Tag Archives: #KernCCDDaringMightyThings

Wrapping up May 2023

Definitely the week before a major transition.

On Sunday, I headed out to Lake Tahoe with the Kern Community College District Team for ACBO’s spring conference.

I spoke to the group about upcoming priorities for California Community Colleges, given that the state will be dealing with some financial difficulties in the next couple of years.

Kylie Campbell and Mike Giacomini presented on Dual Enrollment at the District, and did a fantastic job showcasing the work that the District has done in expanding this program.

Statewide, only 6% of 9th graders are participating in dual enrollment in CA, which means we have a huge opportunity with the remaining 94% of 9th graders that we can reach as early as this Fall. I am excited to support this work throughout the California Community College System, and work to provide opportunities for students across this great state. And of course, Kern is at the forefront of this work.

Our time is now!

Also, check out the article by Emma Gallegos of Ed Source.

Christian believes that community colleges, which serve California’s “most vulnerable students,” have the potential to not just change the socioeconomic fortunes of its students but to help the state address issues such as health care and climate change. She wants to see colleges make the bold changes their communities need.
“We just make things happen,” said Christian. “We don’t look for something external to give us permission to do what is right.”

You can read the full piece here: https://edsource.org/2023/enroll-every-9th-grader-in-a-college-course-says-californias-incoming-community-college-chancellor/691065

Whenever I talk about Dual Enrollment, I find myself thinking about how this work began with a partnership with Wonderful Academy, and then McFarland went wall-to-wall because of the bold leadership of Superintendent Aaron Resendez. The beautiful moments of our lives become wonderful memories to enjoy. Here are a few.

Early College team


As I flew into Reno for this work, what a view as we were landing:

The Truckee River, which flows through Reno on its way from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake, was full and flowing fast.

As I took time to walk around a bit to check out the sights and sounds in Reno, I stumbled upon the musical Anastasia playing at the Pioneer Center. The music of “Anastasia” features a blend of catchy, Broadway-style show tunes and heartfelt ballads. It includes well-known songs from the original film, such as “Journey to the Past” and “Once Upon a December,” as well as new songs specifically written for the musical. The music captures a sense of romance, adventure, and longing, reflecting the emotional journey of the characters. Thought would give you a taste with this piece from Youtube “Once Upon a December.” The cast of characters at the Pioneer center were different … the song and the setting the same. Just beautiful!

Back in Bakersfield I was enjoying taking time at home, though I headed to KCCD to wrap up some transition work. The garden is bursting with springtime blooms which seem to be plentiful because of the heavy rains this past winter. In 2013 as BC’s new president, I purchased about 20 Renegade Red and White rose plants that were bred specifically to commemorate the centennial year. Those plants are now 10 years old and they flower with a vigor and intensity that is indescribable. The sheer number of roses have been weighing down the plants so I have been regularly clipping them for vases indoors. Thank you Lindsay Ono and BC’s Ag department for the Renegade Red and Whites. #WeAreBC

And when my busy schedule resumes in June, I will miss hanging out with Neo in the backyard.

Good morning friends.
It is May 27, 2023. Memorial Day.
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD.

Memorial Day – Let’s Remember.

Three years after the end of the Civil War, the Grand Army of the Republic – an organization of Union veterans – established Decoration Day as a day for the nation to put flowers on the graves of those killed in the war. Major General John A. Logan declared the commemoration should be May 30, likely because flowers would be in bloom across the country.

That year, an observance was held at Arlington National Cemetery, with speeches and flowers strewn upon the graves of soldiers.

The practice spread throughout the country, with many state legislatures passing proclamations designating May 30 as Decoration Day. After World War I, the day was expanded to honor those who have died in all American wars.

In 1971, Memorial Day was declared a national holiday, with the date placed on the last Monday in May.

I was browsing my previous post and saw this message from Paul Beckworth Memorial Day 2018

Wow…  Let us take a moment and reflect on these handwritten lists of BC students killed or MIA in action from World War II. Paul mentioned one of them died in a POW camp after being captured and these lists may or may not be comprehensive. But regardless, these lists are very telling — they are our history.

Read more in the blog post:

In the News

LTCC, El Centro High partnership celebrates first justice-involved college grad

LTCC’s Rising Scholars Program for the justice involved & its partner, El Centro High, are celebrating its first college grad.
Read more from the Tahoe Daily Tribune.

Twins graduating from ‘Adult High School’ program after dropping out 50 years ago

This week, a set of twin sisters – Carol Baker and Carolyn Baker-Lowery graduated from MiraCosta College’s Adult High School, 50 years after they dropped out.

Check out the story from 10news in San Diego!

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

President of Bakersfield College, Pastor Steve Watkin, did the opening prayer at the Bakersfield City Council.

