.

Also in September, BC’s AB 540 Team attended the Catalyst Fund Convening in Long Beach, and the Rural Initiatives team updated the Board of Supervisors on the Game Changer grant which establish Early College pathways for Arvin High students.

Some photos from my September posts.

October: Live simply…so others can simply live

BC was honored to bring Arun Gandhi to Delano to speak to Early College students and the community. A video below was created by one of BC’s video students, Mario Esquer. Our second Distinguished Speaker for October was Erin Gruwell, an inspirational educator who founded the Freedom Writers’ Diary to help inner-city students see themselves reflected in the classroom. BC also hosted an important conversation about Valley Fever during a symposium by TJ Cox in the Indoor Theater, and the Early College program got special recognition at the Renegade football game against Golden West College.

Some photos from October.

November: BC: Advancing Education in our Community and State

Educational leaders from across the state convened at the downtown Bakersfield Marriott for the Intersegmental Pathways Symposium, engaging in important conversations about closing the gaps between K-12 education, community colleges and universities to bring 1.1 million new bachelor’s degree graduates to California. The sold out event featured 18 panelists, additional speakers, and our keynote guests Assemblymember Rudy Salas, California Community Colleges Chancellor Eloy Oakley, Senior Policy Advisor to Governor Newsome, Lande Ajose, and Chief Deputy to State Superintendent Tony Thurmond, Lupita Alcala.

Group of Intersegmental Pathways Symposium attendees
Sonya Christian, Lande Ajose, Eloy Oakley, Lupita Alcala, Rudy Salas, Mary Barlow

This blog entry also covers BC’s Veteran Services held a care package drop zone for the troops, and BC men’s soccer won its first ever conference championship.

December: Thank You For Voting Yes on J!

This month we cut the ribbon for the Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center, the first project funded by Measure J. I recapped this in full in the blog post so please check it out if you missed it earlier this month!

And BC’s Chamber Singers performed with the Bakersfield Symphony Orchestra as part of the Home for the Holidays Concert… one of my favorite parts of the season.

Blog Bonus: Some All-Time Favs

When looking back at only one post a month from 2019, it sparked my interest to see what other gems I could discover as I flipped through the older pages of my blog. Let’s take a look at some of these all time favorites…

Working on my blog at the Marketplace in 2013

January 3, 2013: First Blog Post

When my blog first started, I didn’t have the slightest clue how it would turn out. Now, here we are about to be in January 2020 with a blog that features the activity and energy on the BC campus weekly. Thank you for following along on the Renegade journey.

January 9, 2013: Second Blog Post

Media Frenzy
Dr. Sonya Christian at her announcement press conference

My second ever blog post was titled “So… What’s it like being BC’s President?” Well, back then I said…

Being president of Bakersfield College is like being strapped to a rocket at the speed of light.

Sonya Christian, Jan. 9, 2013

I don’t think I can say that part has changed, but being the president of Bakersfield College is a joy and a gift as well. The commitment of BC’s faculty, the passion of our staff, and the overwhelming dedication by BC’s students make me the happiest and luckiest college president ever.

January 1, 2014: BC’s Centennial Gala

Celebrating BC’s 100th anniversary will live among my highlights at Bakersfield College. So many details went into making the evening one to remember. I fondly remember the many friends of BC who came out to support that evening, even Jean Fuller.

February 11, 2013: My first Sterling Silver

My first Sterling Silver was a fabulous evening showcasing the talent of BC’s culinary arts and agriculture students. Tom Moran took some great photos that night and I still love this one of Jerry Ludeke, Jack Hernandez, and me.

Sterling Silver
Jack Hernandez, Me, and Jerry Ludeke at Sterling Silver

November 12, 2016: Thank you Kern County

2016 was a yeah full of anticipation, “dreaming big” as mayor Harvey Hall asked us to do, and celebration. Kern County with a vote of 96,589 to 58,155, supported Measure J with 62.42%! Thank you for supporting KCCD and Bakersfield College with the necessary funding to renovate and update our facilities to serve students for the next 50 years.

It would not have been possible without countless volunteers who worked tirelessly on the campaign. Too many names to list individually but each and everyone of you knows who you are. Thank you thank you thank you.

A look back at Measure J

May 13, 2017 – Neo’s First Blog Appearance

Neo was a handful as a puppy… and who am I kidding? He still is! On May 13, 2017, Neo made his first appearance in my blog and I asked readers to guess his name. To my surprise, Theresa McAllister guessed it the very next day on May 14th in the comments.

Christmas Tree Recyling

With the holidays now in our rear view mirror, I wanted to remind everyone that they can come to BC to get their Christmas trees recycled.

