Tag Archives: Lande Ajose

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.

Lynette Zelezny has felt a call to serve the Central Valley throughout her career as an administrator, and one year into her term as the first woman president of Cal State Bakersfield, is engaged in an innovative partnership with BC with the co-location of BC SouthWest adjacent to the CSUB campus. Wolde-Ab Isaac rose from extreme poverty in the African country of Eritrea to become chancellor of the Riverside Community College District, and he spoke proudly of the partnerships he’s established throughout the Inland Empire to fulfill the district’s mission of social justice.

After a beautiful plated lunch provided by the Bakersfield Marriott, Kern County Superintendent of Schools Mary Barlow spoke about how the “cradle-to-career” vision promised by intersegmental pathways requires buy-in from all educational partners. Assemblyman Rudy Salas was the moderator for the afternoon’s keynote panel with higher ed policymakers in California. He expressed how this intersegmental pathways work makes it easier for lawmakers like him to support funding for higher education because it gives schools the ability to communicate outcomes.

Intersegmental Pathways Symposium attendee
Assemblyman Rudy Salas

As the Chancellor of California Community Colleges and a community college graduate himself, Eloy Oakley is passionate about the moral responsibility that our 115 colleges have to help Californians elevate themselves out of poverty. He called on all sectors of education to work together and not remain in the silos of the past. Gavin Newsom has outlined an ambitious agenda called California For All to help our colleges live up to that responsibility, and senior policy advisor Lande Ajose shared the governor’s educational vision with symposium attendees. It was a real treat having Lande Ajose in Bakersfield. Check out her tweet the next day after the symposium.

Finally, California Education Department chief deputy Lupita Alcala talked about how school funding reform and mental health resources are crucial to closing equity gaps in baccalaureate attainment.

Left to right: Rudy Salas, Eloy Oakley, Lupita Alcala, and Lande Ajose
Left to right: Eloy Oakley, Lupita Alcala, and Lande Ajose

On the digital side, Twitter was a very prominent part of the day. Check out these tweets that were posted by attendees using the hashtag #BCIPS.

We even had a wonderful (and useful) stretch break that was led by our own Manny Mourtzanos and Todd Coston.

At the end of the symposium, attendees who contributed to the conversation on Twitter were entered into a raffle for an Apple Watch, iPad, and other prizes.

I would like to thank everyone who attended the Intersegmental Pathways Symposium, as well as all of our sponsors who made it possible. A big thank you to Naomi Castro and the Career Ladders Project (CLP) team who worked side by side with BC. Check out Naomi in this video.

Behind the Scenes of the Symposium

There were so many wonderful people behind the scenes of the symposium that made our event work smoothly. These include Lesley Bonds for her contributions of content and coordination of the program and panels; Craig Hayward with the content; Norma Rojas-Mora for assisting with the panels; Catherine Rangel for organizing registration; Tarina Perry for the venue logistics and food; Manny De Los Santos for the Livestream; Kristin Rabe for audio and visual support; Dylan Wang and Earl Parsons for photography; Monika Scott for technology logistics, chat and social media support; Aricia Leighton for web and social media support; and our MPR students, Juan Reyes and Ramon Carriedo for supporting us with anything that was needed.

Thank you also to the many other members of the BC family who were there supporting us with the many little details. We couldn’t have done this without all of you.

Care Package Drop Zone

BC’s Veteran Services Department partnered up with Kern River Blue Star Moms to collect care packages for our troops on Tuesday. Faculty and staff organized a booth in front of the Administration building where members of the community could donate non-perishable food and hygiene items.

Christine Heard (Kern River Blue Star Moms) with me at the Care Package Drop Zone

The goods will be distributed to troops on the ground through Operation: Not Forgotten, a volunteer non-profit organization that helps improve the quality of life for veterans and their families.

Armando Trujillo, the advisor for BC student veterans and a veteran himself, said that events like these help our troops understand that their sacrifices are appreciated. We’ve expanded our programming for veterans throughout the month of November until the grand opening of our Vernon Valenzuela Veterans Resource Center on December 10.