Kylie Campbell shared this post during our travels this week:

“Look what @sonyachristian and I found at @flyLAXairport! A 20+ ft tall sign promoting the opportunity for high school students in CA to earn college credit through #DualEnrollment! Great work, @CalCommColleges! Made my day! @IcangotoCollege

In honor of Classified School Employee Week, a few of the photos I’ve seen celebrating our California Community College classified employees:

And to my classified colleagues and friends with whom I have worked side-by-side for a long time. Thank you!

Catherine Rangel, Sonya and Jo Ellen Barnes
Eric Carrillo and Dylan Wang and sonya christian
Graphic designers Eric Carrillo and Dylan Wang receive a 2019 President’s Leadership Award.

And from the Home of the Renegades…

CAPK Graduation

On Friday, May 19th, Bakersfield College in collaboration with CAPK (Community Action Partnership of Kern) celebrated the first cohort of graduates who completed the BC Applied Leadership Program in the BC Fireside Room. 17 CAPK administrators and leaders on every level committed themselves to the rigorous and innovative program born from Bakersfield College’s very own Dr. Maria Wright, former Senator Dr. Jean Fuller.

This will be the first of many cohorts to come!


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

The future is bright at Kern CCD.

joyful and grateful


Graduations 2023 – Let’s celebrate

My daughter snapped this photo while we were at Mother’s Day brunch at Brizo in Marina Del Rey.

The Thursday before, we checked out the music scene at the Market Place.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take,
but by the moments that take our breath away

Earlier this week, I joined the CCCCO Exec Team for dinner and some planning.

Good morning friends.
It is May 20, 2023.
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD.

Commencement Season

The end of the Spring Semester is always a wonderful time at a community college. It’s so rewarding watching students’ years of hard work pay off in their commencement celebrations.

Here are a few photos from around the state as we celebrate our amazing graduates:

Cuesta College: 1,207 graduating students earned 1,614 degrees will be conferred, including 697 associates in arts, 233 associates in science, 292 associates in arts for transfer, and 392 associates in science for transfer.

Porterville College:  683 degrees awarded to 540 students, 31 of whom are dual enrollment students receiving  their high school diploma and AA degree at the same time.

San Joaquin Delta College:  2,715 graduates with 1,904 graduating with honors, completed 3,782 degree and 647 Certificates at San Joaquin Delta College’s 88th Annual Commencement Ceremony

Cerro Coso Community College: 581 total graduates, including 39 Early College graduates.

Pasadena City College: The 97th Commencement saw 3,046 students earning 4,522 degrees. Graduates ranged in age from 15-77!

Bakersfield College: BC’s 109th Commencement featured 1,418 graduates.

Cypress College: Cypress College celebrated its 56th Commencement on May 19.

Many more ceremonies for graduates of our 116 community colleges are scheduled for the coming weeks. Congratulations to all of our graduates!

And did you know – 51% of CSU graduates and 29% of UC graduates started at a California Community College?

In the News

12-year-old breaks record as youngest graduate

Clovis Hung, who is 12 years old, set the record at Fullerton College as its youngest graduate. He was a special admit who came to the college at just 9 years old.

Check out the story:


Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

Kylie Campbell was selected as the first president of hte CA Alliance of Dual Enrollment Partnerships

Thank you to Daisy Gonzales for sharing this photo with Daisy & Eloy Oakley at the Executive Team Planning Session:

Kern CCD Trustees Yovani Jimenez, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, and Romeo Agbalog with incoming BC President Steven Watkin and outgoing BC President Zav Dadabhoy at Bakersfield College’s commencement:

And from the Home of the Renegades…

Bakersfield College Hosts AgTechXEd Summit

The Western Growers Center for Innovation & Technology, California Department of Food and Agriculture and Bakersfield College partnered to host AgTechXEd Summit – a half-day event dedicated to developing the next generation of tech-savvy agricultural workers on Tuesday afternoon.

The AgTechXEd Summit at Bakersfield College included 3 panels, covering topics such as education, workforce development strategies, and current and future workforce needs on the farm. This event was part of the AgTechXEd Initiative – a statewide effort, led by Western Growers and California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross, to cultivate a future workforce with the skills and knowledge needed to navigate emerging on-farm technology.


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

The future is bright at Kern CCD.

joyful and grateful


Celebrating Mother’s Day 2023 with Hummingbirds

Happy Mother’s Day to all of the mothers. I hope you have an enjoyable and restful weekend.

Check out this 23-sec video of a hummingbird from Sunday  morning in the garden when I was having my morning coffee on the porch.

My mom loved hummingbirds. Mom, this is for you!

This week, Chancellor Emeritus Tom Burke comes back to lead the Kern Community College District.

Welcome back home, Tom!