Image courtesy of KBAK 29/58

Your Christmas pines are made of organic material that can be easily recycled …. so do your part for the planet and drop your Christmas tree off at the corner of University and Haley before January 17. For a list of all Christmas Tree recycling locations in Kern County, read Stacey Shepard’s article in the Bakersfield Californian.

Fun Photos from Social Media: BC’s TPAC Team

Kalina Hill posted this fun photo of the testing and placement team at BC wishing you a Merry Christmas!

Holiday Family Photos

Brandon Urry and his family

Engineer Systems & Industrial Technology Holiday Luncheon

Mary Webb made sure to share a photo from the department holiday luncheon.

Back row: Aubrey Priest, Klimt Rigby, Martin Perez
Front: Kathy Melson, Mary Webb, Jason Dixon, Lora Larkin.

Renegade Road

BC’s William Velasquez is a talented photographer who shared additional photos of the “Renegade Road” here at BC. He wrote:

Perhaps [these photos] will give you the sense of pride I experienced when I was there and to be part of the Renegade Family. GO Gades!!!

Swim Team Testimonial

While we’re all away for break, the student athletes for our spring sports are busy getting ready for their upcoming seasons. Ramon Carreido is a student worker in the Marketing and Public Relations Department who also competes on the Renegade swim team. Here is his testimonial about their intensive training regimen heading into the upcoming swim season.

Coach and Ramon Carriedo

Winter training has struck the Bakersfield College swim team. At the beginning of each day, we hit the weight room for about an hour before hopping into the pool for two hours of swimming in 45-degree weather. Don’t worry, the pool is heated. 🙂

Coach Moon is pushing us to be ready for the Western State Conference and California Community College Athletic Association championships. As a second-year swimmer, I’ve learned to “trust the process”, as Coach Moon often says. He is doing everything it takes to make us the best swimmers this school has ever seen, and he challenges us every day to push through set after set. These trainings are important to help develop the most important muscle of the body – the brain. A swimmer’s mental game is just as important, if not more important, than their physical talents.

On New Year’s Eve, we will push through the longest set of the year – the 100×100. After 100 laps of 100 meters, any competitive event will feel like a walk in the park. Preseason training is hard, but it is definitely worth it. When you see your results at the end of the season and compare them against your results at the beginning of the season, you can see how much the training pays off.

The swim team’s first meet is the WSC Preview on February 7 at Ventura College, and we hope to see Renegade fans in force at the Renegade pool for the annual meet at BC on April 4, 2020.

Next Level Renegade

Huge congratulations to Renegade Football’s Justin Harrington for signing to continue his academic and football career at the University of Oklahoma this last week. We couldn’t be more excited for Justin as he will be playing for the Sooners who have an excellent football program currently still in the hunt for the national championship this year. We will miss his contagiously positive attitude and big hits on the football field. Congrats again, Justin!

All-Tournament Player – Dasia Wandick

Our Renegade Women’s Basketball team played up at the Monterey Peninsula College Tournament just before Christmas and Sophomore forward Dasia Wandick was selected to the All-Tournament team. Dasia continues to be a leader in her sophomore year for Coach Dahl and we can’t wait to see how the rest of their season unfolds. Be sure to catch the Renegades in action this season – head to GoGades.com to keep up with their schedule.

Renegade Athletics updates from this past week

BC: Advancing Education in our community and state

Good morning, Bakersfield.
It is Saturday, November 23, 2019… A great day to be a Renegade.

Intersegmental Pathways Symposium

By the end of the next decade, California will need 1.1 million more people with bachelor’s degrees to meet the changing demands of industry in the golden state. Closing this gap requires a reimagining of our educational pathways and the ability to track a student’s journey from K-12 to the start of their post-baccalaureate career.

The symposium content was anchored in a 2015 Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC) paper that outlines 4 policy strategies to meet this goal. Working with Craig Hayward & Lesley Bonds, I outlined an expanded set of strategies at this symposium.

#1. For rural communities and other areas in California where educational attainment levels are low, incorporate Early College Pathways to Baccalaureate Completion using the Program Pathways Mapper by the 9th grade. #2. Promote innovative approaches to scale up baccalaureate attainment, e.g., Brandman University’s competency-based education, Arizona State University’s online programs. #3. Among students that are new to the CSU, increase the proportion of California community college transfer students, with a goal of reaching 75%. #4. Strengthen transfer pathways from community colleges to UCs as well as to independent colleges and universities. #5. Expand the community college Bachelor degree program.

