bc award

Bakersfield College was the recipient of the 2019 Dr. John Rice Student Success Award at the Dr. John W. Rice Diversity and Equity Award Ceremony Tuesday held at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento.

Bakersfield College was awarded the 2019 Student Success Award during the 19th annual Dr. John W. Rice Diversity and Equity Award Ceremony Tuesday.

A press release states Bakersfield College has seen growth and improvement since beginning its Guided Pathways implementation several years ago and a campuswide redesign of existing structures in order to advance equitable access and completion.

To get more students to complete their degrees and/or transfer to four-year universities on time and without excess units, Bakersfield College has implemented 10 Completion Coaching Communities, according to a press release. It ensures each student is guided to pursue the most direct path to their educational goal, while identifying and breaking down barriers that might stand in their way.

With the Guided Pathways framework, Bakersfield College has:

  • Closed transfer-level English completion gap for African American students from 14 percent to 44 percent
  • Closed Latinx gap in Associate Degree for Transfer attainment from 61.6 percent to 67.4 percent
  • Improved completion rates for Latinx students from 26.8 percent to 38.6 percent
  • Improved completion rates for African American students from 32 percent to 39.8 percent.

"When I joined BC five years ago, the executive leadership team tasked me to build a robust outreach program in partnership with our local high schools. Five years later, we are reaching more students than ever before with an over 40 percent increase in the number of students enrolling at the college," said Steven Watkin, Bakersfield College’s director of outreach and Early College. "In that same period, we have engaged fully as a college in an institutional redesign using the guided pathways framework. Through this framework, we have seen whole-college gains in student achievement and completion."

"Make no mistake: the work has not been easy. Tensions develop in those uncharted waters. Yet, Martin Luther King Jr. described in his 1963 Letter from a Birmingham Jail that growth and change happen in the presence of constructive tension," he added.

Changes include:

  • More Black and Latinx students than ever before enrolling at BC
  • Improved completion and transfer rates for Black and Latinx students
  • A 30 percent increase in number of Black students completing transfer-level math in their first year
  • A 340 percent increase in Black students completing transfer-level English in their first year.

Samantha Pulido, Bakersfield College Student Government Association president said, “I chose Bakersfield College because I knew I would find an affordable education, small class sizes, direct communication with my faculty, and high-quality support services. This award shows how much each and every faculty and staff member cares about student success.”

Rice served on the Board of Governors from 1992 to 2000. The Dr. John W. Rice Awards were established in 2001, and annually recognize community college staff members, faculty, districts, colleges or programs leading the way in progressing student diversity and equity.

“We are delighted to celebrate Dr. Rice’s legacy today by honoring two colleges that are providing students from diverse backgrounds the support they need to succeed,” said California Community Colleges Board of Governors President Tom Epstein.

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