Sonya Christian and Lynnette Zelezny

Sonya Christian and Lynnette Zelezny

Bakersfield is home to two major institutions of higher education — Bakersfield College and Cal State Bakersfield. Each has a rich history and tradition of serving students and meeting the needs of the Bakersfield community. Since opening its doors to 13 students in 1913, BC has grown to serve more than 33,000 students annually. And since its founding in 1965, CSUB has grown to serve more than 10,000 students annually, with more than 70 percent of its 50,000 graduates remaining and working in the Central Valley. Though each institution has a different focus, both share a common goal: to position Kern County students for success that will advance the economic vitality and the health of our community.

The challenge is clear, however. According to data reported by the California Department of Education, Kern County’s educational attainment rates are below state averages, with adults over 25 years of age earning bachelor’s degrees at half the rate statewide, and in some surrounding rural communities, rates drop to below 2 percent.

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