THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
Bakersfield College will give students a glimpse of a new program Saturday that offers the opportunity to earn a four-year degree from a community college at a fraction of the cost that would be charged at public universities.
The program offered, Industrial Automation, focuses on the application of electronics and computer technology to industrial automation systems. College officials promise the program will produce a stream of graduates who could go to work as mid-level management, bridging the gap between engineers with advanced degrees and technicians working on the ground.
“With a bachelor’s degree, students can go into this supervisory role, but what I am finding is everyone else I talk to still doesn’t know that BC has a bachelor’s program,” said Manny Fernandez, professor of engineering and industrial technology.
The inaugural class enrolled just 14 students, Fernandez said, but the need for mid-level managers is great.
“Companies import their bachelors’ graduates for their managers from other states, and then they come to Bakersfield for one summer and don’t like the temperature and leave,” Fernandez said, stressing the need for local students to graduate from college and invest in the community.
Local industries that could employ graduates of the program include petroleum production, food production, fabrication and logistics.
The Industrial Automation degree program was approved by the California Community College’s Board of Governors on a pilot basis in 2015 along with 14 other community colleges that proposed similar four-year programs.
The informational session runs from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday in the Science and Engineering Building, Room 52 at the Bakersfield College campus.
Bakersfield City School District recognized more than 1,900 English Language Learners on Saturday who have become proficient in the language, district officials announced.
During the year, English learning students who meet language proficiency and academic targets are reclassified and no longer considered English learners. This year, more than 1,900 hit that mark and were honored at a ceremony at Walter Stiern Middle School Gymnasium.
“Reaching English proficiency for a second language learner is a great accomplishment, and this event celebrates their efforts and is intended to motivate and inspire them to cross territories and learn about their world through their experiences with language,” Erick Casallas, an ELL Services Supervisor, said.
The Kern County Wool Growers Auxiliary is offering a $1,000 scholarship to a qualified Kern County student pursuing the study of agriculture.
Applicants must maintain a 3.0 GPA and submit transcripts and a 1,500-word essay on the theme, “Targeted grazing: benefits to the ecosystem.”
Applicants will be judged based on academic record, merit of the essay, membership in agricultural organizations, farm experience, extra-curricular activities and community service.