Tom Burke

In the meantime, I have been reflecting on my time as Kern CCD Chancellor, and Bakersfield College President, and looking over some of my past blog posts.

But first – a heartfelt congratulations to all of our graduates celebrating commencement this weekend! Your years of hard work have paid off, and I wish you all the best in all of your endeavors in the future.

Graduates, remember at KCCD, we Dare Mighty Things

Good morning friends.
It is May 13, 2023.
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD.

A Look Back

As I finish my time as Kern Community College District Chancellor, here are some memories from my blog over the past 2 years. Would you carve out sometime to click on the links and walk down memory lane with me?


July 3, 2021: My first blog post as Kern CCD Chancellor

KCCD Daring Mighty Things. Happy Fourth.

I was thrilled to share with you all the generous gift of $7 million gift that philanthropist MacKenzie Scott and her husband Dan Jewett gave to Porterville College.

MacKenzie Scott
MacKenzie Scott


August 28, 2021: Welcoming students back to campus for Fall 2021

Times that call for compassion and love

I shared updates from Bakersfield College, Cerro Coso Community College, and Porterville College as our colleges welcomed students back to campus for the Fall 2021 semester.


September 26, 2021: Peace & Expanding Early College Offerings

Join us in imagining and making it so

I shared my reflections on the UN International Day of Peace and the Bakersfield College Peace Initiative.

My remarks from BC’s virtual International Day of Peace gathering:

I also shared this update from Bakersfield College’s Early College Program, which announced a new Early College option to McFarland High School freshman to earn a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Automation in five years!

BC Early College Team at McFarland


October 30, 2021: Honoring a PC Alum

KCCD – We #GetItDone

I shared about PC alum Jim Howell, who shared his 100th birthday with Porterville Rotary.

Jim Howell


November 13, 2021: Honoring our Veterans

Veterans thank you for your service

Every year, I look forward to my Veterans Day post where I honor our student veterans. In 2021’s post, I shared an excerpt from an email from Jenny Frank, manager of Veteran Services and Programs at Bakersfield College:

“Through their service, they have been honed into warriors and possess a warrior spirit. A veteran’s experiences and their duty to protect our country can create challenges to finding the sometimes-elusive peace they seek, beyond those of the average citizen.”

I also shared from events that our colleges held:


December 18, 2021: Ending My First Semester as KernCCD Chancellor

KCCD Trustees recognize Chancellor Emeritus Tom Burke

The December 2021 Kern CCD Board of Trustees meeting recognized Chancellor Emeritus Tom Burke for his years of service to the District.

Tom Burke speaks in front of the Kern CCD Board of Trustees

Here are the remarks from his wife, Tina:

(And thank you Tom for saying yes to stepping back in as Chancellor of the Kern Community College District)


January 22, 2022: Spring Semester & MLK Day Breakfast

KCCD Colleges welcoming students back – Spring 2022!

I attended the MLK Day Community Awareness Breakfast, where keynote speaker Michael Bowers called for a move From #BlackHistory to #BlackFuture.


February 22, 2022: Visiting DC

KernCCD team in DC

I traveled to DC with a team from Kern CCD for the Community College National Legislative Summit.


March 26, 2022: Sterling Silver

Sterling Silver 2022

The  Bakersfield College Foundation’s 14th Annual Sterling Silver event returned to in-person, after 2020’s televised recognition celebration.


April 9, 2022: Remembering Jack Hernandez

April 2022 — Season of roses and poems

In April, we celebrated the life of Jack Hernandez, who passed away in November 2021.

Sonya and Jack Hernandez.

And a video announcing the Jack Hernandez Phronesis Award & Jack Hernandez Lecture Series:


May 14, 2022: Commencement

Kern CCD graduates largest class of Coyotes, Pirates, and Renegades

We celebrated graduates at all three of our colleges. Commencement weekend is always one of my favorites!


July 23, 2022: Welcoming Visitors to Kern CCD

Exciting times at Kern CCD

Tara Lynn Gray, Director of the California Office of Small Business Advocate, and the California Energy Commissioners Siva Gunda and Patty Monahan visited Kern CCD.


August 27, 2022: Starting Fall 2022

Kern CCD celebrates Women’s Equality Day

Our Kern CCD campuses welcomed back students for another wonderful semester. Bakersfield College held a welcome session for incoming faculty.


September 10, 2022: STEM Building Opens

Grand Opening of STEM Building – Thank you for voting Yes on J!

Bakersfield College celebrated the official grand opening of its newest addition on campus and a crown jewel of the Measure J infrastructure bond, the 71,061-square-foot Science & Engineering Building that will house several disciplines like biology and geology, as well as a high-tech robotics lab.


