Despite controversy, new non-credit courses will go

Anthony Vasquez, Editor-in-Chief

At the BC curriculum committee meeting Oct. 20, a new non-credit certificate program was approved after weeks of contentious discussion. 

Two non-credit online courses, along with a certificate were initially proposed at the Bakersfield College Curriculum Committee meeting earlier this month. On Oct. 6. Dr. Oliver Rosales, a professor of history proposed the courses under the program titled the “César E. Chávez Leadership Certificate of Completion.” The proposed courses were then brought to a halt when participants of the Curriculum Committee questioned the course’s merits and the approval of the courses was then removed from the committee’s agenda. 

Rosales stated in his proposal to the committee that these courses involve the study of Cesar E. Chavez and others who were involved in the farm worker movement. An emphasis was placed on this course through the fact that this course aimed to represent various historical landmarks that are located throughout the Bakersfield College service region. 

The courses were found to hold interest by Kern Community College District Chancellor Sonya Christian, as Rosales includes in his program an outline report for the committee that states, “Chancellor Christian has an interest in seeing this program offered in Delano for our dual enrollment students. The program is a unique opportunity to provide an engaging learning opportunity for our dual enrollment students in Delano, as well as the potential to grow in enrollment and become a model for innovation in place-based education.”

Although its proposal shows interest, the Renegade Institute for Liberty at BC shared an online statement on its social media platform that stated its perspective on the proposal, “As California moves forward directing college districts to institute a political litmus test, KCCD Chancellor Sonya Christian is demanding new courses and a certificate program to learn about the virtues of the local left wing UFW political machine. Should BC spend tax dollars to provide UFW activist training classes?”