Bakersfield College gets awarded $3 Million in Title V funding

Nicholas Covello, Reporter

In recognition of Bakersfield College’s significant work to advance student completion and workforce readiness, the college was awarded $3 million in Title V funding to improve their efforts to address disparities in access to quality health care in Kern County, according to a news release on the BC website on Monday, Sept. 14.
“Funding from the grant will be used to support personnel and equipment to support the work of the grant,” said Cindy Collier, the Faculty Director for the Title V grant.
There are many faces to Bakersfield College’s plans for the grant money. One of the plan’s main focuses is to clarify and get students on the right path. BC can do this by increasing the number of students declaring a health science program as their major, with a specific focus on increasing Latinx student numbers. In addition, the college plans to provide more early college opportunities for students who participate in Health Science pathway courses and increase the number of transfer opportunities in the Health Science programs offered by the school.
One of the other parts of the plan is to use a high-touch support system to keep students on the road to succeed. This can be done by increasing the number of Health Science students attempting and completing transfer-level Math and English classes. Another way that this will be done is by reducing the average unit accumulation for Health Science program students and supporting faculty diversification mechanisms.
Another one of the main goals of the plan is to help get students into the health care workforce. This idea will be done by continuing BC’s collaboration with community partners to provide students with internship opportunities and by collaborating with the college’s Health Equity and Learning Collaborative. The college also plans on increasing collaboration with community partners to provide peer help educators.
By using the Title V grant, BC will be able to systematically strengthen Kern’s education-to-workforce pipeline while improving health outcomes for residents across Kern County. Kern County’s labor market shows that healthcare professions are among both the fastest and largest growing occupations. Since 2015, our region has experienced a 23.9% growth in the industry, and with COVID-19, having a strong health care workforce is more important than ever.
“Bakersfield College has always had a focus of rising to meet the needs of our community by offering targeted programs which prepare students to be successful, while also giving back to the community we call home. In recent years, the college has focused on improving student efficiency, bolstering support and vital programs, while reducing costs for students and taxpayers,” said Bakersfield College President, Dr. Sonya Christian, in the news release for the grant.
With the $3 Million that was awarded, Bakersfield College is well prepared to play an important role in addressing both the community need for more healthcare professionals and the student need for more accessible pathways to degrees that lead to well-paying jobs.