October 29, 2022: Community Economic Mobility

Kern – Creating our Future

Bakersfield was on display as host for the California Economic Summit on Thursday and Friday, hosted by California Forward. On Tuesday and Wednesday, Kern CCD held a Pre-Summit Institute, “Community Economic Mobility: A Focus On Energy and Climate Resilience.”

The events provided a gathering of statewide leaders working for regional approaches to economic prosperity, giving all Californians access to their California dream.


November 26, 2022: Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving 2022. There is much to be thankful for.

One of the things I was thankful for was the generosity in our community. Check out these photos from the Coyote Cupboard, which held a food distribution on Friday afternoon at the Desert Dog Pet Store for the community.


December 17, 2022: Winter Retreat

Kern CCD starting the holiday season

On December 6th and 7th we had our Chancellor’s Winter Retreat which included Chancellor’s Cabinet and other administrators across the district.  We heard presentations on Early College, Rising Scholars, Supplemental, Adult Learners, and several other projects.  The session helped to focus the teams as we built our workplans for the spring semester.


January 8, 2023: Celebrating Early College

Rain bathing CA in glee

Bakersfield College and Arvin High School welcomed 60 new 9th grade students into the Early College program, joining the other 10th – 12th grade students who are also working on earning an associates degree while in high school.


February 25, 2023: My Next Chapter

California Community College System names the eleventh chancellor

I was so thankful for those from our Kern CCD family who made the trek to Sacramento when the Board of Governors announced my appointment as the next California Community Colleges Chancellor.


March 11, 2023: Women’s History Month

Kern CCD Celebrating Women’s History Month

Kern CCD hosted several events for Women’s History Month 2023.

On March 21st at Bakersfield College’s event center, we will be Celebrating 50 years of Title IX: Women in Athletics and Education. (Check out more in my March 25 blog.)

On March 30 at the Weill Center, we will host the 4th Annual Women in Leadership Panel, moderated by Senator Emeritus Jean Fuller. (Read more in my April 1 blog.)


April 22, 2023: Teaching & Learning Exchange

Teaching and Learning Exchange (TALE) at Kern CCD

Kern Community College District hosted the inaugural KernCCD TALEFEST. The Teaching-and Learning Exchange Festival was created to celebrate and support Kern CCD educators through the sharing of teaching-and-learning stories and the discussion of strategic new directions in a festive, positive environment showcasing achievement and innovation, peer-learning opportunities, and building district-wide mutual understanding and connections – in support of the goals of continuous improvement toward ensuring student learning and achieving student success with equity. 

It has been an amazing two years, and I am so thankful for this time spent helping students in our Kern Community College District.

Remembering Hannah Douma

It is with a heavy heart I share this email from BC Communications/Journalism professor John Harte, about the passing of a truly remarkable student, Hanna Douma:

It is with profound sadness and a broken heart that I share with you the passing of one of the finest photography students to ever study at Bakersfield College. Hannah Douma, a beautiful, funny, sweet and remarkable young lady who battled through autism and became a photographer of stunning vision and drive, passed away yesterday after a four-year battle with cancer. She was 28.

Hannah started in my press photography class in 2016, then moved to Kris Stallworth’s black and white photo class. She was in Jeff Huston’s digital photography class when she was diagnosed with thymoma, a rare bone marrow cancer, and had to withdraw from Jeff’s class. She then developed leukemia, which is what took her life. 

Hannah embraced her photography throughout her illness, and made thousands of photographs with a skill and beauty I have never seen in my 26 years at BC. I am stunned and inspired by the caliber of images she made as she fought so hard for her life.

Hannah’s parents have given me permission to publicly share her photography, and I have made this slide show to showcase it. If you have a few minutes, please give it a look. She is one of the most remarkable photography talents to come through BC, and she was such a sweet young lady, taken from us way, way too soon.

In the News

A guide to earning college credit while in high school

Emma Gallegos wrote this guide for EdSource going over some of the ways high school students in California can earn college credits.

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

Lizette Navarette shared this update from ATC 2023:

We reach our @CalCommColleges Vision goals and meet our commitments to students through strong partnerships! TY
@ccleague for inviting us – great turnout for the Partners in the #VisionforSucces session at #ATC2023

Andra Hoffman, LA Community College District Board President, was named California Community College Trustees (CCCT) board president.

Women’s Caucus at the League Conference

Neo in the backyard while I am returning phone calls in the evening.

And From the Home of the Renegades…

BC’s Women’s Wrestling Finishes Off First Season

BC women's wrestling team

The Bakersfield College women’s wrestling team competed at the inaugural CCCAA Women’s Wrestling State Championship in Norwalk, CA at Cerritos College. Ten CCCAA teams competed, and although the BC team did not have a full team competing for each weight class, they did have three athletes place in the tournament, including a first All-American. Athletes Chloe Espericueta and Diana Cardenas both placed 6th in their weight class, while Galilea Chavez took 2nd place securing the All-American title. BC hopes to continue their first-year success and bring on new recruits next season.


