A Four-Year Degree Coming to Bakersfield College

Bakersfield College will be one of only 15 community colleges to offer a four-year degree in 2016 under a new state pilot program.

Sonya Christian, the president of Bakersfield College, was in Sacramento when she heard the decision Tuesday afternoon from the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office.

“Bakersfield College being one of the 112 community colleges to have the opportunity to offer an applied baccalaureate for our community is just incredible,” Christian said.

She said the school worked hard to drum up local support favoring the new bachelor’s program in industrial automation – gaining favor from the Kern Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and Congressman Kevin McCarthy.

“The application that we put in was very competitive, and over 30 colleges – approximately 38 colleges – applied for our applied baccalaureate,” Christian said.

Christian said the school is already offering underclass-level courses in the program. She also said the degree will immediately put the school’s first crop of graduates into middle-management positions in 2018.

– Anthony Pollreisz