Bakersfield College and College of the Desert Honored with Student Success Award College News

December 18, 2018

Two community college programs were honored last month with the 2018 Chancellor’s Student Success Award, which recognizes outstanding programs that support students as they achieve their higher education goals. This year’s honorees are Bakersfield College’s High-Touch, High-Tech Transfer Pathways and College of the Desert’s plEDGE to Success program.

“It is always a great privilege to recognize our colleges for the innovative work they are doing to support the Vision for Success and better help our students realize their higher education goals,” said Chancellor Eloy Ortiz Oakley. “The California Community Colleges is committed to helping students of all backgrounds improve their social and economic mobility, and these two programs are making tremendous strides in supporting that goal.”

Through its High-Touch, High-Tech Transfer Pathways, Bakersfield College is striving to improve outcomes and close the achievement gap in Kern County. Working with California State University (CSU), Bakersfield, Bakersfield College created the Finish in 4 project that puts students on a track to a bachelor’s degree. Students first earn an Associate Degree for Transfer at Bakersfield College and then receive guaranteed admission to CSU Bakersfield in a similar major with junior-level standing. Additionally, Bakersfield College staff and faculty have identified key performance indicators that serve as the college’s mantra for addressing student equity concerns. By implementing these strategies, Bakersfield College has increased overall degree completion by 58 percent since 2012; and increased transfers to CSU Bakersfield by 36 percent.

In an effort to drive change, College of the Desert instituted a new student success platform and re-imagined counseling and advising structures to help more students than ever achieve their higher educational goals. In 2017, College of the Desert launched the plEDGE program, which promotes clears educational goals and pathways and includes two free years of tuition. The college also overhauled its Student Education Plan program, which puts students who have a selected a major, on a two-year required-course roadmap. By implementing these programs, College of the Desert has increased degree, credential and certificate completion by 43 percent and increased transfer to CSU by 41 percent.

The 2018 Chancellor’s Student Success Award program is presented in part through generous support from the Foundation for California Community Colleges.