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

The future is bright at Kern CCD.

joyful and grateful


Starting May 2023 strong

This past week Kern CCD was proud to co-host the inaugural California Dual Enrollment Equity Conference here at the Bakersfield Marriott Convention Center. The event was completely sold out and more than 450 dual enrollment equity champions filled the ballroom where I gave the opening remarks on Tuesday morning. Kylie Campbell organized the event with the Career Ladders Project and Education Trust West.

A special thank you to Sandra Hernandez, member-at-large for the Tejon Indian Tribe for kicking the event off with a land acknowledgement and an encouraging message for our crowd.

Great lineup of speakers and panelists, including Ben Chida from Governor Newsom’s Office, Chris Nellum from The Education Trust–West, Linda Collins & Dr. Naomi Castro from Career Ladders Project, Sherrie Reed from California Education Lab, Olga Rodriguez from PPIC, Dr. Craig Hayward, Dr. Angelica Garcia from Berkeley City College, Dr. Keith Curry from Compton College, and Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud from RSSC. The event was emceed by Kylie Campbell, and also featured breakout sessions by high school and college partnership from across the state that highlighted work being down to reach underrepresented and marginalized student populations. We even had national guests from the National Alliance of Concurrent Enrollment Partnerships (NACEP) and DualEnroll.com. This was truly the dual enrollment event of the year here in California.

We had a great showing from Kern CCD leadership – Trustees Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Yovani Jimenez, and Christina Scrivner and college Presidents Dr. Zav Dadabhoy, Dr. Claudia Habib, and Dr. Sean Hancock as well as incoming interim BC President Steven Watkin. Our colleges were well represented with administrators and faculty showing their support for equitable early college opportunities here in Kern County, and I am grateful to those who presented our practices to others from across the state–thank you, Kylie Campbell, Berenice Arellano, Alma Feathers, Lupe Aguirre, Jacqueline Stoner, Jesus Oropeza, and Helen Acosta for presenting.

Thank you to the CDE and College Futures for recognizing the 2022-2023 Exemplary Dual Enrollment Schools during our lunch. It was amazing to see each high school recognized for their incredible work, including four high schools from our partnerships here in Kern CCD.

The conference also included a very special student panel, which had attendees laughing and crying at points, but ultimately motivated them to do the hard work of removing barriers and increasing access for their students.

Several attendees then went on trips  to really see where the dual enrollment magic happens– at our high schools. Thank you, Arvin, East, CTEC, Delano, Wonderful, Wasco, and McFarland High Schools for hosting our guests. We are so grateful for our partnerships with you and were proud to show off the work that you are doing.



Here are some quotes from the event pulled from Twitter. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

“We must meet this moment and the historic funding opportunities in California to bring K12 and postsecondary together in support of our young people through a mindset of ABUNDANCE.” – Ben Chida, Chief Deputy Cabinet Secretary, Office of Governor Gavin Newsom

“We need a system that realizes advancing equity can’t be left up to a single person. Individuals are not enough. We need systems to be better. – Dr. Christopher Nellum, Executive Director, The Education Trust—West

“I think I just breathe and I disrupt things… Now it’s just at different tables. – Dr. Angelica Garcia, President, Berkeley City College

“I have a sense of urgency, I wanted it yesterday. – Dr. Regina Stanback Stroud, Founder & CEO, RSS Consulting

“When we build relationships with our partners I can ask my local superintendent, ‘What can we do TOGETHER to serve more Black students?'” – Dr. Keith Curry, President, Compton College

“We have to disrupt the institutions and the replication of policies of exclusion AND we have to protect and nurture these public institutions. This is a contradiction in our work. We have to be fiercely maternal as we protect them even as we reform and remake them.” – Linda Collins, Founder & Executive Director, Career Ladders Project”

“One area of dual enrollment I would like to see improved is ACCESS.” – Yolanda Bailey, Dual Enrollment Student, Shafter High School & Bakersfield College

“Keep doing the work you are doing and thank you!” – Emilio Duran, Dual Enrollment Student, Wasco High School & Bakersfield College

“I will remember today as one of the best days in my career. Thank you for coming to Bakersfield to talk about two things near to my heart–dual enrollment and equity!”  – Kylie Campbell, Kern CCD

To learn more about this event you can visit https://www.kccd.edu/CADualEnrollmentEquityConference.

Trustee Romeo Agbalog on the Ralph Bailey Show

Ralph sits down with the President of the Kern Community College District Romeo Agbalog & McFarland High School Principal Dario Diaz to discuss KCCD’s Dual Enrollment Program for high school students all around Kern County that helps students as early as grade 9 build college credit courses that go towards the student’s college Associates Degree.


