Fresno Pacific University’s Bakersfield campus is getting a new home in March.
The university is partnering with Bakersfield Christian High School to hold its classes there starting March 11. Classes will be held in six of the school’s classrooms in the evenings after BCHS students are finished for the day.
The university is also leasing office space at 1518 Mill Rock Way, Suite 101, near The Marketplace to house administration and other faculty.
“We’re very appreciative of this agreement. They’ve been very accommodating to us,” said Jon Endicott, vice president for enrollment and student services for Fresno Pacific. “We are very excited about this partnership and look forward to the future.”
Under the two-year agreement with BCHS, Fresno Pacific will use classrooms four days a week, Monday through Thursday. College students will be able to use the high school’s parking lot.
Bakersfield Christian is also providing additional support, such as Wi-Fi and storage space.
The university is moving from its current location in a building on River Run Boulevard near Buena Vista Road in southwest Bakersfield. The campus has been operating there for the past 10 years, the last few of which it has shared some of the space with Bakersfield College SouthWest.
With the university’s lease with Castle & Cooke for the space expiring at the end of March, Endicott said the university decided not to pursue a lease renewal of the 20,000-square-foot space.
“Financially, the space was too large for our current needs,” he said. “We’ve downsized in the number of programs we offer.”
The campus currently offers two master’s degree and credential programs, administrative services and pupil personnel services, which focuses on school counseling and psychology. It also offers a liberal arts bachelor’s degree program.
The campus used to offer more bachelor's degree programs, Endicott said, but as Fresno Pacific increased its focus on online learning, it has been reducing its physical presence. Now, the campus serves around 200 students each semester instead of the 450 students it served about a decade ago.
Endicott said Fresno Pacific began official talks with Bakersfield Christian last fall after he brought up the idea of a partnership to Greg Root, vice president of academic growth for BCHS and one of Fresno Pacific’s board members.
“We’re very excited to allow Fresno Pacific to use our campus,” said Karen Dierks, vice president of advancement at BCHS. “It feels good to have people here that are all about education. We’re happy to (work) with them to meet the needs of the southwest area.”
Endicott said the partnership with BCHS is expected to be a temporary one as the university looks for a new permanent space.