Thank you to Kern River Blue Star Moms, Operation: Not Forgotten, and everyone at BC who made our care package drive a huge success.

Save the Date: VRC Groundbreaking on December 10, 2019

In just a few weeks, our community will celebrate the grand opening of BC’s first facility designed and built with the funding provided out of Measure J. Mark your calendars now and stay tuned for more details!

BC at the Office of Emergency Services

On Tuesday morning, a team of BC administrators who serve on the Incident Command Center reported to the Kern County Office of Emergency Services to participate in a tabletop exercise. The purpose of this activity was to talk through the procedures of what could and should be done in the case of an emergency.

In the room, we had evaluators from local organizations such as Kern County Fire, Kern County Office of Emergency Services, Red Cross, and more. After our activity, local partners contributed with feedback and short overviews about the services their organization can provide. 

Special thank you to Dr. Nicky Damania for his detailed work to run the group through the exercise and our partners for the valuable contributions to the morning discussion.

BCSGA Power Lunch with Jeremy Staat

The BCSGA Power Lunch on Monday featured Jeremy Staat, a former Renegade football star, veteran, and candidate for California’s 8th Congressional District. Staat is also an assistant professor of welding here at BC.

Jeremy Staat

Staat played defensive end for the Renegades, Pittsburgh Steelers, and other NFL teams before deciding to serve his country as a Marine Corps veteran in Iraq. Staat comes from three generations of veterans and believes their voice deserves to be heard and recognized in society, which is the motivation for his congressional campaign.

Thank you to Jeremy Staat for taking the time out of his day to speak with our community, and thank you to BCSGA for organizing another great power lunch.

BC goes to College Night at the Getty Villa

Last week, 10 BC students headed to College Night at the Getty Villa. This free event was organized by Dr. Nicky Damania and Benny Balderrama, who reserved tickets and provided transportation. The evening lasted from 5:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. and offered activities, food, a

59DaysofCode Entrepreneurship Competition

With 25+ teams, more than 70 entrepreneurs, and $36,000 in cash prizes, 59DaysofCode was an enormous event for entrepreneurship and technology in Kern County.

The teams had 59 days to prepare and build their ideas, and at the end of the 59 days, each team had to present their idea to a panel of judges. The judges included Dusting McCraw (Software Engineer), Trevor Thomas-Uribe (Financial Investor), and our very own professor Rudy A. Menjivar (Business Law and Accounting Professor). After the initial pitches, each team presented their products at their booths during The Arena, and each finalist chosen by the judges pitched from the stage to the crowd. 

Women in Trades Workshop

The 4th annual Women in Trades workshop, which aimed to teach high school and college-aged students more about careers in the building trades, was held earlier this month to celebrate National Apprenticeship Week. The event was put on by the Kern Community College District, Bakersfield College, local union building trade apprenticeship coordinators, and the State Division of Apprenticeship Standards.

Building Trades Executive Councilman John Spaulding addressing the filled auditorium of interested women at the Kern County Electrical Training Facility

The workshop introduced local apprenticeship programs and offered hands-on workshops, which were assisted by apprentices and journeyman currently working in the trades.

Building Trades Executive Councilman John Spaulding addressing the audience

Trades represented in the workshop included electricians, plumbers, pipefitters, sheet metal workers, carpenters, operating engineers, and cement masons.

KGET had local news coverage of the workshop. A special thanks to Dave Teasdale from Economic and Workforce Development for organizing this event, and Greg Rogers from the Kern County Electrical Apprenticeship for hosting this event at their facility.

Dr. Brian Harnetty Shares His Music

Commercial music professor Joshua Ottum invited composer Dr. Brian Harnetty to the Performing Arts Center on Wednesday night to share his music with students. Harnetty’s compositions incorporated archived sound and music for a technique he called “backward karaoke.”

Harnetty was most proud to show students a project he’s been working on called “Shawnee, Ohio,” which is a collection of music composed entirely of audio from the city’s archives. Thank you to Joshua Ottum for inviting Brian Harnetty to share his creativity with our Renegades.