Good morning friends.
It is May 6, 2023.
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD.

Porterville College

Undocumented Student Services Information Dinner

Thinking about enrolling in college? We can help! Join us to learn more about Porterville College Undocumented Student Services and the opportunities we have for you.

May 17 2023 | 5-7 pm | Porterville College Cafeteria (100 E College Ave, Porterville)

Event resources include:

  • Counselors/Advisors
  • Registration for Summer/Fall 2023
  • Immigration Services
  • Financial Aid/DREAM Act Services

For more information and to reserve your seat, contact:

Nursing Students Brunch

In April, Sierra View Medical Center hosted a brunch event for Porterville College Nursing Students graduating this May.

Students learned about nursing careers at Sierra View Medical Center while having the chance to win giveaways and raffle prizes.

Cerro Coso Community College

The Band is Back Together

After a several-year hiatus, the Cerro Coso Community College Band welcomed music lovers back on campus. The concert, which closed out with a montage of songs from “The Blues Brothers,” was conducted by Debra Veit. The concert also featured the premiere of an original piece by local musician Jordan Covert.

This is just the beginning of live concerts making a return to Cerro Coso, so keep an eye out for future shows!

42nd Annual Access Awards Ceremony

Students in Cerro Coso’s Access Programs were recognized for their achievements at the 42nd Annual Access Awards Ceremony. The students included in the photos here are just a handful of the many who achieved their educational goals with support from Access Programs.

Also recognized at the event was Dr. Guck Ooi, our 2023 Access Faculty of the Year.

Cerro Coso’s Access Programs include five separate programs designed to help students overcome barriers in obtaining their education. Services include assigned counselors and support teams, book vouchers, networking and leadership training, and much more.

Congratulations to everyone involved, including staff and faculty. We are proud of all of you!

Cerro Coso to host Yard Game Zone at A Night on Balsam

Cerro Coso Community College will be providing free fun activities for Night on Balsam attendees, such as Jenga, Connect 4, Ring Toss, and Cornhole!

Friday, May 19th, @ 6:00pm on Balsam Street, Downtown Ridgecrest

Bakersfield College

Renegades are Transferring

The spring semester for many students is a season and period of excitement as they look forward to graduation. The semester is also a period of preparation and anticipation for our BC Renegades who applied to transfer and received their well-earned offers of admission letters and communication from their respective four-year universities. Way to go Renegades and congratulations!

BC Recognized on National Arbor Day

Bakersfield College celebrated National Arbor Day with a small ceremony. BC’s campus locations have been recognized by the Arbor Day Foundation as Tree Campus Higher Education. It was also announced that BC has been recognized with the ArbNet certification from the Morton Arboretum as the second community college with this designation.

Parent University Graduation Celebration

Bakersfield College recently celebrated the inaugural Parent University graduation in collaboration with the Bakersfield City School District (BCSD). The evening honored 58 parents who completed an Introduction to Early Care and Education Certificate of Completion (non-credit) offered by Bakersfield College; the program is designed to provide opportunities for parents of children attending BCSD schools. The event took place on Thursday, April 20th at the Historic Fox Theater in Downtown Bakersfield.

In the News

Bakersfield College graduate reflects on time as Renegade

23ABC’s Kallyn Hobmann sat down with BC Student Government Association President and Kern CCD Student Trustee Shehrazad Barraj to talk about graduation.

Check it out at https://www.turnto23.com/news/local-news/bakersfield-college-graduate-reflect-on-time-as-renegade

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

Check out these photos from the California Community Colleges Women’s Caucus welcome reception at the annual CCLC Trustees Conference. Kern CCD Trustees Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg and Yovani Jimenez were in attendance:

Jee Hang Lee, Nan Gomez-Heitzeberg, Yovani Jimenez

From PC President Claudia Habib:

Congratulations to ZeroNox and the Jospong Group from Ghana🇬🇭 for this unique international partnership #CleanEnergy #Sustainable #Renewable #CleanTransportation
is proud to contribute to this partnership #Curriculum #Workforce Transformation through innovation.

And from BC Agriculture Professor Chris McCraw:

Congrats to Jesus Rojas, 4th overall in the Ag Ambassadors Job Interview contest! Well done!!


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

The future is bright at Kern CCD.

joyful and grateful


Wrapping up April 2023 with a riot of roses

As April 2023 comes to a close ….. roses everywhere:

And here is photo #5 of the tree that I’m watching leaf out that I mentioned in previous posts. The story of the tree again – over the last five years I have been watching a beautiful tree in our neighbor’s front yard go through the cycle of shedding leaves in the fall, going dormant in the winter, coming back to life in spring, and providing glorious shade in the hot summers. I enjoy this tree each morning and evening during my Neo walks. I have started taking photos to chronicle its annual rebirth.