Educational leaders and policymakers from across the state came together to share their success stories during the Intersegmental Pathways Symposium organized and hosted by Bakersfield College on Friday, November 15. Colleges and universities from as far north as Shasta and as far south as the Imperial Valley converged on the Bakersfield Marriott for a sold-out event sharing practices that are transforming California’s educational landscape while calling for policy reform to increase baccalaureate attainment with equity.

Several representatives from non-profit organizations and research groups also attended the event, which was sponsored by the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office, College Futures Foundation, the Univeristy of California Office of the President, and the Wonderful Company.

The event received local coverage on KBAK.

KCCD Chancellor Tom Burke opened the event by commending the attendees for working together and uniting around the common goal of creating an educated workforce. Burke also highlighted the importance of investing resources to ensure equity in completion.

Intersegmental Pathways Symposium attendee
Linda Collins

The first panel of the morning revolved around clarifying the pathways from high school to community college. Moderator Linda Collins from the Career Ladders Project shared that 68 percent of new jobs in California will require some education beyond high school. She then introduced KCCD Student Trustee Christian Chavez from Porterville College, who described how the support of her counselors and educational advisors helped her overcome some early hurdles along her educational journey.

Intersegmental Pathways Symposium attendees
Left to right: Kevin Tallon, Dr. Kristin Clark, Christian Chavez, and Dr. Lori Bennett

West Hills College Lemoore President Kristin Clark discussed how dual enrollment and a high-touch approach to case management is closing racial and gender gaps for transfer English completion across the campus. Wasco High Principal Kevin Tallon is working together with BC and the Wonderful Company to get first-generation students through intentionally designed pathways that lead to jobs within their community. Clovis Community College has won the Champion of Higher Education Award for two years in a row, and President Lori Bennett shared how their dual enrollment and placement initiatives have established one of the newest schools in the state community college system as a leader in academic excellence.

Intersegmental Pathways Symposium attendee
Steven Holmes

BC’s Academic Senate President Steven Holmes moderated the second panel, which focused on pathways from community college to the university. Before introducing the panel, he spoke briefly about how BC’s transfer initiatives have led to 637 percent growth in Associate Degree for Transfer completion within the last five years. Shasta College President Joe Wyse opened with an overview of his college’s Degrees When Due Initiative, which identifies students who are eligible for degree completion but who never applied. The initiative also identifies students who are near completion and invites them back to take the last few classes that they need to graduate.

Intersegmental Pathways Symposium attendees
Dr. Joe Wyse, Jackie Cruz, and Noemi Donoso

Hartnell College’s computer science department has an innovative partnership with CSU Monterey Bay titled CS in 3, and Vice President of Advancement and Development Jackie Cruz described their internship collaborations with Salesforce, Amazon, Facebook, and other major players in the nearby Silicon Valley tech industry. Industry partnerships are key to the Central Valley’s educational reforms as well, and Wonderful Company Senior Vice President Noemi Donoso talked about the powerful collaborations they’ve developed with BC and high schools throughout Kern County.

The third panel focused on tools for sharing data across institutions. Moderator Craig Hayward introduced symposium attendees to our Program Pathways Mapper, an important tool for sharing curricular and career data with our students.

Cypress College was one of the early implementers of the pathways mapper, and President Joanna Schilling demonstrated how it’s an important tool not just for our students, but for faculty and staff who may need the pathways clarified for them as well. BC’s student government president Samantha Pulido attested to the ease and simplicity of pathway mappers, and said she wishes she had access to these resources earlier in her educational career to reduce confusion about what classes she needed to take.

Intersegmental Pathways Symposium attendees
Kris Grappendorf and Dr. Joanna Schilling
Intersegmental Pathways Symposium attendees
Justin Derrick and Samantha Pulido

McFarland High School Principal Justin Derrick is clarifying the path for the 9th graders in McFarland’s Early College program, giving students the tools they need to navigate their future before they even walk across the stage for their high school diplomas. CSUB professor Kris Grappendorf uses the program mapper to show how a degree in kinesiology is a gateway into both STEM and health careers.

Dr Joseph Jones
Dr. Joseph Jones

The last panel before lunch focused on effective partnerships. Dr. Joseph Jones, the President of Fresno Pacific University, moderated this discussion between leaders across the spectrum of California higher education. As a representative of an independent university, Jones urged attendees not to forget how schools like Fresno Pacific are uniquely positioned to quickly adapt to educational demands and build partnerships. He then introduced Gregg Camfield, the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost of UC Merced. UC Merced is dedicated to serving its primarily first-generation student body, and its commitment to engaging with the community has made it the top school in the country for students performing above expectations. Camfield shared the partnerships UC Merced is developming with BC in the STEM areas and called on attendees to participate in the Health Equity and Poverty Summit on November 22nd organized by BC and UC Merced.