On Wednesday, November 20, BC hosted Deep Cuts and Conversations at the Levan Center, with Dr. Brian Harnetty, who discussed his artistic methods of recording authentic sounds to create music. Dr. Harnetty explained how improvisation and live recordings, such sounds of people, nature, and instruments, can create genuine music.

BC faculty Kris Tiner, Director of Jazz Studies, Joshua Ottum, Professor of Commercial Music, and Reggie Williams, Professor of Philosophy, discussed with Dr. Harnetty about their experiences with improvisation to create music and the authentic sounds heard during a live performance. Professor Tiner talked about the improvisation of influential jazz artist Miles Davis in his song “Nefertiti,” where the melody repeats by improvising and playing it in different ways.

Professor Ottum described his experience listening to indie rock band Granddaddy and their song “He’s Simple, He’s Dumb, He’s the Pilot,” where they improvised by using simple music equipment, such as playing into pipes to get an echo for their sounds and create genuine music.

Professor Williams talked about the rock band Alice in Chains’s song “Nutshell,” comparing the emotion between their recorded song and the live MTV Unplugged performance that conveyed a strong sense of human pain.

Thank you to Professors Kris Tiner, Joshua Ottum, Reggie Williams, and guest speaker Dr. Brian Harnetty for hosting Deep Cuts and Conversations and inspiring our future BC artists!

BC Construction Class Tours Measure J Construction

One of the BC Construction classes visited the Measure J construction site a couple of weeks ago, but this week they were able to get a one-on-one tour with S.C. Anderson Project Superintendent Bill Campe. Bill showed the students all of the work currently underway at the Campus Center. The students were able to see first-hand the phases that happen in construction, and I think will be able to take away some of that information to assist them as they progress in the construction field. 

I’d like to thank Bill and those at AECOM/Parsons for taking the time to show our students the processes needed to construct something as in depth as the new Campus Center, and what the Measure J funds are building. Together we’re building a better BC!

Men’s Soccer Claims Conference Championship for First Time in School History!

A huge congratulations goes out to Men’s Soccer Coach Vayron Martinez and his soccer team as they won the school’s first men’s soccer conference championship when they defeated College of the Canyons 2-1 last Friday. We are proud of the program and their success. They are now focused on the playoffs as they will travel to play at Fullerton College this Saturday (11/23) at 2 p.m. in the first round of the CCCAA Men’s Soccer SoCal Regional. Once again – Congrats Coach Vayron and team!

Women’s Volleyball will host Chaffey in CCCAA SoCal Playoff

Our 4-peat conference championship volleyball team will be hosting Chaffey College in the first round of the CCCCAA SoCal Regional Playoffs this coming Tuesday (11/26) at 6 p.m. We need everyone’s support in the Gil Bishop Sports Center to cheer on our Renegade Volleyball team as they look to advance further into the playoffs!

Renegade Athletics is proud to announce this week’s (11/10-11/16) Kern Schools Federal Credit Union Renegades of the Week

Emma Gross, Women’s Soccer

Emma anchored the Renegade defense in games last week against Santa Monica and Antelope Valley as the team closed out the 2019 regular season. Emma was also honored this week as a member of the 2019 CCCAA All-State Team, an honor given to only four defenders in the state.

Edgar Gonzalez, Men’s Soccer

Edgar assisted on three of the four goals scored by the Renegades last week as the team clinched its first conference championship in school history. This week Edgar was also named to the CCCAA All-Region team, the WSC South 1st Team and as WSC South Offensive Player of the Year. 

Renegade Athletics Updates From This Past Week

Athletic Events ‘On the Hill’ This Coming Week

Be sure to put on your Renegade Red and cheer on our student athletes as they compete this coming week. If you can’t make it in person, check GoGades.com to catch the livestream. Events include:

  • 11/26 at 6 p.m. – Volleyball vs. Chaffey, CCCAA
  • 11/27 at 5 p.m. – Men’s Basketball vs. West Hills Coalinga
Sonya in BC shirt smiling.


That’s all for now.

Until next time.

With much Renegade Pride and Collegiality.

sonya-
the luckiest and happiest college president ever