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EDUCATION OPPORTUNITIES: Bringing post-secondary education to rural communities

Bakersfield College's Arvin Center has been under construction for three years and is estimated to be ready and available for students starting Fall 2024
Posted at 5:27 PM, Feb 13, 2024
  • Video shows the importance of providing students in rural community access to post-secondary education.
  • Bakersfield College's Arvin Center has been under construction for three years and is estimated to be ready and available for students starting Fall 2024.
  • The center was made possible as part of a five hundred million dollar bond measure passed by the Kern Community College District.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

An opportunity to skill up and scale up is what Bakersfield College (BC) is hoping to bring to students in Arvin.

The college's Arvin Center is located right across from the local high school, providing students the opportunity to pursue post-secondary education within walking distance.

"We have a robust early college program in partnership with Arvin High School," said Norma Rojas, executive director of government relations and development for BC. "So for those students to be able to just walk across the street to take an additional college course is really going to make a difference and impact in this community."

Rojas said the center was made possible as part of a five hundred million dollar bond measure passed by the Kern Community College District.

According to Brian Rodriguez, director of rural initiative and adult education for BC, students will have the opportunity to obtain associate degrees and certificates in a variety of subjects.

"We're going to be offering programs that are associate degrees in agricultural business, culinary arts, hospitality, and certified nursing assistant," said Rodriguez.

In addition to those programs, Rodriguez says the center will offer a wide range of student support services including a library, a writing center, a tutoring center, and a food pantry.

Marcos Rodriguez, executive director for facilities and operations for BC walked me around the construction sight and told me in what ways this building will be sustainable.

"This is going to be the first educational facility in Kern County that is all energy-powered," said Marco Rodriguez. "There's also no gas in this building it is all electric."

He added that this will also be the first center within BC to deploy charging stations at its parking structure. In the future, he told me they plan on adding a solar system to this facility.

Ultimately, Rojas said the center aims to facilitate going to college for students in their neighborhood. "The nearest campus is on our Mt. Vernon sight, so having this campus available here for access to education at hours that are convenient to the residents is really going to make a difference."

The center is expected to be completed and ready for use starting Fall 2024. For more information on enrollment visit www.BakersfieldCollege.edu.


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