Scribes needed for students at BC


Marcus Castro

Scribe coordinator Cynthia Garbett is seen discussing the need for more scribes by some students at Bakersfield College

Mason J. Rockfellow, Reporter


Scribes are in desperate need here at Bakersfield College. Due to the low number of scribes on campus there are some that are not being accommodated and have had to drop out of classes because of this issue.

A scribe is a paid student worker that takes notes for a student who is disabled and cannot take the notes themselves and in some cases performs other classroom tasks and test taking situations.

Cynthia Garbett is the scribe coordinator, a new position here at BC. Garbett is given profiles of students who need a scribe and her job is to seek out a scribe for those students.

“My job to me, I look at it in two ways: I am here to find the best possible match for each of my students and I am also here to find the best possible match for my scribe,” said Garbett.

A scribe is to attend every class with the student. Some students have different needs that the scribe may need to accommodate. Scribes may be required to record the lectures, get hand-outs, and type the notes in a word document and then email the notes to the student.

In some situations the scribe may have to help out during class activities and labs when the student needs assistance using certain materials and equipment. The student may also have the scribe illustrate to the student the powerpoints, pictures, graphs, and other class activities.

Garbett has been trying to spread the word to BC faculty, staff, and student by sending out what she calls “blast” emails, which is like sending a really big group message to everyone who has a BC email. Since the “blast” emails she has had many people responding, but some aren’t qualified. Another issue is their time schedules don’t match up with the student’s time that they need a scribe.

“It’s difficult to find a qualified scribe…not only the qualifications but the times that are specified to fit that need,” Garbett said.

She is also getting an ad for scribes on a side of a table tent that are going to be placed out on the tables at the BC cafeteria.

This semester there have been 38 requests for scribes, 23 are actively being helped, 10 students are without a scribe waiting for one to be available to them and five students have dropped out of classes they needed scribes for.

“There are currently 10 students who need assistance and I would like to see those positions filled,” said Garbett.

Garbett wants to make sure that each scribe is able to make money and be able to go to school efficiently at the same time. She also understands sometimes things come up and a scribe might have to quit.

“Life happens…I try to accommodate the needs of my scribes, as well as the needs of my students,” said Garbett.

To be a scribe you must be currently enrolled in at least 6 units, several scribe positions are available with qualifications and descriptions at