Bakersfield College has expanded its four-year Bachelor’s program in Industrial Automation to include high school students.
The program is offered at different locations including McFarland High School, Shafter High School, Wasco High School, Robert F. Kennedy High School, Bakersfield High School, Stockdale High School, and West High School. They will also offer the program at the Regional Occupational Center.
Students who wish to participate in the program could expect to complete their Bachelor’s degree in less than four years if they’re enrolled as a full–time student, according to Carlos Medina, a Program Manager at BC.
“After they graduate high school, they should be able to have their Associate’s degree in Industrial Automation, and then they would just need to complete one more year at BC,” Medina said.
Medina stated that students who are enrolled will be able to achieve the many benefits that the program has to offer, such as getting a jump start into their careers, not having to pay for their books or tuition, and being able to take courses at their high schools without having to travel to BC.
When asked about the reasons for the program being offered, Medina said that they “have industries like agriculture, energy, oil, the distribution center, and manufacturing. Those are our biggest sectors here in Kern County, so we decided to choose the Industrial Automation Program because of that.”
The first class is expected to graduate by 2025 and they currently have 35 students enrolled. However, they’re expected to recruit more students as the years go by.
According to Medina, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill on Oct. 6 in order to have an enduring program.
“So now our bachelor’s program is going to be a permanent program… for our college,” Medina informed.
As for the future, Medina hopes for the program to grow more within different high schools. “So those students can go ahead and complete the courses, and they can transfer over to BC after they graduate high school, and they can just complete upper division courses to get their bachelor’s. So that’s what we’re really hoping for.”