Several resources are available for students at BC that need help

AK Pachla, Reporter

By now, some students  have likely heard the news that the Brookings Institution has named Bakersfield College best community college in California for 2015, and one of the top ten two-year colleges in America.  One of the reasons for BC’s success is the variety of student academic and public services offered here.

After talking to a few students, some knew how to access student services on campus and some do not. Jesus Perez says he knows about BC’s student resources, but he hasn’t used any.  When asked if he would rather look online or go in person for services, he said he’d go in person.

Tiffanie Castro and Evelyn Leal agreed, both saying they would ask friends, classmates, or professors for information about available services.  “It’s easier,” says Castro. “They usually know.”

By contrast, student Chris Rodriguez said he preferred to try and work it out himself using signs, maps, and announcements posted around campus before paying Student Services a visit.

In fact, BC offers students a wide variety of financial, academic, and social services, and there are multiple ways to access each.  Asking around is a good first step, and it’s certainly quick, but sometimes the answers are incomplete. This can send students in a march around campus, hunting after the services they need.

Most of the information students would need is available on the Bakersfield College website at  Right on the front page, there are links to financial aid help, academic planning and career development assistance, access to library resources, and links to parking registration and job placement services.

For students seeking services in person, the Student Services (SS) building on the northwest side of the campus is the natural first stop.  Housing the financial aid office, counseling, and academic planning services, as well as the Learning Center, the Writing Center, and the Tutoring Center, nearly all of what a student needs for success is available at Student Services building. Job Placement, which was in student services, has been moved to the Administration building.

In addition to the academic and financial concerns of students, BC also provides for its community and social needs.  The Student Health Center (Campus Center 4, across the courtyard from the cafeteria) is open to all enrolled students and offers a variety of triage and minor treatment services.  We have a full-time school nurse, access to referrals, and health care from local doctors.

Next door to the Health Center is the Office of Student Life.  For students looking to get involved in an organization, start a club of their own, or have their say in the administration of their college, Student Life is the place to be.  In Campus Center 4, students can find out about upcoming campus events and activities, get involved with their student government, or sign up for community service programs such as the Renegade Pantry monthly food distribution.

Finally, there are the facilities services available to students, both individually and as a body.  Maintenance and Operations, located in Levinson Hall, provides janitorial and clean up services.  Students who see hazardous conditions are encouraged to contact Maintenance and Operations for assistance.

Also in Levinson Hall is the Department of Public Safety.  DPS provides security and safety services for the campus, as well as student escorts, car battery jumpstarts, and campus accessibility carts for students needing mobility assistance.

BC is growing fast, and sometimes notifications can’t always keep up.  Students Karen West and Joe Wright shared their opinion on this.

“A lot of people have no clue where to start,” Wright says. “They just don’t know it’s there.”

Wright suggested better campus signage, larger maps, and more detailed directions and explanations in more conspicuous locations.

West agreed, adding that the commitment to clarity should extend to the online environment.  “Some people don’t know how to navigate (the website),” said West.  She suggests perhaps a more intuitive website design could help.