BC will offer new degree

Crystal Valdez, Features Editor

Bakersfield College is taking on a new degree program in which students can get their Associates in Arts in Elementary Teacher Education.

A presentation took place where the degree path was broken down so students who are interested could better understand it. Family and Consumer Education faculty member Bernadette Towns led the presentation, which focused on the transfer degree for Elementary Teacher Education specifically.

Students who were one or two years away from graduation were encouraged to leave the meeting because the information did not pertain to them. This is because those students followed the Liberal Studies degree path, which will no longer be an option after the new degree path is implemented. The reason those students are able to carry on with their degrees is because they have catalog rights.

Students who seek a degree in Early Childhood Education were also encouraged to leave because their path of study focused on grades K-3. The brain development of young children requires its own field of study.

Students who have only taken one year of classes that fulfill certain areas of the Liberal Studies degree path were encouraged to stay and to switch because of lack of catalog rights, as well as in order to facilitate the transfer process. Those who were unsure of what grade they hope to teach were also encouraged to stay for the entire meeting.

Advisor Pam Gomez spoke about specific required courses that students must take in order to transfer to Cal State Bakersfield.

“Our goal is that you complete 60 units and that you’re out of here in the two years and you’re graduated and transfer to CSU Bakersfield,” said Gomez

She added that the required courses cater to Cal State Bakersfield. Anyone who is interested in going to another school is encouraged to speak to an advisor in order to make sure that the same courses meet the requirements of other schools.

Gomez went on to say that the courses that were selected for students to follow are well rounded. They prepare future elementary and junior high school teachers for the CSET (history and science) and the CBEST (English and mathematics) exams, which are required to become elementary and junior high school teachers.

Once all the courses are completed and a student is able to transfer, the Elementary Education Teacher path becomes Liberal Studies at CSUB.

A model of what courses students should take every semester was explained by Gomez during the presentation.

Towns then told students present at the meeting that, “We’re here to help you and we do want to help you get on the right track, but you do have to take ownership for your degree.”

By this she meant that students need to know what they are getting themselves into. One of the reasons why the Liberal Studies degree will no longer be available is because students often confused it with Liberal Arts. Additionally, those who have taken classes before the new information was offered need to see if those classes are interchangeable and meet the new requirements.

“You need to be proactive and take control of your education…” said Towns.

The new degree path is fairly stringent, according to the Program of Study packet that was handed out at the start of the presentation.

Students who are interested are encouraged to take the classes that are in the Program of Study packet. However, if a student (for example) does not wish to take English B2, he or she can take Philosophy B9. English B2 was selected simply because Towns and other advisors believed it would help students become more well rounded teachers. Both classes, however, are options for the required critical thinking course that is needed in order to transfer. If you are interested in obtaining an AA in Elementary Teacher Education, see an advisor or contact Bernadette Towns through the BCwebsite for more information.