Good morning friends.
It is April 29, 2023.
The sun shines bright over Kern CCD.

Porterville College

PC recognized for Excellence in Equitable Placement two years in a row

Instructor Melissa Long (pictured left) accepts the 2022 Equity Designation on behalf of Porterville College.

We are once again very excited to announce that Porterville College will be recognized by The Campaign for College Opportunity as one of 56 California Community Colleges honored at the upcoming Excellence in Placement Award Ceremony for implementing landmark placement policy AB 705. This will mark the second year in a row that PC is receiving this prestigious honor.

Porterville College will receive the following honors at the ceremony, scheduled for May 31st: 

  • Campuswide Transfer-Level English Enrollment – Awarded to California Community Colleges supporting 100% of their students to enroll directly into transfer-level English coursework.
  • Campuswide Transfer-Level Math Enrollment – Awarded to California Community Colleges supporting 100% of students to enroll directly into transfer-level math coursework.
  • Equity Designation: Latinx Transfer-Level English Enrollment – Awarded to California Community Colleges supporting 100% of Latinx students to enroll directly into transfer-level English.
  • Equity Designation: Latinx Transfer-Level Math Enrollment – Awarded to California Community Colleges supporting 100% of Latinx students to directly enroll into transfer-level math.

Equitable placement practices have proven to be highly consequential for increasing access to transfer-level coursework, maximizing student success, and closing equity gaps. By starting in transfer-level English, completion rates have more than doubled for Latinx students. In math, completion rates have quadrupled for Latinx students.

Honoring the “PC Spirit”

Porterville College Faculty, Staff, and Administration gathered on Wednesday, April 27 for the annual Porterville College Staff and Faculty Service and Retirement Awards. This event serves to honor those staff members retiring this year as well as those celebrating service milestones.

PC employees filled the cafeteria to share stories, thank each other, and remember the fond times working together. It has become one of those rare opportunities for our faculty and staff to take a moment and enjoy each other’s company while honoring all of the hard work we do to ensure student success on campus.

This year PC introduced a new tradition to this event.  The presentation of the PC Spirit Awards from President Habib. The PC Spirit Award was created to honor and celebrate the outstanding contributions of those dedicated faculty and staff members who embody the spirit of Porterville College.

Congratulations to our first “class” of PC Spirit Award Recipients: Jodie Logan, Joe Tanguma, Jay Navarette, Dustin Acres, Jeff Jacobs, and the entire Maintenance and Operations Team!

Cerro Coso Community College

Save the Date: Commencement 2023!

It is the most wonderful time of the year, Graduation! You have worked hard to complete your degree or certificate, and Cerro Coso is excited to celebrate your accomplishments! Cerro Coso Community College is excited to bring back our annual celebration with an entirely in-person graduation ceremony this spring!

Cerro Coso Community College’s 49th Annual Commencement will be held Friday, May 12, 2023, at 11 am at the Dr. Raymond A. McCue Athletic Complex in Ridgecrest. Graduates must RSVP to participate. We ask graduates to submit their online RSVP by Tuesday, May 9.

For more information, visit the Cerro Coso Community College Commencement page.

Outreach at Mammoth High School

Cerro Coso held an outreach event at Mammoth High School this week.

As part of CCCC’s commitment to providing accessible higher education to our community, they offer college-level courses and programs right in Mammoth. This opportunity will help local students save money on tuition and stay close to home while pursuing their dreams. Call 760-872-1565 for more information!

Bakersfield College

BC Partners with Self-Help Enterprises to offer Courses to Residents and Community Members

Self-Help Enterprises is a nationally recognized community development organization whose mission is to work together with income-eligible families to build and sustain healthy homes and communities. Self-Help Enterprises’ service area is comprised of nine counties – Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tulare County – in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, the world’s most productive agricultural area. The organization primarily assists families with lower income levels within rural communities and makes it their goal to foster educational programming as the foundation for building sustainable futures for generations to come.

Bakersfield College has formed a partnership with Self-Help Enterprises to bring college courses to their Madison Place apartment complex, with the goal of further expansion across the organization’s service area. Residents and community members will have the opportunity to take courses during flexible hours outside of most individuals’ employment schedules right where they are. Bakersfield College is proud to be a contributor to a program which will serve a disproportionately impacted group of individuals to upskill and improve their life trajectories.

Public Safety Training Events

The Public Safety Training Pathway had two awesome events the past two weeks Bakersfield College Public Safety Pathway proudly hosted a panel discussion and recruitment event Thursday April 20th , 2:30pm-6:00pm at the Bakersfield College Fireside Room.

Industry partners from Shafter, KCSO, Kern County Probation, and BPD participated in the recruitment event. The panel included Chief Probation Office TR Merickel, Lt. Brandon Rutledge from Sheriff Office and Assistant Chief of Police from BPD .

Thank you, Dr. Tommy Tunson for moderating this event and to the BC Criminal Justice faculty for coming out and supporting the event. Also thank you Dominica Rivera, Fabiola Johnson, Natalie Castanon, Rachel Rivera, Jessica McGrath and Graciela Magallanes for all the support to make both the events a success.

Umoja Tours HBCUs

Groups from BC and Las Positas College at the Smithsonian African American Museum
in Washington, DC. They are wearing their shirts from the tour company,
Heritage Empowered.

Over spring break, Umoja Coordinator Dr. Paula L Parks took three Umoja students on a life-changing trip to visit Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). They toured colleges in Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia, and Pennsylvania as well as two museums. 

Said Jordyn Davis: “This trip changed how I view my college education for the better. . . It made me excited to learn again.” 

From left Eryka, Laila, Dr. Parks, and Jordyn

Laila Diaz, a studio art major, said her favorite college is Bowie State because the campus buildings have a more modern feel and the art department is strong. 

All three BC students said they enjoyed making connections with students from Las Positas College and visiting the cultural sites. 

“I feel like so much more is possible. . .  I’m more prepared for my upcoming years in college,” added Jordyn, who wants to be an attorney. 

Leadership Academy

I’d like to recognize the participants in the 2022-2023 KernCCD Leadership Academy. The Academy is our development program for faculty, classified, and managers.

From Bakersfield College:

Amalia Calderon, Anna Melby, Denice McCauley, Derek Robinson, Domenica Trinidad, Gilbert Ayuk, Jennifer Grohol, Kimberly Arbolante, Mirian Fuentes and Nicole Alvarez

From Cerro Coso Community College:

Jaime McClure, Kevin King and Sarah Land

From Porterville College:

Kristin Plunk and Manuel Caceres

From the District Office:

Becky Beed and Betsy Lopez

Thank you to all, and congratulations on completing the academy! Applications for the 2023-2024 KernCCD Leadership Academy are now open. Submission deadline is May 12. Please check your email for details.

This important program offers you the opportunity to learn about the many aspects of our district – from our trustees to student success initiatives to accreditation to business operations to legislative efforts and more. On the journey, you’ll develop lasting relationships with your cohort members, and connect with our chancellor, vice chancellors, college presidents, trustees and others. You’ll visit each of our campuses and attend a conference in Sacramento. It is the ultimate professional development opportunity!

If you have any questions, please feel free to email leadershipacademy@kccd.edu. Trudy Gerald would love to discuss this great opportunity with you!

In the News

Romeo Agbalog & Dario Diaz Talk KCCD’s Early College Program With McFarland High School

Ralph Bailey of Kern Radio welcomed KernCCD Board of Trustees President Romeo Agbalog and McFarland High School Principal Dario Diaz to discuss KernCCD’s Early College Program.

Check it out at https://www.kernradio.com/2023/04/26/romeo-agbalog-dario-diaz-talk-kccds-dual-enrollment-program-with-mcfarland-high-school/.

Community Voices: Participate in graduation — you won’t regret it

BC Journalism Professor & Renegade Rip Faculty Adviser Erin Auerbach wrote this piece for The Bakersfield Californian about the importance of taking part in commencement ceremonies.

“But for people who only see their AA degree as the first small step in a process of much bigger things to come, they still need to revel in this moment. Importantly, they should also let their families and/or closest friends celebrate with them.

Fun Photos & Spotted on Social Media

In Anaheim at the ASCCC (Academic Senate for California Community Colleges) Plenary Session, with incoming Senate President Cheryl Aschenbach:

And the BC Team at the ASCCC:

Then it was off to San Diego for the CACCRAO Conference (California Association of Community College Registrars and Admissions Officers):

With Lillian Justice and Michelle Smith

And the CREL Team at the 2023 Kern County Career & STEM Expo:

From PC President Dr. Claudia Habib’s Twitter account (@PortervillePrez)

Over $200,000 in scholarships were awarded this evening by The Porterville College Foundation @Foundation_PC @PCollegePirates it was inspiring to hear the students’ dreams and goals for the future. Thank you to all the generous donors who support our students. #StudentSuccess

From Cerro Coso Community College‘s Facebook page:

Happy Administrative Professionals Day to the backbone of our college! Thank you for keeping our campus running smoothly and supporting our students and faculty every day.

Your hard work and dedication are truly appreciated


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

The future is bright at Kern CCD.

a joyful and grateful Chancellor